In this passage, Jesus is exasperated with the disciples who were unsuccessful in their effort to cast out a demon. (Mat 17.14-18.) At first blush, it appears the reason for Jesus’ rebuke is that the disciples did not have enough faith – that is, a sufficient quantity of faith—to command the demon and have it instantly obey, like Jesus was able to do. But on closer look, that interpretation has some problems. First, Jesus tells the disciples that if they “have faith as 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.” (Mat 17.20.) A mustard seed is tiny, barely visible. So Jesus’ point is not that the disciples lacked the great amount of faith necessary to move a mountain instantly or to cast out that demon instantly; his point is that they lacked even a mustard seed of faith. Now this means either that the disciples lacked any faith whatsoever or that Jesus isn’t really focused on the quantity of faith to do instant miracles but on something else – something related not so much to the quantity of their faith but to the quality or make up of their faith. To learn more, inquire within. I hope you enjoy the sermon. Thanks for listening. -Alan Burrow
Click the play button to listen to 'The Faith that Moves Mountains' by Alan Burrow.