Luke 17: 1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! 2 It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4 And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
At first it’s not obvious to me Jesus’ directive to forgive with the apostles’ response, “Increase our faith!”. But looking at some commentaries on this passage it becomes fairly obvious. Jesus’ command to repeatedly forgive would have been extremely challenging. Left to their own inner strength it would have been impossible. So the apostles ask for faith/grace/strength from God to do what Jesus commands.
Forgiveness is hard. And it seems the closer we are to someone the harder it becomes. I’m asking the Lord to search my heart this morning for places where unforgiveness is present. Lord, increase my faith to forgive – as you have first forgiven me. Amen.