The disciples of Jesus asked Him to give them more faith. We don't know what caused them to make such a request. We do know that the request was made after Jesus' instruction to them:
'if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, "I am sorry", you must forgive them' Luke 17, 4.
The disciples probably believed, that with more faith, they could be better equipped, or it would help them to carry out Jesus' instructions better. Forgiveness is easier to talk about than do, especially when the bitterness is deep rooted in one's feelings. Uprooting this bitterness from one's heart means self- liberation, setting a person free from self- destruction. When a person continues to focus on his/her bitter feelings, forgiveness is impossible. Our society encourages us to focus on our feelings and thus to find ways to release bitter feelings in a healthy way.
It is not an instrument that makes beautiful workmanship, but rather the instrument in the hands of a master who does the beautiful piece of work. Having faith in Jesus doesn't mean that we do the work ourselves, but rather through us, God works great things. We become an instrument in God's hands. There is no need for Jesus to increase His disciples' faith, but rather their little faith in Him, as small as a mustard seed, is good enough for Jesus, through them, to move the amount of work as large as a mountain. Faith is not measured by its quantity. It is not a matter of how much faith one has, but rather it is one's humility and readiness to be an instrument in God's hands, and that counts. God will do the mighty works through a person who loves and trusts God, even if his/her faith is small and weak. The end of today Gospel's message (v.10) made clear that servants need to do what they must do, and expect nothing in return from their master. Good and faithful servants gave no orders, but faithfully carried out orders from their master. The servants themselves have nothing to be proud of, but rather they are proud about the wisdom of their master, who has given them instructions so that great works have been achieved.
Having faith in Jesus means to serve the Master with humility and obedience. Through our humility and obedience, God will do great things we can never think of. In Luke, faith moves a tree; in Mark 11,22-23 faith moves a mountain. In our prayers, we often pray, that Jesus will increase faith in us. We believe faith brings a certain kind of power, that changes our lives, and the lives of our loved ones. We believe faith works like some forms of antidote to sooth our pains, and infuses our lives with the mystical power to overcome life heavy burdens.
In replying to His disciples' request, Jesus gave them not what they asked for. Instead he explained how faith works. He told them that their little faith in Him is good enough for Him to do great things. It is not the power of our faith that works, but Jesus' power works through our faith. Several occasions in Luke's Gospel, Jesus praised the faith of the people. Faith heals the blind beggar Luke 18,42; faith restored the dead to life Luke 7,9. Our faith makes no miracles but through our faith Jesus performed miracles.