but Jesus' answer sounds to me like He is saying, "Yes, it would be
great if you had more faith." But His answer doesn't help people with
Luke 17:7-10 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
The parable that Jesus gives seems to compound the problem of what seems to be an insufficient answer.
At such a point it can be helpful to back up a little and take a closer look at the basics.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 6:44a No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him
Hebrews 12:2a Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
The Father creates in us something which leads us to Jesus (possibly a desire for truth). When we hear of Jesus (who is truth) we find faith (that in which we can trust). Faith can be measured as great or little. Jesus originates our faith and completes it.
The verse in Luke seems to be saying that we have some responsibility for our faith as well. It is at this point that it can be helpful to consider another encounter that illustrates a barrier to faith.
Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Jesus didn't say, "Isn't it too bad God didn't give him more faith".
Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
We know that riches can be a barrier to faith (since we live in the most prosperous time in history, this should also be a warning for us).
Jesus really can't give universal instruction for more faith because we all have different things to which we cling and in which we trust, (riches, retirement account, health, family, schooling, employment, social position, or plans for the future).
We do have an example of faith similar to a poker player who goes "all in".
Matthew 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Jesus is the example of perfect faith
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
One might conclude that an increase in faith is our responsibility and is a result not of that which we aquire, but of that we relinquish.