Faith To Forgive

Luke 17:4-6

Take heed to yourselves, if thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him.

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you.

Jesus had so much power when He spoke. He often used metaphors (objects) so that we could relate to the power of His words. Jesus is talking about forgiveness. It’s not an option.

The apostles understood what Jesus just said, and replied with “Increase our faith.” By no mere chance was this conversation just happening here. With the Sycamine tree probably as a backdrop, or maybe they were even sitting under the shade of the sycamine tree, Jesus made this statement: If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea, and it should obey you.

The sycamine represented unforgiveness. But why would He use the Sycamine tree? Many scholars think this is just a mulberry tree or a sycamore tree. But there is a sycamine tree that bears fruit like a fig tree. The fruit is not as sweet as the fig and I’ve read that it is a little bitter too. The sycamine was also used to make burial caskets. It has a huge trunk with a root system that is twice as deep as the tree. It is a beautiful tree, on the outside.

Growing up on a small farm in Northern California, I remember having to help my dad and brother dig up a stump that had to come out. Ironically the roots were tapping into our septic tank. It took days to get this out of the ground. The hole around the stump just kept getting bigger and bigger. We would have to take an axe to chop the roots, then the tap root was the main root going down into the ground and that was the hardest root to cut. We hooked a big chain to a tractor and pulled and pulled. The front wheels on the tractor would come up in the air and the stump wouldn’t move, however, eventually it came out.

Unforgiveness can take root in your heart the same way. When people make mention of unforgiveness remember the root is twice as deep as the outer appearance. That root is going down tapping into your heart drawing life and depositing death.

There was a lady I spoke with that wanted so much to speak in tongues. For years, she had prayed and prayed but for some reason it would never happen. I prayed with her and nothing happened. I asked the Lord what was the problem. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me that it was unforgiveness. I told her this and she just nodded her head and said, “yes, that was the problem.” It was rooted deep. She used to be a millionaire and as a widow people had taken all her money and thrown her out on the streets homeless. It took her months to forgive after that conversation, but one day she told me that she had started to pray in tongues. She reached a place of forgiveness and the Lord could bless her.

But Jesus said all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed. He’s not asking you for much to work with. He will throw that unforgiveness into the sea of forgetfulness.

He is “El-Nahsah”

“Forgiving God”



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