Jesus made an astounding statement concerning the power of faith when He said,
Mat 17:20b - … for verily I say unto you, 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.
Most of us were taught in Sunday School that "Mustard Seed Faith" means, "Just a little faith is all that is required to move any mountain." Here is the problem with that statement. In context, the disciples had just prayed for a boy who was a lunatic, yet the boy was not cured. When Jesus prayed for the boy, he was healed. That lets us know that it was the will of the Father to heal the boy the whole time, even when the disciples had prayed. The disciples asked Jesus why the boy had not been healed when they had prayed. His answer, in the King James bible, is;
Mat 17:20a And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief:
However, the literal Greek language from which the King James Bible was translated actually says, "Because of the littleness of your faith." You can verify this statement by looking at the same verse in virtually any other translation of the bible including the New American Standard, the New International Version, The Amplified Bible, the Living Bible, and many more.
Summarizing, the lunatic boy was not cured because of the disciple's "little faith." So, whatever Jesus means when He says, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed …", He cannot be saying that Mustard Seed Faith is "little faith." He just got through saying that their "little faith" didn't get the job done, so the answer cannot be "little faith, just the size of a grain of mustard seed, will get the job done."
Our teachers have taught us that Mustard Seed Faith means "little faith" because a mustard seed is so small. If Jesus had been referring to merely the size of faith required to move the mountain, He could have used a grain of sand as an example. A grain of sand is certainly small, but Jesus used the analogy of a grain of mustard seed because a seed has an image programmed on the inside of it. A grain of sand does not. There is nothing you can do to make a grain of sand grow. However, there are things you can do that will make the image on the inside of a seed grow.
What is the message Jesus wants us to understand? OUR FAITH CAN GROW! We do not have to continue for the rest of our lives being persons of "little faith." We can become a people of "great faith." Glory to God! Now we are making progress in our understanding. Now there is hope for our future. "All things are possible" as we learn how to make our faith grow! I don't know about you, but that gets me very excited!
During my lifetime as a Christian I got so very tired of going to church services where I heard message after message that basically said, "Gary … you need to have more faith." They wasted my time. After all, I already knew that before I got dressed up and drove across town to hear their message. I already knew I needed to walk in more faith, more love, more compassion, etc.. What I needed to know was … HOW! Can someone tell me HOW I can walk in more faith, more love, more compassion, and so forth? Thank God for this passage of scripture in the gospel of Matthew. Jesus is plainly telling us that it is possible for our faith to grow!
I began searching all four of the gospels studying everywhere that Jesus mentioned the subject of "faith as a grain of mustard seed." I want my faith to grow, don't you? One of the passages I found where Jesus taught on the same subject was Mark 4:30-32. In Mark Chapter Four, just prior to Jesus' teaching on Mustard Seed Faith, He gave us an illustration of the "growth process." Here is the passage I'm referring to:
Mark 4:26-29 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
During the early nineteen hundreds, Smith Wigglesworth was known as the "Apostle Of Faith." He had one of the most powerful healing anointings ever witnessed on earth since the book of Acts was written. Even his most ardent adversaries could not deny that thousands of verified, miraculous healings took place in his meetings. When Smith was asked, "What is the secret of having great faith?" his answer was, "First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear."
There is a process by which our faith can grow. It is available to every born again child of God. Jesus himself told us it was a growth process, not an overnight experience. No doubt Smith Wigglesworth (and others) learned how to activate the process. God is no respecter of persons. If one man can learn it … all of us can learn it. We will look more closely at the growth process next month.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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