Faith as small as a mustard seed seems very small indeed. Yet this is the very size that Jesus stated would move a mountain.
And Jesus said unto them, 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 hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20
But the implication to the disciples in this particular reference is that they did not even have that much faith. They were being reproved in fact for having less faith than that. So, how much faith is enough faith?
The Mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds among the seed-bearing plants. Yet the tree that grows from it can exceed 20 feet in size, and provides branches large enough for birds to build nests. So by implication, a little bit of faith can accomplish a lot.
Faith by definition is the belief in God or the core of the religious experience for a Christian, that he has confidence and belief in God as described in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
When Jesus made this statement it appears they were on their way to the Temple, and he was possibly referring to the mount upon which King Herod had built his palace. It was an eyesore to the typical Jew of that day. It represented everything they didn’t like. There was bondage, oppression and restrictions they were living under that seemed, for some, unbearable.
The irony is that at some point in the future, Herod’s palace and mount were torn down and leveled as all the debris was used to build a land bridge to an adjacent island just off the coast.
Some have suggested that faith is something that emanates from within us, it has existed there as part of our nature and is brought to life by some action or outside force.
However, the Bible tells us that it comes from God who is the author, and the finisher of that faith.
As well, Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians, that faith is a gift from God. (For by grace are ye saved, through faith, it is a gift from God Eph. 2:8) As well, the way it is transmitted to us is through the common means of preaching, for faith comes by hearing the preaching of the Word of God.
Man cannot approach God with his own righteousness and self-proclaimed worth, in fact, man cannot in and of himself please God. Thus we are reminded in the Bible that without faith, it is impossible to please God.
We exist on earth for the purpose of bringing glory to the Father, and a way that is done is by the faith that we are given by him.
This is a reminder that nothing we have or could ever be or become can happen without the express hand of God. Faith is a gift, salvation is a gift, life, our breath, our very existence is from the gracious hand of God.
Though only a little faith is needed to warrant a passage into heaven, it is something that we hope grows and increases day by day as we put further trust in the Lord of heaven and earth.