He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Growing up in the church, I remember hearing verses like this and being inspired. If it only takes a mustard seed of faith to move a mountain I’m sure I can do it! Unfortunately, I grew up in the flat lands of Southern Illinois. While I didn’t have any mountains to move, I tried on more than one occasion to uproot trees or move houses with my little faith. I’m sure some reading have tried this as well.
I never questioned God or became bitter because I couldn’t remove mountains, uproot trees, or walk on water, but even back then I became skeptical. Maybe my faith is even smaller than a mustard seed, or God doesn’t want to answer my prayer. Maybe the mountains Jesus talked about are purely allegorical… but that messes up a lot of faith accounts.
Words are important! Translation is important! Study is important!
There is another passage that talks about mountain moving faith but the qualifications are slightly different:
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1st Corinthians 13:2
So, Jesus said that if you have a mustard seed of faith you could move a mountain, but Paul says that it takes all faith (“all” sounds bigger than a grain of mustard seed) to remove mountains. Is this contradictory? Not at all!
If you read Jesus’ words in the first verse you will notice something. Jesus never said mountain moving faith is faith as big as a grain of mustard seed. Jesus said that we need to have faith LIKE a grain of mustard seed. Words matter! So is study and context.
Jesus had actually already taught His disciples about the nature of mustard seeds a few chapters earlier:
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.
Mustard seed faith isn’t talking about the size of your faith as much as it’s talking about the nature and growth of your faith! You may not be moving mountains yet, but if you continue to exercise (sow) and feed (water) your faith, eventually it will grow. I consider the birds nesting in the tree. Now your faith is impacting other lives!
Grow in faith. I have prayed for many sick people that have gotten worse and even a few that have died. In spite of those instances, I have faithfully contended for miracles. Choosing to believe what the Bible says about healing, faith, miracles etc. As a result, I’ve seen a few miracles. Tumors falling off, miracle babies conceived, graves disease healed and more.
In the last 6 months I have seen more miracles than ever. Two blind eyes opened. One girl with Cerebral Palsy was 100% healed with medical confirmation. Cancer healed. Confirmed. So many more!
I still can’t remove mountains or walk on water. I don’t yet have “all faith” like Paul described. I do, however, have faith LIKE (not as big as) a mustard seed. Faith that grows. Faith that sees more effectiveness as I exercise it. Faith that has seen sickness defeated, devils cast out, and miracle provision brought forth.
In my next article I will share with you some practical ways to grow your faith!