The Mustard Seed Mystery

07/12/21 at 06:00 AM | Published Under Charis Staff

How often have we been exhorted that if we only had a tiny bit of faith like a mustard seed, that is all we need? 

This has bothered me for years because I see so many with “little faith” and big problems. Was Jesus extolling the virtues and potential of tiny faith?

“So, the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.’” —Luke 17:6

Let’s consider some other events in Jesus’ ministry that may clear up this mystery. The disciples were in the boat with Jesus. He was asleep, and they were terrified of the raging storm. They finally had to awaken Him so He could fully appreciate the danger and their fear.

“But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”  —Matthew 8:26

The phrase “little faith” was used in a negative way. Jesus was pointing out the size of their fear versus the size of their faith. 

What happened to the mustard seed?

Peter took a giant step of faith out of the boat to walk on water toward Jesus. However, he took his focus off of Jesus and put it on the wind and the waves.

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”  —Matthew 14:31

Again, Jesus rebuked little faith. Even though Peter had walked a few steps on water, fear overcame his faith.

Wasn’t little faith enough?

In another instance the disciples had forgotten to bring bread on their journey with Jesus.

“But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, ‘O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?’”  —Matthew 16:8

Again, little faith is not being exalted as being enough. In each case little faith is a negative.

Then, what about the mustard seed of faith? 

Read Luke 17:6 above again.

Did you see it? Jesus wasn’t explaining the power of little faith. He was explaining how faith works!  Remember that faith comes from “hearing” God. What we hear produces a vision in our hearts for the harvest of the answer.  A vision of a harvest activates the sowing of God’s word.

If you have faith as a seed, you can speak to obstacles, and they will obey you.

It isn’t the size of the faith that’s being discussed here. It’s “how faith works” that’s being discussed. Faith is like a seed. IT MUST BE SOWN. Seed faith speaks. Faith is sown by speaking! 

“I believe, therefore I speak.” —2 Corinthians 4:13 

With this in mind, grab your Bible and read Mark 11:23. THAT is seed faith in action!

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