Scripture reading for March 26th: Luke 17
“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.” (Luke 17:1-3) Jesus was concerned for His disciples and their walk with their fellow men. People have strong opinions and often get into conflicts with one another or offend each other. Offense is Satan’s trap to divide people from God and His grace. Disciples of Jesus must be watchful for each other concerning offenses.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:3-4) Jesus knew the hearts of men. Offense often causes thoughts of revenge and avoidance of the offender. Gossip about the offense causes more troubles and leads to people stumbling into Satan’s trap of offense. Jesus taught open confrontation of the offender by the one offended. This was among brothers in the faith. This gives the opportunity for the offender to repent and ask for mercy. If there is humility and mercy is sought, believers always forgive, even seven times in a single day by the same person!
The disciples were aware of how difficult this teaching was to put into practice! They asked Jesus to increase their faith! Jesus replied that if they had only a mustard seed of faith, they could move a mulberry tree! This was to be normal kingdom living for those with faith in Jesus! Lord Jesus, help me to be watchful!