The Mustard Seed and the Mountain

After Jesus had healed the lunatic boy that his disciples had failed to heal, they asked him, "Why could not we cast him out?" He replied, "Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matt. 17:19, 20).

What did the Master mean by "faith as a grain of mustard seed," a quality of faith which he said in effect could overcome any mountainous obstacle of human belief? One does not ordinarily attribute faith in God to a seed. One meaning might be that even a grain of faith will effectively overcome evil. Another viewpoint is that Jesus desired to have his disciples consider how completely concurrent with and obedient to its cause is the mustard seed. It never exhibits any deviation from the purpose for which it exists. It offers no insubordination to the law which governs it. When planted it grows, multiplies, and honors its source.

In a sense it has no unbelief, is not hampered by the least lack of faith. Its only allegiance is to God, for while to the material senses a mustard seed appears as a physical concept, its true identity is an idea of Mind, subject only to Mind. Says Mary Baker Eddy of a seed's spiritual verity, "The only intelligence or substance of a thought, a seed, or a flower is God, the creator of it" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 508).

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November 30, 1946

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