Tuesday, December 26, 2006
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times saying I repent, you must forgive him.” Luke 17: 3&4. I doubt the sincerity of anyone who asks forgiveness from me seven times in a day. That’s the point of this verse. We are not to look continually at others and how they treat us. We are to love them friend or foe. “Pay attention to yourselves.” When I read passages like the one above I tend to pass over them quickly, much less try to put them into practice. I am astounded Jesus wants us to do so many things difficult. Things like continually forgiving, loving our enemies, being last of all, not putting ourselves forward and take the last seat. The disciples thought these difficult too. “The Apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith.” Jesus replies, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it would obey you.” Luke 17: 5&6. In Matthew 17: 20 Jesus says of mustard seed faith that it could “move mountains.” If one can move trees and mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed than how small is the faith needed to forgive? How small is the faith needed to love enemies? It seems that Jesus is telling us that these things take much less faith than the mustard seed size faith. No wonder Jesus ask the question, “When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18: 8. So this coming year may we pay more attention to ourselves and put more faith and trust in Christ to be able to love our enemies, turn the other cheek and continually forgive. Then, quite possibly, maybe, trees will be uprooted and mountains moved. Happy New Year!!!