72 As a servant of the Lord

Luke 17:1-10
Jermiah 1:4-10
T Forgiveness

Will this of Jesus going north along the Jordan in the Perea district be the last article of the Perea? Possibly, Jesus already leaves Perea and may go over to the west of the Jordan. There is not the figure of a large number of people who followed Jesus anymore, and@now, there are only few disciples including apostles here. Pharisees and people of the sympathizer would have gone back to each house. Jesus seemed to think that this was an opportunity of the important training that He had to do by all means to disciples. Jesus has begun to teach disciples as if He waited for other people to return. "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble." (1-2) )

This "stumble" has been often regarded as the thing about the ethic of the Christian, but of course we must be careful about it enough. However, as a problem further, it was stumble which the legalism of Pharisees gave to the people, and it disturbed that people were treated by a blessing of God further. That is the alienation of other people by "one's correctness" to be seen in their strict legalism. Luke would have thought that it was a big problem. Below 18:9, it has taken up before (in the prayer of the Pharisee who assumes oneself justice). Jesus would have thought that there is a pit for disciples there. This big "millstone" here; because it is moved by donkey, the weight of "sin" will be pointed out.

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." (3-4) Jesus said "Be on your guard!"; but it was not to draw abstract attention to the disciples saying "Be careful to prevent you from falling into the legalism of the Pharisee". For the disciples, not to fall in the pitfalls of Pharisee of "rightness", Jesus thought extremely strongly that there was no other way than to learn "forgiveness"; and it would have appeared this attention. This "forgiveness" was thorough. "Seven times", because it is Jewish whole number, this is to continue permitting it endlessly, and it is never possible without intervention of God.


U The forgiveness of God

We must think about the thing called this "sin". The theological place decides to have an opportunity again, but than it, we want to watch what the Bible says. Because disciple training in the Perea district continued, there would be the hint in the extremely near place. Yes, it was in the parable of the prodigal Son (15:11-32). At first, it is from the case of the younger brother. He confess, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son". This is that he denied the relations of father (God) and the son (oneself), and chose to separate from father and live without father. Sin refers to deny God and to live selfishly without God. In the case of the elder brother, it will be counted in sins that he is subordinate to father. There, incessant complaint (distrust of his father) has been born, but, he is totally insensitive for it; and, he has claimed only his correctness always. In the wake of the return of younger brother, those problems began to blow out. Father said unintentionally, "for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found"; sin will say a (own) death in front of God and will say a loss (self and God), too. A specific sin in Christian ethics would have to be re-inspected from one of one, because it is a direct import of Western culture often; but these are only one of the problems that derive from the fact of the origin of sin, I think. Therefor, if we take up only its one problem and make a lot of noise and say "there is no hope to be forgiven,", and apparently, as in the case of this brother, in a lot of cases, it seems to say against other people than to say against oneself. Will not that be a big problem all the time?

And, in this forgiveness, we must not forget that a condition "if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,'" is attached either. When he does recognition (confession) of his sin before God, he wants forgiveness from God. A condition refers to it. The one who conveys that forgiveness should not take it by mistake as a confession to himself. The one who conveys the forgiveness, receives the trust from the Lord of the cross, and declares the forgiveness of God. At that time, we must learn that its forgiveness becomes genuine.


V As a servant of the Lord

Disciples said to Jesus,. "Increase our faith!" (5). Would the disciples have considered that they can overcome the way to give people stumble by faith? Or, from the consciousness that they can not answer such the request of Jesus, would this desire have been born? Anyway, it seems that there is a basic problem in their faith understanding. Here, we must think about the faith / the faith of believing Jesus. Surely, Jesus would have felt such need to the disciples. Jesus said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." (6). The mustard seed is very small. However, if such small seeds sprout and grow, "it grew and became a tree; and the birds of the air nested in its branches." (13:19). It was the parable of "the kingdom of God" that He taught in same Perea only a few days ago. He did not ask the magnitude of a faith, but He asked whether there is a faith. In a intervention of God, the teaching of Jesus comes. For we Japanese, as for the nuances of the word of faith, it has a strong sense of "myself who believe"; but as for a Jew, it was a word that represents the trust agreement to the promise of God "it is true". The true One is only God, and in acknowledgment of it, unless we depend on that One, other way of life is impossible. Disciples who asked Jesus for "faith" were Jews who had been brought up in such a faith. Besides, they met Jesus and because they were those who had confessed "You are the Christ of God," (9:20), they would have remembered that origin, and said there is no other people than this One.

Jesus said to such them. "But which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come immediately and sit sown to eat'? But will he not say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me until I have eaten and drunk; and afterward you will eat and drunk'? He dose not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So, you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'" (7-10) The disciples must go out with a message, "Jesus is the Lord Christ" soon. Would this not be words of farewell gift from the Lord Christ to them? Stand as a servant of Jesus, it was the highest honor of as a messenger of the Gospel. Because, here, there is encouragement and invitation to the banquet of promises in the kingdom, "I am with always,". We want to advocate the flag mark of this Lord.


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