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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." "O 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."
out of the boy, and he was healed from
that moment. Then the disciples came
to Jesus in private and asked, "Why
couldn't we drive it out?“ He replied, "Because you have so little 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.“
Why do so many Christians stumble on this passage?
What are the implications of misapplication of this scripture?
The literal reading is that Jesus is using an extreme example to prove a point.
In application, we tend to view the problems of our lives as the mountain.
In truth, the mountain may represent Christ and His Kingdom.
Daniel 2:35-36, 44-45
The literal reading is that Jesus was using extreme opposites to prove his point.
For The Creator of the Universe, there is no coincidence or trivial detail in the illustrations He give us.
A mustard seed is actually a grain.
It must be planted and watered.
It sprouts and grows leaves in 2-3 days.
Mustard plants are favored because of their large comparative size.
Like the plant, our faith must always grow, and not regress.
The root of the mustard plant grows three times faster than the stem.
A 21-foot mustard tree will have 63 feet of root below.
The mustard tree is an evergreen. It does not shed its leaves or change colors with the season.
Sheep are known to love the fragrance of the mustard tree and lie in the shade of the tree.
Are we likewise fragrant?
The leaves curl at night and collect dew. An oil then rolls off and drips on the sheep. This oil has curative properties, but is deadly to pests.
Nothing grows in the shade of the mustard tree. No weeds, no competing plants.
The mustard tree can withstand a 2-3 year drought. Even in seedling form.
Seed doesn’t seem so tiny now, does it?
The father’s faith was small.
Yet, when invested in the right direction, the heart of The Creator was moved to act.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
The longer we focus on a problem, the more it looks like a mountain.
Overcoming a mountain on our own is an impossible task.
Jesus gives us the solution in the form of a mustard seed.
What does a mountain become when it is cast into the sea?
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written:
a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
When evening came, they went
out of the city.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.“
What else does Jesus tell us to shed before coming to Him in earnest prayer?
What mountains are in your life right now?
What are your motives for having them moved?