comic archives

Luke 17:5-10

2007-10-03 — God has in fact up rooted great trees and moved mountains—the places of heaven and earth have been exchanged: God, the master offers service to us, the slaves (Luke 12:35).

BIBLE PASSAGE — 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!’” — Proper 22, Series C


  1. John — 5835 days ago #

    Pr Jim,

    This is a rare time I have to disagree. It IS about us, even as it’s about God. It’s about God saving us, humanity, for Him. It’s why He gave the Law, it’s why He came in person, died for us, and rose again. It’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit.

    Sorry, I feel very strongly, sadly, a strong negative, on this particular strip.

  2. Dale — 5835 days ago #

    A couple of years ago, a parishioner, who suffered some of the pains of Job, came to Bible class and asked an open question: “Why must I suffer so much? I believe in Jesus. I pray that Jesus will care for me. I have faith! So why must I suffer so.” He went so far as to quote one of the parallel passages of this text. Yet, in spite of his “faith”, he did not receive what he expected.
    That conversation made me look a second time at this story. Think about it. Do any of us have the knd of faith Jesus is speaking about? Faith that gives us the ability to order a mulberry tree to uproot itself into the Mediteranian Sea? I didn’t think so.
    Jesus is employing hyperbole to make His point. If your faith were as tiny as a mustard seed (I remember hearing in an exegetical class that the mustard seed was the smallest seed known at the time) “then you will be able to say, to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
    Have you ordered any trees to be uprooted recentily and seen them drop into a near by lake?
    Neither have I. It’s about God and His power to save. And it’s about us . . . and having a faith that is so miniscule that we cannot do anything having to do with the Spirit outside of the power of Jesus Christ.

  3. Tina — 5834 days ago #

    If you look at the context of the Gospel and then see what’s happening, it’s not about anything being a waste but it’s having enough. The Pharisees are about quantity, not quality, and again, Jesus is trying to get them to see how that’s not the point. Our friendly sheep is once again lost in a green pasture…So while John thinks that the cartoon is wrong, I think that it’s quite right.

  4. Heather — 5833 days ago #

    I agree with Tina. Jesus is trying to teach us about the quality of our faith, not how much we actually have. I may not always understand the meaning of the strips, but I do enjoy them. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jim — 5832 days ago #

    John, there’s no shame in disagreement. I agree with your characterization of God’s commitment to humanity. In that light, you’re right, it is about us.

    But when it comes to the matter of the sufficiency of faith, the human drive to quantify and compare sets us on a foolish course. The disciples ask for a “faith increase” and Jesus essentially tells them that they don’t need one. It’s not about them.

  6. Jen — 5831 days ago #

    This is a concept that has come up a number of times lately between a fellow youth director friend and I – and not just in terms of suffering, but simply with the “what’s in it for me” attitude from some of our students. Selfishness even gets in the way of our giving (young or old) when we lose sight of what it is (and who it is) we give our time and our talents for. It’s a nice reminder…

  7. Carla — 4740 days ago #

    well spoken, Jim. Thank you!

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