Voices: How big must your faith be?

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Perhaps one of the most encouraging truths Jesus ever uttered is Matthew 17:20: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I went online and discovered you can buy a package of 5,000 mustard seeds for $5. Despite its tiny size, one mustard seed can produce a mustard plant 5 to 7 feet tall that will tower over the other plants in your garden. Birds have been known to roost in the mustard plant.

But when you think of “faith like a mustard seed,” it isn’t enough just to think of the size of the seed. Sure, they’re small. But remember also the almost eternal nature of the mustard seed. It’s unchanging. Did you know the mustard plant hasn’t changed one little bit since Jesus’ day?

Versatility and power of mustard

And there are lots of miraculous uses of a mustard seed. Some folks eat the greens. We squirt mustard on our hot dogs. Some variety of mustard have high oil content. Some are used in the production of biodiesel, a renewable fuel.

Then there is the enormous reproductive power of the mustard seed. Every tiny seed, when planted in the ground, is able to reproduce itself in alarming numbers. Every mustard seed can produce thousands of mustard seeds.

So, “faith like a mustard seed” is more than just about being small.

A “mustard seed faith” has an eternal quality, never changing. It’s useful in a variety of situations. And once it’s planted it will reproduce itself into something amazing.

Perhaps your faith will produce a miracle with thousands of repercussions, touching countless lives as it spreads like rings in a smooth pond when you drop a stone in it.

Your faith needs to be like a mustard seed. Your “mustard seed of faith” may be tiny, but it isn’t little; it’s great. It is capable of moving mountains.

Rich Mussler is a Bible study teacher at First Baptist Church in Lewisville, Texas. The views expressed are those solely of the author.


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