The power of ‘faith as a grain of mustard seed'

A Biblical perspective

Once, when Jesus’ disciples thought they were in a situation that was out of control, he helped them see what was needed with—a mustard seed! 

As the Bible tells it, a father whose son was suffering from epilepsy found Jesus and asked if he would cure the boy. He pleaded for help, explaining that Jesus’ disciples had not been able to help. After Jesus took control of the situation and healed the boy, his disciples asked him why they hadn’t been able to do it. Jesus told them that if they had had “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” they would have been able to tell a mountain where to move, and it would move. And to emphasize the authority they would experience, he added, “Nothing will be impossible to you” (Matt. 17:20, New Revised Standard Version*).

How could a grain of mustard seed teach the disciples the power of faith? Since mustard seeds are among the smallest of seeds, it has often been said that the metaphor implies people only need the smallest amount of faith to accomplish great things. 

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Teen voices from the Philippines
February 21, 2011

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