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.:. faith, the mulberry tree, and the dutiful servant

Fran Woods

Luke 17:1-10

I was reading this morning (21 August) in Luke 17 where the disciples asked Jesus how to get more faith. Jesus reply was strange to my way of thinking. He spoke first of having faith as small as a mustard seed and telling a mulberry tree, "May God uproot you and throw you into the sea" and that the tree would obey. How does that help one to get more faith? What does Jesus mean here? I guess I don't even have faith that's mustard seed size. I can't imagine telling a tree to do this. Why would I? Do I have to have a reason? This is an odd example to me and I guess I need some insights as to what Jesus was really on about here.

The second story doesn't seem to be about faith at all. It's about the servant coming in from working the fields and preparing the master's food before taking care of his own needs. Jesus comment is that he was just doing what he was supposed to be doing. And he went on to say that's what our attitude should be - we are simply doing our duty. How does that relate to faith? Is it that our faith is really no big deal but just a matter of getting on with our duty? What is our duty? Well, it seems that it would be whatever we've been told to do by God and that would be clear to us from the scriptures or by what he's said or shown to us. So, it seems that faith is all about obedience and simply getting on with what one's supposed to do.

This thought still doesn't help me much with the mulberry tree example.

Copyright 2003 Fran Woods


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