5-6: "The apostles said to the Lord, 'Give us more faith!' 6The Lord said, 'If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea,' and it would obey you.'" - Jesus teaches that the amount of faith one has is not the important issue. Realizing that we have faith and utilizing is what counts.
7: "Suppose one of you has a servant who has been plowing the ground or caring for the sheep. When the servant comes in from working in the field, would you say, 'Come in and sit down to eat?'" - Jesus now moves from a lesson on faith to a lesson on obedience; tightly knitting the two subjects together.
8: "No, you would say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Then get your self ready and serve me. After I finish eating and drinking, you can eat.'" - A servant is expected to serve his master.
9: "The servant does not get any special thanks for doing what his master commanded." - Completing tasks that are expected of the servant does not reap any special reward.
10: "It is the same with you. When you have done everything you are told to do, you should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done the work we should do.'" - Self-righteousness and pride in what we have accomplished are steps towards sin.
Points to Contemplate:
What is faith?
Do you see faith as the believing in something unseen? Do you view faith as the ability to step onto a pathway of ministry without knowing its destination? Is faith something you put on or take off as the situation warrants? Or is faith simply an acceptance that God is Lord of your life? Isn't faith a dependency on God for all things in your life and a willingness to do His will?
How much faith do you have? Do you want more? The apostles seem to think that faith is something we accumulate, earn, or are given. Do you wish you could find a little pot of faith as you travel through your life that you could reach into and grab more of when you needed? Would you tend to fill you pockets with faith as you start each day in order to have a good supply for whatever the day brings? Do you seek ways to replenish your faith at faith-watering holes or faith-filling stations? Does Jesus' story about the mustard seed illustrate to you the fallacy of this type of thinking? Does it help you to realize that faith is a simple trust in God and once you have this you have all you need?
Do you obey God? Do you perform the tasks that He expects you to perform? Are you actively involved in the ministry that He has called you to do? If so, are you seeking reward or recognition? Do you expect a special pat on the back for a job well done? Jesus is teaching us that these types of expectations are misplaced. Do you accept that your work in the building of the kingdom is nothing more than work which simply must be done? Are you willing to go about the day-to-day business of building the kingdom and serving God, your Lord and master, without fanfare or accolade?
Is faith simple obedience? Are these verses today on faith and obedience two separate lessons for us to learn or has Jesus brought them together for a purpose? Does faith come before obedience or is it vice versa? Can you see that when you choose to work in the ministry with which God has entrusted you and when you go about your tasks in the building of His kingdom, obeying and trusting Him every step of the way, then you have become faithful? Is it possible that Jesus is teaching about obedience so that we can discover from where our faith comes? Promises of the Gospel:
Like the apostles, often times we find ourselves hoping, wishing, and praying that we had more faith. It is as though we expect to find a supply of faith that will replenish our faith tanks at regular intervals throughout our life. Jesus teaches us that faith is tied to obedience. When we accept God as our Lord and when we become dependant on Him for all aspects of our lives, then we have faith. But faith is not the little seed that makes everything else happen. Faith is the result of our obedience and willingness to do what God is asking us to do. When we obey like a servant should obey then all things are possible.
Wonderful, and once again challenging article! I did a research a few months ago on..."Now faith is"..and, "He who comes to God must believe that he is, and is a rewarder of them that seek him." I was astounded and to find that my search through the Scriptures led me to the truth that
so many of us have wanted more faith to claim more things, and in reality, JESUS is our reward...and if we have HIM, we have all we need.