Luke 17

Self Reflective Jesus

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 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. “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” Luke 17:5-10

Every time I read a parable I wonder where is Jesus, and this time I wondered if Jesus was the slave. Like the slave, Jesus works the “fields” and tends to “sheep”, and at the last supper he served the disciples with an apron around his waist. Could it be that Jesus is disappointed in his own self that in all that he has done to serve them, the disciples still ask for an increase of faith.

If the disciples were with Jesus this long, and their faith has not increased (which is the bare minimum that would be expected of a teacher) then I wonder if Jesus is disappointed himself?

Is Jesus disappointed that for all that he has done for the disciples, they are still seeking an increase of faith? That he thought the faith of the disciples was increasing only to discover in the question that perhaps their faith as not matured? That is Jesus was, at this point, unable to get the disciples to think about beyond just their individual faith.

Could Jesus be confessing, in his own Jesus way, that his ministry feels worthless because he was was failing to do “what ought to have done” - the bare minimum?

Is Jesus saying he feels worthless because he has only been able to do the bare minimum and not accomplish a greater mission in these disciples?

Am I frustrating Jesus because I am often interested in increasing my own faith at the expense of being interested in the greater mission of God?

Lord have mercy.