Sin, Faith, Duty – Luke 17: 1-19
Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! 2 It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4 And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance,13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
No one wants to be the Judas Iscariot.
Do you know Judas, who sold Jesus for 30 silver coins. We all know the way he betrayed Jesus.
Even though Judas play such an important role in the story of Salvation, we don’t want to be a Judas.
And it is true, we don’t want to be a Judas to anyone.
First, we don’t wish to be that person, who becomes a stumbling block to other’s faith. Sometimes our self-righteousness leads others to stumble in their faith. Especially, when we are in the seat of judgement, which is only for God. We, ourselves, sit in God’s seat and throw our critisim about the life of others. Which we see, leads them to stray away from the Lord. Jesus says, “It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Luke 17:2 NSRV.
At the same time, we don’t want to be a Judas, becasue we don’t want to rebuke others, in the same reason that we don’t want to make them stumble. But this also creates problems because there is no sense of righteousness. We don’t want to be in that seat of rubuking others, so maybe we aren’t doing it.
What Jesus is saying, sounds like a paradox. He seems like we need to correct each other, but at the same time, he sounds like we shouldn’t. I guess the main point of this is to say, why don’t you do it with ‘LOVE.’ Even though it sounds harsh or hard to follow, do it with love.
And an incident to practice the love that we talked about follows.
There were ten lepers. All got healed but only one came back to thank him.
He could have easily reversed his blessings to the other nine and say, “Since you are the only one who came back to say thank you, the other’s lepersy will break out again.”
He could have not said a word about the other nine who didn’t come, and just appreciate the one who made his way back.
But he maintined both the manner of justice, by pointing out the fact that nine didn’t return, and the manner of love by blessing the one who came back, with the inclusion of the other nine who didn’t.
Can we balance our love and justice like Jesus did?
For me increasing in the Love is more improtant, because I see myself being easily critical.
Lord, I ask to be more accepting like you were, day by day.
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