Luke Chapter 17
The Duty to Forgive
Read Luke 17:-1-10
The duty to forgive
Verse 3 - Be on your guard - against what? Unforgiveness
verses 1-2 - Unforgiveness is a stumbling block
- Notice it says, "if he repents" forgive him
Forgiveness does 2 things
I) It releases our minds from the burden of thinking about the offense. We are to
forgive, regardless of whether or not someone repents - we are to let go of it, give it
to God, and forget about it. We do not necessarily need to let the offender know
that we have forgiven them. This kind of forgiveness is for our own benefit, and really
has nothing to do with the offender.
2) It releases the offender from a feeling of guilt and shame. It lets them know that we
have put the issue aside and will not remind them of the offense, or expect any kind
of "payment" for it. This kind of forgiveness is for the benefit of the offender, as well
as ourselves - but it is necessary to let the offender know you have forgiven him. If
they have repented, they most likely will ask for your forgiveness.
In the context of this passage, when Jesus says "if he repents, forgive him" -He is talking
about #2 above - we are not to be a stumbling block to someone else - if someone
apologizes for an offense, we should let them know that we have forgiven him. If we don't, it
destroys our witness. When we confess our sins to God, He forgives. We must do likewise.
Verse 5 - "increase our faith" - why would they say this?
Forgiving someone can be hard to do
Jesus taught us to love our enemies - there are some evil people in this world. God said
"Vengeance is mine" (Deut. 32:35). Loving your enemies would include forgiving them,
and in this context, that means that you give it to God and trust Him to bring about
justice. Remember, evil people are controlled by evil spirits
Read Eph. 6: 12-17
- stand firm, take up the shield of faith (trust God)
- do not let unforgiveness poison you -don't create a stumbling block for yourself
The duty to obey God
Verse 6-you don't need an abundant measure of faith. God has given us each a measure of faith
As your faith is tested and tried, it grows and matures - like a mustard seed (Luke 13: 19).
The more mature your faith, the more power it will have in your life
Verse 9 - "he did the things which were commanded"
Jesus just commanded the disciples to forgive - it is expected that the command will be
Verse 10 - "all the things" - to forgive, to love ...
We should not expect special recognition and praise for doing what is right