September 28, 2010 | 02:07 pm

Tuesday - Forgiveness and Faith

In our adult education class on Sunday mornings we have been delving into the topic of forgiveness. In Luke 17:5-10 the followers of Jesus ask him to increase their faith. What is interesting about their request for an increase in faith is that it comes directly after Jesus teaches on forgiveness (Luke 17:1-4). His teaching beckons us to continual forgiveness if the offender acknowledges his/her wrongdoing. In a first century, Middle Eastern context (which is when and where the Bible was written) where “an eye for an eye” was an accepted practice – continual forgiveness was not the custom. If we understand the context of these verses we might understand the impulse of the first followers of Jesus in their cry for increased faith. One might define faith as offering belief in the trustworthiness of a person. If there is broken trust, and the offender asks for forgiveness, it makes sense that someone might ask for an increase in faith. Increasing faith gives us the capability to repair trust in each other. What was broken can now be restored in faith. Jesus consoles his followers by saying it isn’t so much how much faith you have, it is more about the kind of faith. As we reflect on this passage, I invite us to wonder about what kind of faith our community has. - Jes Kast-Keat