Bible study: Faith grows and matures as we walk with Jesus

Luke 17:1–10


If you have been a follower of Christ for a considerable amount of time, have you noticed the temptations and the struggles you encounter are different from when you first accepted Christ? As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, our faith should be marked by a progression of growth and depth.

Consider the original disciples of Christ. They were a varied group with a wide range of personalities and professions.

There would be no reason they would choose to work together or even be kind to each other. Then Jesus entered their lives, united them in mission and purpose and, except for Judas, they carried and expanded the message of salvation until most were martyred for their faith. It is safe to say both their faith and resolve matured as they grew older.

How does our faith grow? Through obedience. How do we obey? Through faith. The tandem of faith and obedience are the most important duo in all of Scripture. The measure of one will determine the outcome of the other.

Mature faith forgives. (1–4)

Usually, the primary focus of this text is the punishment of the wicked, but the attention of our lesson is forgiveness.

When you forgive someone, you release them from your hate and evil intentions of revenge. Forgiving someone who has hurt you is not easy but it is possible.

There are times when I recall someone who said or did something to me and caused me great harm or grief. When these moments come, I have a choice. I can either rehearse it in my mind, or I can choose to forgive again. Forgiveness does not mean God will erase my memory, but it does mean I will face the opportunity to mature in my faith and not harbor unforgiveness. One must simply recall the forgiveness given to us by God as the motivation to forgive others.

Mature faith acts. (5–6)

Christians who are serious about becoming more like Jesus will realize their beliefs eventually require more than lip service. Faith is a verb; it is active and visible. A faith that forgives wrongdoing demands action.

It is easy to read an article on forgiveness, hear a song about grace or even teach a Bible study on peace, but it is altogether a different thing to put those activities into practice. You and I cannot forgive others in our own strength.

Something that wonderful and big needs help in carrying it. This is where Jesus aids us. The disciples realize in Verse 5 that they need His help. Do you realize the same?

Mature faith does not seek recognition. (7–10)

Jesus uses an oxymoronic illustration about servanthood to make a point regarding humility and not seeking recognition. How ridiculous it would have been in Jesus’ day for the servant of the house to come in after a long day of work and tell the master of the home to bring him food or drink. Even more absurd is the notion that the local church or the mission of Jesus exists to focus on us. A sure sign of an immature faith is evident when someone does not get his or her way.

A faith that is growing and sincere will always point to Jesus. Is your faith maturing as it should be? Are you able to forgive others when you are wronged? Do you have to be the center of attention and always have the last word in a conversation? We all have room to grow in our faith. Let us encourage one another and grow up.


This lesson was written by Bobby McKay, pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi, and originally published by The Baptist Paper. This study is based on the Bible Studies for Life curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources.