Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 17:5-19

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Luke 17:5

The apostles understood that Jesus's calling (vv. 3-4) was difficult. Therefore, they asked for greater faith. Only by trusting God, can we overcome our own sin and forgive others. We can ask for faith because faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8; see John 3:3; Rom. 8:7-8).

Luke 17:6

mustard seed. See note 13:18-19. mulberry tree. Uprooting and casting into the sea any tree would be a miraculous feat! Jesus used this picture to speak about the power of God for forgiveness. faith. Jesus's responded to the disciples (v. 5) by explaining that the size of one's faith doesn't matter. It is the quality and object of one's faith that matters. By faith, God is our help. He is able to overcome our thirst for justice and longing for vengeance and enable us to forgive others completely (v. 4). This reflects Jesus's own willingness to forgive those who crucified him (23:34).

Luke 17:7-8

A servant was hired to serve, not be part of the master's family. The servant's needs came second to the master's.

Luke 17:9-10

Regardless of how hard he works, the servant is still a servant. It's his job to serve the master. He should not expect thanks. unworthy servants. God is not moved to bless us by anything we do for him. He owes us nothing, but we owe him everything (1 Cor. 4:7). Rather than boast in our faithfulness (18:11-12), God's people boast in his mercy toward them (18:13; 1 Cor. 1:31).

Luke 17:10

See WCF 7.1; 16.4; 16.5; 19.6; BC 24; HC 63.

Luke 17:11-19

This account of a healed leper is similar to another healing recorded in 2 Kgs 5:1-15. In Jesus's day, it comes as a surprise that nine Jews were healed, but only the one Samaritan healed gives thanks. Many who should have received Jesus did not. Unexpectedly, many outsiders did trust him.

Luke 17:11

Jerusalem. See note on 9:51. Samaria. See note on 9:52.

Luke 17:12

lepers. See note on 5:12. far away. Because of their condition, these lepers had to live outside the city (Num. 5:2-4). They were declared ritually unclean. If anyone came with fifty paces, the lepers had to warn others by announcing: Unclean! Unclean! (Lev. 13:45-46). If touched by a leper, the healthy person would also be considered ritually unclean.

Luke 17:13

Master. More than an address of respect. This was a title only used by the disciples (5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33, 49). The lepers recognized Jesus' authority and trusted he could give mercy. They were taking turns at taking a first step toward being disciples.

Luke 17:14

show yourselves. Jesus upheld God's word. Only when examined by a priest and found to be clean could a leper re-enter society (Lev. 13:9-17; 14:1-20). cleansed. They were healed and made ritually clean. This came from Christ's mercy (v. 13).

Luke 17:15

Praising God is always the appropriate response of those who have received mercy from his hand (5:25; Eph. 1:4-6; Heb. 13:15).

Luke 17:16

giving . . . thanks. The only place in the New Testament where this phrase is used of Jesus, not God. Together with his posture, this could be seen as an act of worship. As the Son of God in the human form, Jesus was worthy of worship (Matt. 28:9; Col. 1:15, 19; 2:9). Samaritan. A surprise for Luke's readers (see note on 9:52).

Luke 17:17-18

The Samaritan was considered a foreigner and apostate, and despised by the Jews (see note on 9:52). Yet, he understood better than the Jews who Jesus was and how he should respond to him (see 13:30; Rom. 9:2-5).

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