My daily reading took me to Luke 17 this morning and I had a lot of questions for God. Let me give you the run down of the chapter. Verses 1 and 2 are a warning to anyone who would cause a Believer to stumble. Jesus tells us it would be better for this person "if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble."
Drowning is a bad way to die but it's better than causing God's kid to stumble.
Then in verses 3 and 4 Jesus tells his disciples they need to forgive a person who sins against them every time the person repents. The apostles react strongly. They say,"increase our faith!"
Then Jesus goes into talking about faith doesn't have to be big. Tiny, tiny faith can wrench a mulberry tree out of the ground and throw it into the sea. These mulberry trees had extensive root systems that allowed the trees to live for 600 years! So, this would have been no small feat.
And after this in verses 7 through 9 Jesus talks about how a slave's master doesn't coddle the slave. He just expects him to do what he needs to do. The master will tell the slave he can eat and drink after he feeds the master.
Then he says in verse 10, So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'
After I read all this I said, How does all this fit together? Stumbling block, forgiveness, faith, slavery. The commentary I checked out is silent on the subject. So, this is what I came up with. Let me know if it sounds good to you:
God must be our focus, not our faith, not ourselves. We are supposed to see Him and believe and do the miracles He's called us to do (check out that verse in the beginning I site -- Matthew 10:8). It is never about us being good. I'm not being a "good" person which I forgive and when I have unwavering belief. I am just doing what I am supposed to do as God's child. The disciples focus was on themselves: Increase our faith!
Jesus responded by telling them a story about slaves.