If you haven’t yet, you may want to start with these posts first: Have We Sold Indulgences in Modern Times (pt.1), Millstone Around Your Neck (pt. 2), and Millstone Around Your Neck (pt. 3) because they look at Luke 17:1-2 and the spirit of offense.
Today I want to start to look at Luke 17:3-10. Here it is below:
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you have faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would have obeyed you. “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and recline to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and after these things you will eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”
I want to clarify first when Jesus is talking in verse 1-2 of Luke 17 He is talking about a stumbling block (scandala) and what to do in this situation (see the first three posts above that talk about this part of scripture). Today as we dig into just Luke 17:3, please realize Jesus is specifically speaking of hamarte which is translated as sins above. I asked you to look up the definitions of the three Hebrew words for sin. In case you hadn’t here they are:
- Avon (ah-vone)=iniquity=weakness or tendency to fall under temptation in specific areas-but does not involve taking action in a condoning way- based on the thoughts, emotions that we know are evil.
- Hatah (ha-tah)=transgression=the action of violating God’s principles-making a mistake, picking yourself up and seeing it as God sees it.
- Peshah (pe-shah)=sin=deflection or rebellion-to make a counter covenant, deliberate sin consciously choosing to violate God’s principles and identifying with the principles of evil in a clear act of rebellion. 1
I want to really look at the word hamarte in Greek and look at what it is or coincides with in Hebrew according to supporting scripture. The Hebrew language was much better at capturing the meaning and difference between iniquity, transgression and sin. Whereas the Greek translation into English is not as specific with the differences. Yet I believe it is important to understand these differences. We need to remember that Jesus was talking to Jews in Hebrew when he walked the earth. So let’s look a little closer….
Here in Luke 17:3 the KJV actually translates the word hamarte as transgression. The other time the version hamarte is used in the New Testament is in 1 John 2:1:
“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin (hamartete-might not sin/ transgress). But if anyone does sin (hamarte-transgress), we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. 1 John 2:1 MSG
The definition of hamartano from biblehub.com is:
originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present. Word Origin
from an early root hamart-
to miss the mark, do wrong, sin
This is the closest to the Hebrew word hatah (transgression) when you compare the two definitions of hamartano and hatah. This verse in Luke 17:3 is also tied to the Exodus 32:30 where hatah is used. (See link to biblehub.com Exodus 32:30)Now that we understand what the word hamarte and the word hatah mean, I believe we can better understand what is being said here and better understand some of the supporting scripture too. What I find interesting is this scripture is also tied to Luke 15:18 and 21 where the prodigal son returns home and states twice (v.18 & 21) he has sinned (hamartano) against heaven and his father. Once to himself and once to his father. His father doesn’t say, “I forgive you”; but shows through his actions that his son is reinstated just as before-note all he gives to him-such a great example of our Father in Heaven with us. Notice the son understands what he did was wrong; so he has repented by seeing his actions how God sees it. He has turned around.
What I wanted to make clear is that the word sin used in these verses mean hatah in Hebrew or a transgression. This is the foundation I must lay to help us understand what I will be writing regarding the rest of this scripture. The reasons I am writing about this is that I believe the word here has been picked apart and divided up; I desire believers to see Jesus as He truly is; and there is a need to understand how important walking in this understanding can bring healing and health to both relationships and individuals in the Body of Christ.
Let’s finish up by looking more closely at the other scripture that uses hamarte besides Luke 17:3, which is 1 John 2:1-2:
“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin (hamartete-might not sin/ transgress). But if anyone does sin (hamarte-transgress), we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin (hamartion) problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. 1 John 2:1-2 MSG (emphasis mine)
It is really important for us to understand that in Luke 17:3 we are to be those that if we see our brother/sister violating God’s principles or making a mistake we help them pick themselves back up. We have a responsibility to re-prove/ re-direct (reprove/rebuke) them back to “who they are in Christ Jesus”-free and righteous through Him which means we need to remind them of 1 John 2:1-2. It is necessary for us to look at the entirety of 1 John 2:1-2. We need to remind people, if they do transgress, of what Jesus has already finished, accomplished and done for them at the Cross-He solved our sin problem for good. Remind them they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). As they repent- see that what they have done is not who they are-and align themselves with the truth- they are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6;15) they begin to fully understand that Jesus has solved this sin problem for them (Yes, He covered all three on the Cross-avon, hatah, and even peshah– See Isaiah 53). Once they change their mind they are completing the meaning of hatah. Remember the rest of the definition states they pick themselves back up and see it as God sees it. Now if this transgression was against the Lord we know He has already fully forgiven us from all sin because He was our propitiation at the Cross (1 John 2:2). This means as believers in Christ we thankfully live under the New Covenant of Grace and Jesus was the payment to God for all of our sin at the Cross. So I thank Him for what He did for me when I transgress. To understand more you can read: It is Time to Let Go of the Rules Otherwise Known as the Law and Come Fully Out of the Cave. Now if the brother/sister transgressed against another person the vertical relationship was taken care of 2000 years ago; but the horizontal relationship must be taken care of today. From this point we can then move forward into Luke 17:4, asking forgiveness from the person transgressed against. More on that in the next post…..
1 Devils And Demons And The Return Of The Nephilim Loc: 2183