Before we discuss how to increase our faith what Jesus taught from Luke 17:5-10 (colored in blue), we first need to understand what faith is.
Matt 9:28-29 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is believing in God on who He is what He is able to do and what He said when the things we hoped for seems impossible.
Small Faith, Mighty Acts
Luke 17:5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The apostles were asking Jesus Christ to increase their faith. Jesus then answers them how to increase their faith in God. Let’s listen to Jesus on how to increase our faith.
Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
If we have faith as a mustard seed, even a mulberry tree will obey us. Why did Jesus compare faith to a mustard seed?
Mark 4:31 “It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth;
As Jesus Himself explains in another parable, mustard seed is compared to be something so small. Hence, with small faith, we can do mighty acts.
Servants will obey
Luke 17:7-9 “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
Jesus compares His disciples to be masters where each having their own servants and the command given to them. Jesus then shows the assurance of the obedience from the servants which the master doesn’t doubt, even if they just came from the field working hard.
It seems, Jesus was showing how faith must be, like a master commanding his servants with authority, power and without any doubt that his servants will disobey. With such a faith, even a mulberry tree will obey.
We must obey
Luke 17:10 “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
But then, Jesus suddenly teaches something strange. Just as the servant will obey his master, in spite of him tired from hard work in the field, we are to obey our Lord in faith, expecting nothing, calling ourselves ‘unprofitable servants’.
Hence, to increase our faith, Jesus Christ taught us to obey Him just as the servant in the story obeyed the master even when the servant was tired from hard work. To obey is our duty. This is exactly what Jesus referred as faith, i.e., fully trusting on His words.
Luke 12:43-46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
As we see above, only those who are “doing” what He said during His second coming, He considers them as believers. But those who don’t obey the master doesn’t have any faith.
What about the mighty acts through faith?
1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
As John wrote, if we keep His commandments by obeying Him, whatever we ask, we receive from Him.
Luke 18:8 .. When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
As we saw, faith is believing in what He said and doing it. Will Christ find anyone doing what He said when He comes back?