Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17: 20
We often assume that we need great faith in order to spread the word of the Lord. Our world tells us that both quality and quantity matter. Yet here, Jesus assures His disciples that only a miniscule amount of faith is necessary to move mountains.
The disciples approached Jesus, wondering why they could not cast the demons out of a boy. They had tried and failed. They were discouraged.
Approaching Jesus, they asked him to explain their failure. Jesus’ response was honest, but full of grace. He told them that the bar for faith to do amazing thing-mountain-moving faith- is not as high as they had led themselves to believe.
The mustard seed is quite small, almost invisible to the naked eye. Before modern science, it was believed to be among the tiniest of all seeds. One might not even see a mustard seed with a quick glance. Yet when planted and nourished, that tiny seed can grow to be thousands of times larger than the seed itself. As Jesus pointed out, if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, it is still enough to move something millions of times larger: a whole mountain!
This seems impossible. It is almost overwhelming from a human perspective, and makes no sense. Yet the Lord is assuring us that even with the smallest amount of faith, each one of us can make a difference.
The effectiveness of our faith does not rest upon us. No! We ourselves are sinful and fallible human beings. Therefore, our faith cannot and should not rest in our confidence in ourselves. Jesus is able to utter these words because our faith rests in Him. If we attempt to place our faith in ourselves, there will be no growth, for there is nothing to sustain it. When we place our faith in the hands of the One who heals every disease, the One who raised people from the dead, and the One who is the author of Life, only then will growth occur. We simply cannot truly do the work of the Lord without the work of the Lord.
There was a TV show, and later movies, called “Mission Impossible”. With the Lord, we are people who are “Mission Possible”. The impossible is never out of reach, as long as faith in Christ is involved.
So the next time you are discouraged, and believe that your faith is too small to amount to anything, remember this story! Jesus’ recipe is simple: to make a mountain move, just add a mustard seed-sized bit of faith. Then stand back and watch, for the Lord is about to move some mountains!
We have a sign in our kitchen which says, “Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed”. The same is true with our faith. Only the Lord knows the outcome. Our job is to plant the seed.
El Shaddai (God of the mountains),
You truly are the master gardener. I thank You for wanting to use me as a tool to spread Your word. Thank You, Lord, that You have faith in me. You send me out into the world to plant Your seeds of truth. Help me when I struggle, and feel that I am not worthy to be Your messenger. Forgive me when I do not trust You. Thank You, Lord, for the one who planted the seed in my heart. May I do so with others.
Humbly I pray these words in the name of Your Son, my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen