February 11, 2024 Sermon

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(faith to the finish - february 11,2024)

Series Big Idea: "Being a true disciple can't be accomplished carelessly; serving God requires everything we have"

Sermon Big Idea: "God uses even the smallest amount of faith in Christ to accomplish His will"

Key Scripture (Luke 17:1-10)

(Luke 17:1-10)

He said to His disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6 “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7 “Which one of you having a slave tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that slave because he did what was commanded? 10 In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’ ” 

The context of these verses in Luke is that Jesus has now come to the end of His earthly ministry and has set His focus toward Jerusalem where He will be put on trial and crucified (Luke 9:51-56). In this passage, Luke moves from the story that Jesus told of Lazarus and the rich man to an intimate conversation with His disciples.

The Pharisees were constantly trying to tempt Him into some self-destructive action. They didn't care about the "little ones"; they only cared about their reputation. They often caused them to sin. But Jesus had something to say about this. Someone who sins should be shown what he did wrong and be encouraged to repent. Forgive him when he does repent and keep on forgiving him. But doesn’t this seem humanly impossible? Shouldn’t it take great faith? No, said Jesus. Large trees can be moved and put in the sea with just a little faith. Like a slave who knows what they need to do and does it, believers must be obedient to forgive.

What does all this mean? Should believers in Christ talk to trees and do magic tricks with them? No! This is a call for experienced disciples, those who have matured in Christ, to exercise their trust in Him. Faith is the keyword in this passage. We need to know who God is and believe that He will do what He says He will do.

Faith is either genuine or it’s not. But even a little faith can make the impossible possible. Jesus said it’s not impossible to forgive; it's a normal act of faith. Because they believe in Jesus and want to do what the Father wants, His followers should forgive others without holding a grudge. But how in the world can we as disciples have this kind of faith and offer this kind of forgiveness? It takes humility, knowing that God is our master, and we are His slaves.

Forgiving others repeatedly should not be seen as a big deal. It is something that people of faith do all the time. We have the wrong idea of ourselves if we refuse to forgive or believe we can't. Jesus told these disciples not to ask for more faith. He said, if you want to be a true follower of Mine, forgiving others will be your way of life.


Jesus’ point is important. He told them, "You went out on a mission for Me." You have preached, healed, and cast out demons. You gave up your normal home life every day to follow Me. You have done a lot, but keep in mind that all you have done is only what God wants you to do. Understand that God is the One doing what you prayed for.

The word “slave” in this passage may seem harsh, especially to us as modern readers. However, its use here drives the point Christ is making home. But, does He want us to become discouraged, feeling we can never do enough? No. His point is that His disciples should never have the attitude of expecting a special reward for doing what is our duty in the first place. Our obedience to Christ is not part of a rewards system, it is a way of life. Life itself is a gift and we owe our very existence to God (Romans 6:23). Christ holds us and sustains us daily by His powerful Word (Hebrews 1:3). We were created by Him and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17). You and I cannot exist without Him. Stay faithful Christian!

Pastor Beaver's thoughts and ideas are inspired by:

Holman Christian Standard Bible

English Standard Version Bible

King James Version Bible

Christian Standard Bible

Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. Print.

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.

Blum, Edwin A., and Trevin Wax, eds. CSB Study Bible: Notes. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017. Print.

Phillips, John. Exploring the Gospel of Luke: An Expository Commentary. Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp., 2009. Print. The John Phillips Commentary Series.

Barry, John D. et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.

Dockery, David S., ed. Holman Concise Bible Commentary. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998. Print.

Water, Mark. Key Word Commentary: Thoughts on Every Chapter of the Bible. AMG Publishers, 2003. Print.

Brannan, Rick, and Israel Loken. The Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014. Print. Lexham Bible Reference Series.

Barton, Bruce et al. Life Application New Testament Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 2001. Print.

Bock, Darrell L. Luke. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996. Print. The NIV Application Commentary.

Butler, Trent C. Luke. Vol. 3. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000. Print. Holman New Testament Commentary.

Stein, Robert H. Luke. Vol. 24. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Print. The New American Commentary.

France, R. T. Luke. Ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013. Print. Teach the Text Commentary Series.

Trites, Allison A., William J. Larkin. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 12: The Gospel of Luke and Acts. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2006. Print.

MacArthur, John F., Jr. The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006. Print.

Radmacher, Earl D., Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999. Print.

Smith, Jerome H. The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: The Most Complete Listing of Cross References Available Anywhere- Every Verse, Every Theme, Every Important Word. Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992. Print.

Brooks, Keith. Summarized Bible: Complete Summary of the New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009. Print.

Hughes, Robert B., and J. Carl Laney. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001. Print. The Tyndale Reference Library.


Water, Mark, ed. AMG’s Encyclopedia of Bible Facts 2004: n. pag. Print.

Brown, Francis, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs. Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon 1977: 77. Print.

Willmington, H. L. The Outline Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999. Print.

Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

Wilcock, Michael. The Savior of the World: The Message of Luke’s Gospel. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979. Print. The Bible Speaks Today.


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