Some think that Luke has collected three separate sayings of Jesus in Lk 17.1-10, with little connection between them. That assumes much.
Jesus might well have said these three things in this order. Even if he did not, it also assumes that Luke is clumsy.
No such assumptions are needed. There can be seen a clear connection among the three points.
- The business of the kingdom is forgiveness of sin, 1-4. Don’t be a cause of sin, 1-2. Be a cause of forgiveness, 3-4.
- For that forgiving spirit, the apostles felt the need for a greater faith, 5-6. In one sense, Jesus anticipates Nike: Just do it. Faith is to be exercised. For it to grow it must be put into action.
- Duty in the kingdom deserves no special praise, 7-10, but it must be done. What is this duty? Again, seeking forgiveness for all.