What Jesus Did! 'Redeeming Relationships from Sin' — Luke 17:3-4

Friday, October 2, 2015

"So be careful! If your brother sins, tell him he is wrong. If he is sorry {and stops sinning}, forgive him. If your brother does something wrong to you seven times in one day, but he says that he is sorry each time, then you should forgive him."
— Luke 17:3-4
Illustration of Luke 17:3-4 — "So be careful!"

Key Thought

In today's polite and politically correct society, it is considered rude to step in and confront someone about his or her unethical or improper behavior or sin. Hurting someone's feelings or impinging on his or her right of free expression is of more concern than evil acts, unethical practices, and sinful rebellion. How sad! How wrong of us as Christians. We are called to a different standard in God's Kingdom family. We take sin seriously so we go after sinners, not to punish or berate them, but to help them turn from their rebellious ways and reclaim them to us. If we take sin seriously, we also must take forgiveness even more seriously! Dispensing forgiveness was a key reason Jesus came to earth. As Jesus' presence in the world now, it is our job to practice radical forgiveness. And facilitating forgiveness and reconciliation, whether we are the offender or the offended, is always our responsibility!

Today's Prayer

Father, help me take my sin, as well as the sin that has entrapped my Christian friends, seriously. Don't let me tone down others who want to call your people away from their sin and rebellion. Please give me a heart of compassion and words that serve, bless, and strengthen others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus said to his followers, "Things will surely happen that will make people sin. But it will be very bad for the person that makes this happen. It will be very bad for a person if he makes one of these weak persons sin. It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the sea. So be careful! "If your brother sins, tell him he is wrong. If he is sorry {and stops sinning}, forgive him. If your brother does something wrong to you seven times in one day, but he says that he is sorry each time, then you should forgive him." The apostles said to the Lord (Jesus), "Give us more faith!" The Lord said, "If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, then you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the ocean!' And the tree will obey you. "Suppose one of you has a servant that has been working in the field. The servant has been plowing the ground or caring for the sheep. When he comes in from work, what would you say to him? Would you say, 'Come in and sit down to eat'? No! You would say to your servant, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Then get dressed and serve me. When I finish eating and drinking, then you can eat.' The servant should not get any special thanks for doing his job. He is only doing what his master told him to do. It is the same with you. When you do all the things you are told to do, you should say, 'We are not worthy of any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do.'"

Luke 17:1-10

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. In Jericho there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a wealthy, very important tax collector. He wanted to see who Jesus was. There were many other people that wanted to see Jesus too. Zacchaeus was too short to see above the people. So he ran to a place where he knew Jesus would come. Then Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus. When Jesus came to that place, Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus in the tree. Jesus said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry! Come down! I must stay at your house today." Then Zacchaeus came down quickly. He was happy to have Jesus in his house. All the people saw this. They began to complain, "Look at the kind of man Jesus stays with. Zacchaeus is a sinner!" Zacchaeus said to the Lord (Jesus), "I want to do good. I will give half of my money to the poor. If I have cheated any person, I will pay that person back four times more!" Jesus said, "Today is the day for this family to be saved from sin. Yes, even this tax collector is one of God's chosen people ! The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them." Jesus traveled closer to Jerusalem. Some of the people thought that God's kingdom would come soon. Jesus knew the people thought this, so he told them this story: "A very important man was preparing to go to a country far away to be made a king. Then the man planned to return home and rule his people. So he called ten of his servants together. He gave a bag of money to each servant. The man said, 'Do business with this money until I come back.' But the people in the kingdom hated the man. So the people sent a group to follow the man to the other country. In the other country, this group said, 'We don't want that man to be our king!' "But the man became king. When he came home, he said, 'Call those servants that have my money. I want to know how much more money they earned with it.' The first servant came and said, 'Sir, I earned ten bags of money with the one bag you gave me!' The kingsaid to the servant, 'Fine! You are a good servant. I see that I can trust you with small things. So now I will let you rule over ten of my cities!' The second servant said, 'Sir, with your one bag of money I earned five bags!' The king said to this servant, 'You can rule over five cities!' Then another servant came in. The servant said to the king, 'Sir, here is your bag of money. I wrapped it in a piece of cloth and hid it.

Luke 19:1-20

A person {in your group} has caused sadness. He caused this sadness not to me, but to all of you—I mean he caused sadness to all in some way. (I don't want to make it sound worse than it really is.) The punishment that most of your group gave him is enough for him. But now you should forgive him and encourage him. This will keep him from having too much sadness and giving up completely. So I beg you to show him that you love him.

2 Corinthians 2:5-8

Always tell each other the wrong things you have done. Then pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. When a good person prays hard, great things happen.

James 5:16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.