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Luke 17 – Increasing Faith and Understanding

by Jill

In Luke 17, Jesus presents profound teachings on faith, forgiveness, and humility, guiding us to live more righteously and compassionately. This chapter addresses the question, “How can we increase our faith?” through vivid parables and direct lessons.

The Parable of the Unworthy Servant

One of the key parables in this chapter is the story of the unworthy servant. This servant, facing trouble, decides to settle debts shrewdly, aiming to secure favor with others once he loses his job. This parable emphasizes the importance of using our skills wisely and humbly. Just as the servant acted shrewdly, we are encouraged to utilize our God-given talents effectively for His kingdom. However, it’s crucial to remain humble and not seek pride in our deeds, recognizing that our actions are merely our duty to God.

Forgiveness and Repentance

Jesus highlights the significance of forgiveness, teaching that if someone sins against us repeatedly but repents, we must forgive them each time. This mirrors God’s forgiveness towards us and reinforces the necessity of mercy and grace in our relationships. Importantly, Jesus distinguishes between ignoring sins and forgiving them, underscoring that repentance involves a genuine change of heart and behavior.

Faith of a Mustard Seed

The apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith, leading Him to respond with the metaphor of the mustard seed. Even a tiny amount of faith, like a mustard seed, can accomplish great things, symbolized by a deeply rooted mulberry tree uprooting itself and being planted in the sea. This illustrates the power of faith, no matter how small, to overcome significant obstacles and achieve remarkable feats for God.

Gratitude and Humility

The encounter with the ten lepers further illustrates key lessons. When Jesus heals them, only one, a Samaritan, returns to thank Him. This act of gratitude highlights the importance of recognizing and thanking God for His blessings. The lesson here is to cultivate a grateful heart, remembering to acknowledge God’s mercy in our lives.

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

Jesus also discusses the kingdom of God, explaining that it isn’t something to be observed outwardly but is already present among us. He warns against the distractions of worldly pursuits, reminding us that the eternal soul’s connection to Jesus is what truly matters.


Luke 17 offers rich insights into living a life of faith, forgiveness, and humility. By reflecting on these teachings, we can better understand our roles as servants of God, the power of faith, and the importance of gratitude and repentance. Let these lessons guide us to live more faithfully and compassionately, always seeking to honor God in our actions.

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