When we’re facing a difficult task or situation, someone often compares it to eating an elephant–that it can be done one bite at a time! Jesus uses the tiny mustard seed to describe the smallest amount of faith needed to face the challenges in your life (Luke 17:6) and then reassures us that that tiny seed can grow into an enormous tree (Luke 13:19).
I. Luke 17:1-6. We must have faith to walk in forgiveness. Usually when speaking about temptation and sin, the Bible speaks about what we must do to avoid it or persevere against it, but Jesus speaks here about how we must tempt others and always forgive others who have sinned against us.
II. Luke 17:7-19. We must have faith to walk in obedience. We picture ourselves as super-Christians, and beg for the participation trophy for whatever we do for God, but Jesus points out that we owe 100% of all we have and do to Him–without praise or accolades. Our walk is about God, not us.
III. Luke 17:20-37. We must have faith to walk in sanctification. Jesus tells us here that the Kingdom of God is within us, so that is what we must get cleaned up. While the world around us engages in evil, we must walk blamelessly before God like Noah. And, like Lot’s wife, we mustn’t turn back to what we may be missing. We must lose our lives to preserve them.
Upon hearing the standard to which we are called to live our lives in Christ, our cry is the same as the apostles’, “Increase our faith!” So, our reassurance is the same. God demands perfection, but He also gives grace. Plant your mustard seed faith and watch what grows!