“…For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Jesus loved to use word pictures and parables to teach. He’s using a metaphor here and the most obvious point of the image is the contrast in size. A mustard seed is a tiny little thing. A mountain, of course, is a huge, immovable thing. Our problems always seem bigger than our faith.
But that’s the very point Jesus is challenging his disciples with. When we think, “I don’t have enough faith…my faith is too small,” it shows we don’t really understand faith.
If I asked you to write down a list of problems in your life right now, you might list a doctor’s diagnosis, a bill you can’t pay, a boss that’s a jerk, kids in rebellion, a marriage in trouble…and you’d see a mountain in front of you.
You might show your list to Jesus: “See this mess, Lord? My faith is too small for this.” But the power behind faith isn’t in the size of it…it’s the God behind it. Our faith isn’t in our ability to move mountains, but God’s ability! That’s how small faith can handle big problems. That’s why, even when we’re up against mountains, we’re not out of the game. There’s power in faith because our faith is in God!
Jesus could have used any small item as a metaphor, but he chooses a seed because seeds don’t stay seeds. They grow. In the case of the tiny mustard seed, it will grow into a substantial tree. The same is true with faith. With proper care and environment, though it starts small – your faith can grow into something substantial. It can move mountains.
Join us Sunday and we’ll look together at this great passage and learn some principles of growing our faith in my series, “How Firm a Foundation.” See you then!