Jesus said, “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’” (Matthew 17:20)
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people say that their faith is wanting, lacking, or inadequate. They judge their faith. They give their faith failing grades. They shame themselves for their poor faith performance.
If I’m speaking to you right now, then Jesus’ words in today’s scripture may offer some hope.
Jesus says that all we need is a “mustard seed” of faith in order to do great things. A mustard seed isn’t grand or great; in fact, it’s tiny.
For many years I’d heard Jesus scolding the disciples in today’s scripture. This is how I used to hear Jesus speaking: “If only you had a mustard seed of faith, you could do great things, but you don’t even have that!” Does that really sound like Jesus?
In the last few years, I’ve heard today’s scripture differently. Instead of reprimanding the disciples, I now hear Jesus gently chiding them: “If you had a mustard seed of faith, you could do great things; but, friends, you do have that much faith—so trust in it and act upon it.”
If you’re reading these meditations, I trust that you must have at least a mustard seed of faith. Most people actually have more faith than they realize.
When people say that they don’t have enough faith because they have doubts, questions, and struggles, I will say that faith includes having doubts, questions, and struggles. When they ask me where I got that idea, I will recount those in scripture who struggled with God, lost their way, and sometimes doubted.
I believe Jesus is encouraging us in today’s words about having faith the size of a mustard seed. He’s asking us to have faith in our faith. He’s saying that He can use whatever faith we offer to Him and that He can do great things in, with, and through us. It’s not the size of our faith that matters most; it’s the size of Jesus’ heart, mercy, and grace.
- Do you judge your faith, find it wanting, or scold yourself when you struggle with doubts or questions?
- What would help you to have more faith in your faith?
- Even though your faith in Jesus is tremendously important, did you know that His faith in you is even more important? What is the faith that Jesus has in you? With His help and grace, what does Jesus hope to accomplish through you?