Matthew 17:14-19 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
I noticed today's reading was listed as just the above verses, but I also saw we don't take a look at verse 20 at any point this week. If you don't mind, I would like to add Jesus' answer to today's blog - it was so exciting for me to hear Delton explain the difference between a 'little faith' and a 'mustard seed faith'!
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, 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.”
There seems to be so much potential contained within a mustard seed. We are told earlier in Matthew that this 'smallest of all seeds' grows into the 'largest of all garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds perch in its branches.' So much potential for growth and impact in a little package!
During Sunday's message, Delton explained that a 'mustard seed faith' is not equivalent to a 'little faith'. Rather, a mustard seed faith's huge potential lies in a deep reliance on Jesus' promises. This faith the size of a mustard seed is actually quite big - the potential to go from 'small' to 'big' stems from what God can do through our simple, small actions that branch out of our faith. Our actions may be small, but God uses these simple actions to create amazing results.
In contrast, a 'little faith' relies on worry, fear, doubt, and is limited to our human range of thinking. Little faith is static and can lose focus away from its Source. The worries of this world, the daily challenges we face, the way others think, and even a lack of confidence can keep a little faith...little.
What is exciting to me is that Jesus isn't talking about either of these types of faiths in terms of young faith or new faith - the "size" or length of time isn't the point. The point is that one's faith is capable of being used by God for something bigger because it is a faith that relies on Jesus and has the confidence that He has already equipped for anything to which He calls us. Brand new faith is perfectly capable of having the potential contained within a 'mustard seed faith'. In fact, some long-time, mature believers (some would consider these people individuals of 'big faith') neglect to ever fully trust that they have all they need to hear Jesus' calling and act upon it - to have the potential found in the 'faith of a mustard seed.'
Pray with me today that we have our ears and hearts open and are willing to step out and act however and wherever Jesus is calling us to act. That we can can rely on Him to lead us, and that He knows we are learning to act out of the potential of a mustard-seed faith - we do believe He has equipped us for the work He calls us to do. Pray that we can tell the difference between a calling and indigestion....and that if we act and our actions are steps that would be good and pleasing to Him, not harmful to others, and reflect the teachings of Christ, that we can be confident He will use our actions to His glory....even if they stemmed from indigestion. He is a big God and He knows we are learning how to listen. He is gracious and He will help us learn. We are all equipped as mustard seeds. Amen.