Thursday, April 11, 2013

Luke 17:1-19

v. 1-2 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.  It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin."  Jesus gave warning to those that hurt children.  I don't think there is much worse than someone hurting a child.  With all the stories in the news of people hurting children I usually think of this verse.  We are to protect them from danger, be on guard to what they watch on TV, what they are doing online and their choice of friends.  With the Internet children are being hurt on a larger scale.  God knows that if the enemy can damage us as children there is a good change that it will be harder to get past that to really get to know Him.  The wounds in childhood are deep and lasting.  Although healing is possible and you will no longer be defined by what someone has done to you, if you let Him in.

I also think this applies to those that hurt Christians.  We are God's little ones and He does not like when others hurt us.  Beware if you are in a position of authority and misuse your power, you will be held accountable for it one day. 

v. 3-4 "So watch yourselves.  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."  That is why we need to forgive and not hold onto anger.  We have a Father who is more than capable of taking care of the problem areas in our life.  To rebuke someone is supposed to bring attention to the sin so that they can be restored to God, not to just point out what they did wrong.  Before you rebuke someone else make sure you are coming from a place of love and not condemnation.

v. 5-50 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"  Jesus replied "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you."  Jesus continues to speak about a master and how he treats his servant.  He would not ask the servant to sit and eat with him because that is not the servants place.  "Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"  Like a mustard seed faith starts small and if you allow it to grow it will slowly take root.  Once established, faith will not be uprooted and will be able to destroy competing loyalties.  Although you have to be on guard for forces that want to eat away at the roots to cause the tree to become weak and die.

"If we have obeyed God we have only done our duty and we should regard it as a privilege.  Obedience is not something extra we do; it is our duty.  He is attacking unwarranted self-esteem and spiritual pride."                                                                                                                         NIV notes

v. 11-19 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem and in a village there were ten men with leprosy.  They called out to Him and said "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"  Jesus said "Go, show yourselves to the priests."  They were healed.  "One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him-and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked 'Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?  Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'"  Because leprosy was contagious, people were required to stay away from others and had to announce their presence to come close.  Is your faith so strong that you can act on what God says even before you see evidence that it will work?  Only one returned to give thanks to God.  I think that only 10% of the men came back to give thanks is indicative of the percentage of people that receive a gift or healing and don't give thanks to God for what they received.   It is possible to receive God's gifts and healing with an ungrateful spirit.  I think God is glad when we come to Him to give thanks because so many quit when they get what they wanted.  Luke was Greek and was writing for a Greek audience so saying that the only man to come to give thanks was a Samaritan might have been very significant
to non Jews.

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