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Act Justly… Love Kindness… Walk Humbly…


justice and mercy

justice and mercy

Welcome to church this morning! Today’s gospel passage is a collection of Jesus’ sayings concerning four quite different themes relevant to the Christian life: sin, forgiveness, faith and duty.

In addressing sin, Jesus issues a dire warning to those who would tempt or lead others into sin.

Forgiveness – so easy to say yet so hard to do! Everyone has been offended or hurt by another in some way, and everyone has likewise offended or hurt someone – even inadvertently. Jesus tells us we must give this difficult matter high priority and extend ourselves in love, no matter how long it takes.

“Give us more faith!” the apostles asked Jesus. Were they asking the right question? Is it about faith, or is it really about faithfulness? Jesus uses vivid illustrations of a mustard seed and uprooting a mulberry tree in describing the nature of faith.

And what about Christian duty? What does God require of us? The Old Testament prophet Micah captured the essence of God’s desire for us:

“What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” [Micah 6:8 ESV]


GOSPEL Luke 17: 1-10 [NLT] Some Sayings of Jesus

Concerning Sin: 1 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! 2 It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.

Concerning Forgiveness: 3 So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Concerning Faith: 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” 6 The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!

Concerning Duty: 7 “When a servant comes in from ploughing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? 8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ 9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. 10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’

sheep 3