Mustard Seed

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 6:53am

I was reading Luke 17 a few days ago, and wanted to write what I observed in this Scripture passage.  I don't know if the verses 5-6 and 7-10 relate to each other, but they are two threads of thought Jesus shared with His disciples. 

The first is when the disciples ask Jesus how they could get more faith.  Jesus replied that all they needed was a small amount of faith (in God), as small as a mustard seed. He then used the example of ordering the mulberry tree to uproot itself and re-plant into the sea.

The ensuing verses in 7-10  follows that conversation,  but the subject is not about faith.  It's about attitude and character.  It's about how a person responds to everyday life.

Jesus gives the example of a servant who has worked in the fields all day and comes in for the evening.  He doesn't plop down and expect to be fed, bathed and tucked into bed  . . .  he comes in and starts to prepare the evening meal for his master and serves him and his family before he eats.

The Scripture doesn't say this, but I assume that since this servant fixes the meal, there's no one to clean up and put things away after the meal and that would add to his chores.

Then we see the heart of the servant.  He does all this and does not expect to be commended or praised for his work. 

I would portray this person as hard working and maybe quiet most of the time. But our tainted culture would also add an underlining theme of entitlement, at least a sadness if not bitterness that this servant is stuck in his position of life -- because that's how we would naturally feel in the servant's situation.  Even in our Christian walk, we expect God to bless us in a material sense using hand-picked scripture to back up our claims.

What Jesus says is, "When you obey Me you should say, 'We are not worthy of praise.  We are servants who have simply done our duty. ' "

If we do everything as unto the Lord, seeking to please Him in what we do with our hands, how we speak with our mouths, how we love each other -- without even thinking how we should be praised for our work -- we can anchor that assurance and peace in our hearts that God will say one day, "Good job, faithful servant, enter your rest," and that will be enough.

Don't look for praise.  Don't tout your accomplishments.  Do them in secret so your Father will see them and bless you, giving you favor with men.

So how does the faith like a mustard seed and servanthood relate?  Or do they?

For most of us, this state of being Jesus is talking about seems either naturally foreign to us and/or impossible to obtain.  But what if it's not impossible?

When Jesus talks about faith, He does not just mean speaking to things and situations to make them change.  He's talking about transforming our attitude in life to truly trust Him as the Master. I think He's saying we can change to be more Christ-like if we just have faith like a mustard seed, growing our faith every day by planting actions of obedience.