Our journey must go forward as we continue to search for understanding about God and to experience Him in more and different ways. We must develop an intimacy with God.
After reflecting on Luke 17:5-10;
17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 17:6 So the Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled out by the roots and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
17:7 “Would any one of you say to your slave who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, ‘Come at once and sit down for a meal’? 17:8 Won’t the master instead say to him, ‘Get my dinner ready, and make yourself ready to serve me while I eat and drink. Then you may eat and drink’? 17:9 He won’t thank the slave because he did what he was told, will he? 17:10 So you too, when you have done everything you were commanded to do, should say, ‘We are slaves undeserving of special praise; we have only done what was our duty.’ ”
The passage is in two parts. The first part appears to be a crazy sounding story about if you tell a mulberry tree to plant itself in the sea then it will obey you. This is all about how to increase your faith, and on the face of it planting a mulberry tree in the sea is an impossible task. Mulberry trees have extremely deep roots so pulling them up by the roots is an enormous task, but they do not like too much water and particularly not salt water – it would kill the tree. But God has the habit of doing things that are impossible in our minds.
Jesus is telling us in no uncertain terms that nothing is impossible if only we had that grain of faith.
So how do we get that grain of faith?
The second part I think is the key. The story about if you asked a slave to come in from the field would you ask them to sit down and join you for a meal. Certainly not is the reply! Why does Jesus talk about slaves (servants or bondservants in some translations), but Jesus didn’t have any slaves. Slaves were a common cultural thing at the time, and he was using this as an illustration but when we come to Christ for the first time we have to confess that Jesus is our Lord and saviour. This confession includes an acceptance that we repent of all our sins.
Like the slave we have to obey the Lord as our Master, and thus we are a slave of our Lord.
But once we have turned from our sin and found our faith we then move forward on our journey;
15 I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father.
Our Lord tells his disciples He is their friend now, they are no longer slaves, and I believe He is also referring to our relationship with Him as well. Spending more and more time with God in prayer and studying the bible with the Holy Spirit guiding us develops our relationship with God. No other faith offers this relationship and friendship with God our creator. We are His friends and are intimacy is closer than when we were slaves.
Our journey continues;
Further we deepen our faith and we discover we have been welcomed as children of God.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
If we do the work of God then I believe as this passage suggests that we can call ourselves children of God. We are re-united from the long journey from separation in the garden of Eden to here now as part of God’s family – does that not make you proud and confident that there can be no worries left in the world that can phase us as we have God on our side as “Our Father”.
There we have it – Slave, Friend, Family!
The journey that we go on if we accept Jesus and cast away our sins, study the word of God and then do the work of Him who sent us.
Dear Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
I thank you for your blessings this day
as you are guiding me to be more like you,
Forgive my sins and give me courage not to be tempted by this world
and help me to seek you in intimacy every day.