5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Jesus has a single lesson in mind with this story, but He makes us think in two different directions to reach the conclusion. It begins with a question about faith, and the disciples desire for more of it. Jesus replies that they don’t need more faith, but they do need genuine faith, a strong and true belief in what God calls them to do.
The second part of the teaching calls to our attention the fact that we are servants of God’s purpose, gifted and directed by Him, with no power or credit of our own. As His servants, we must perform the tasks appointed for us, not for glory or praise to ourselves but because God has made us for this. We must be humble in our effort as we only do that which He created us to do.
We are taught that even a little authentic faith will empower us to do the marvelous deeds that God intends for us. The only thing we need more of is our involvement in the kingdom work and the sharing of His love to all people. Faith is the fuse that will ignite our discipleship!
Gracious God, we are Your servants, only able to do that which You ordain for us. May our faith be humble and strong to accomplish Your will, and keep us in Your love to be spread across the earth. Amen.