Matthew 17:19,20 - Mountain Moving Faith
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not
we cast him out? 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.
Mat 17:19,20 (KJV)
When the disciples failed to heal the boy, Jesus pointed to
their lack of faith as the problem. But Jesus did not demand an
extraordinarily large amount of faith; he described the amount of faith he had
in mind. It was the size of a mustard seed-very small and quite
attainable by all his disciples. But faith is not a physical quantity, so
the essence of Jesus' response is that success comes not from the
amount of a believer's faith but from the fact that he has even the
smallest amount of true faith and wholly relies upon the power of God.
[New Bible Companion]
The disciples were unable to drive out this demon, and they
asked Jesus why. He pointed to their lack of faith. It is the power of
God, not our faith, that moves mountains, but faith must be present
to do so. The mustard seed was the smallest particle imaginable.
Even small or undeveloped faith would have been sufficient. Perhaps
the disciples had tried to drive out the demon with their own
ability rather than God's. There is great power in even a little faith
when God is with us. If we feel weak or powerless as Christians, we
should examine our faith, making sure we are trusting not in our own
abilities to produce results, but in God's. [Life Application SB]
The disciples were unable to cast out this demon - or any other
demon - so long as they were depending upon their own strength.
The disciples had lost sight of Jesus. They had spent the night
grumbling because they were left behind at the foot of the mountain, and
feeling jealous at the thought of what they might be missing. There
wasn't a demon in all of Satan's hosts that they could have overpowered
in that condition!
Which brings us once again to the day-by-day relationship with
God. It is through fellowship with Him, through prayer and the study
of His Word, that we come to depend upon His power instead of upon
For Jesus, nothing was more important than His communion with
His Father. He gained strength through the time He spent alone with
God, just as we must do. [The Answer is Prayer by Venden]
In effect He said to them, "You don't live close enough to God."
They had been equipped with power, but it needed prayer to keep
and to maintain that power.
There is a deep lesson for us here. God may have given us some
gift, but unless we maintain close contact with him that gift may
wither and die.
The disciples had been equipped with power direct from Jesus
Himself, but they had not nurtured power with prayer, and power had
vanished. Whatever gifts God has given us, we lose them when we use them
for ourselves. We keep them when we enrich them by continual
contact with the God who gave them. . [Barclay Commentary]
Don't spend a lot of time describing your mountain to the Lord.
He knows what it is. Instead, focus your attention on the mountain
mover - his glory, power and faithfulness. Then start walking in
faith, following his leading, and watch that mountain step aside.
[Bill Hybels; Time with God devotional SB]
According to this verse, having faith is critical to getting
things accomplished. Now, none of us probably needs to move mountains,
but all of us need the kind of faith that could! And to pray
without faith is pointless. So where do we get the mountain-moving
faith that we need to be effective prayers? Romans 10:17 tells us
that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. As we
read the Word and bring it to bear upon our lives, we will grow in
grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which is faith-producing.
Then as we seek His will, in His way, in His time, which is all that
we will want, our prayers will be answered - even to the moving of
something as great as a mountain! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
Faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God
His opportunity. [Chambers, Oswald, My Utmost for His Highest]