Mustard Seed Faith

Posted on 14. Sep, 2018 by in Random Stuff

Over the years of ministry, pastoring two churches and traveling internationally, one of the greatest struggles I have seen in the body of Christ is the idea of faith. It seems that it is this elusive wisp of an idea that is hard to grasp and walk out in our daily lives.

I have heard Matthew 17:20 misquoted and preached many times. The statement is made, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.” The indication is that it only takes a little faith. Unfortunately, this comment misses the truth and power of Jesus’ statement and results in a continual frustration. The actual verse says:

“…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Note Jesus actual words were If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed. (emphasis added).” The ESV states: “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed…” Jesus comment was not in relation to the size of a mustard seed, but faith was to be like the nature of a mustard seed. Thankfully, He gives us an example of the nature of a mustard seed for our understanding.

In three of the Gospels; Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus uses a parable to explain the nature of the Kingdom. As a comparative example, he uses the nature of the mustard seed for an illustration.

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Mt 13:31-32 emphasis added)

From this parable, we can grasp that the nature of the mustard seed is not in relationship to  its size, but it’s nature to grow.  In the original text, “grown” is defined as: to give increase, cause to grow, enlarge.” (The Word Study) This parable indicates there is something living within the seed that causes an increase or transformation from something minimal to something that is life sustaining.

Faith “as a mustard seed,” is faith that may start small, but there is a life in it that continues to increase or enlarge to the place that it gives life to those around you. Faith is not to be a stagnant belief, but ever increasing. To have living faith we must exercise it!

Unfortunately, some pray asking God to give them more faith. Yet we see from the parables, the nature of faith is to grow. It is to be used, exercised and in the process, you will find the increase of faith happens.

Many years ago, I had the privilege to talk to minister who was a giant of faith, if you will. The Lord used him to plant many churches overseas, minister in conferences where thousands were saved and to perform many miracles. Even raising the dead! A significant comment he made was: “If you don’t have faith to pray for a headache, you never will have faith to raise the dead!” He went on to comment, you start with the small things and as you see God demonstrate his power, your faith in God builds till he can use you for seemingly larger and more difficult issues. The point: as you exercise your faith it will grow!

Related posts:

  1. Faith Formation for an Emerging Faith ~ guest post

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