You have heard the conversation between kids before. I bet I can throw this ball over the house. I can bend my foot up and lift it over my head. I can run faster than you, I can jump over that puddle. I can lift 100 lbs; well I can lift 300lbs. The conversation just gets bigger and bigger with the kids one upping the one who came before them, and all the other kids sit around saying, “Whoa, no way you can do that? Really? I don’t believe it.”
In Matthew 17 the disciples are trying to heal a child that is possessed by a demon, but they are unable. So the family brings their child to Jesus, and Jesus heals the child. Immediately the disciples begin to speak, “Whoa Jesus, how did you do that, we couldn’t do it, so how did you do that?” Jesus looks at them with all seriousness and says to them “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 17:20-21). Last summer Amy and I planted our first garden! I remember getting all the packets of seeds for our soon to be veggies: tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, basil, and cilantro. As I got home to help plant them I took them out of the packs with disbelief…that’s it? Our big tomato plants are going to come from this little thing? This is what Jesus is trying to say to the disciples, if you have faith, just a little tiny bit of faith like that, you will have the ability to move mountains. No wonder the disciples didn’t believe Jesus. Faith that small can do something so BIG? Are you sure?
Jesus can’t mean that we can do that, can he? Isn’t Jesus just talking to the disciples, who were power houses of faith, of course they will be able to do stuff like that, they hung out with Jesus. Jesus did not qualify this statement like that at all. In fact I believe he intentionally said this as a reminder that the power, the strength, the amazing work is done by God, not us. But do we really believe this? Even today we often think, don’t all big things of faith happen through people with BIG faith? Isn’t it the pastor, the elders, the deacons, the lay leader’s job to do all the heavy lifting? They are the ones who can do that stuff, not me; my faith is too small, my faith could never do anything of significance.
You might be sitting reading this thinking of all the mountains that have been a part of your life for far too long, mountains that have been crushing you, and mountains that you are unable to get rid of no matter what you have tried (and you have tried about everything). Mountains of debt, fear, depression, broken relationships, addiction to pornography, drugs, or gossip. But Jesus message is clear, faith the size of a mustard seed, faith that God can do it, is able to move mountains, to change the world, to change your life. The question remains do you believe it?
- What mountains and obstacles are you facing in your life right now?
- What makes it challenging to believe that mountain can be removed?
- What would moving a mountain out of your life look like? How would you know it was moving?