What is Faith like a Mustard Seed?

Faith like a mustard seed is all you need to  remove all the mountains that life might bring your way.  We  might be tempted to assume our   faith is not working as it should because of its size. As will be seen below, Jesus uses a  parable to teach us an important lesson  about the role  “amount” or  “size” of faith has to do with our daily walk.

The Mustard Seed

The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds known to man. The smallest seed  in the world is the orchid seed. Some have argued that since Jesus said the  mustard seed  was “the smallest of seeds” in Mark 4:31, it is proof  the Bible is fallible. They are fundamentally making the error of misintepreting literary forms used in the Bible. Please see this post from the Christian Research & Apologetics Ministry website for an excellent brief discussion on this subject.

Faith like a mustard seed, which is a very small seed.
The size of the mustard seed.

The key feature of the mustard seed that  Jesus uses to illustrate spiritual truth is its potential for growth despite its very small size.

“It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.” (Mk. 4:31-32 NAS)

Again, the mustard tree is not the biggest tree in the world as might be assumed from the scripture above. This again draws our attention to the fact that Jesus was using the mustard seed and tree in a very specific sense to illustrate a point, and not giving a botanical lecture.

Is Size the Issue?

We are not the only ones who are fascinated about the concept of the size of faith. The biggest seed known to man is the seed of the plant  Coco de mer. It can weigh up to 18kg( 40 Ibs) and measure 30cm(12in) in length. You do not need  faith like coco de mer to move mountains. You only  need faith like a mustard seed!

Faith like a mustard seed not like coco de mer!
Coco de mer fruit


In fact the  parable Jesus gave about  faith like a mustard seed was in response to a request from the apostles  about the size of faith. They had probably watched Jesus performed miracles and concluded that their faith was small that’s why the could not get the results they saw Jesus getting. Afterall, He had told them before that they had “little faith”. The request to “increase our faith” was then natural.

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. (Lk. 17:5-6 )

The disciples asked for a “faith raise”. How big should my faith be before I start seeing miracles? Or does God have a point scale that one’s  faith must be  at least point 6 on 10 ,for example,before a miracle occurs? Jesus’s response is an eye opener that the size of faith is not the issue. Essentially He was telling them that even if the faith you have is as small as a mustard seed that can barely be seed, it can remove mountains. The first thing is therefore to ensure  that what we have is truly faith.

The Faith Deposit

A key truth to take a hold of in our faith walk is the reality that God has already given faith  to the believer as an initial deposit. This has been called “the measure of faith”.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3 KJV)

The day you got saved, by hearing the Word, you were born into the kingdom with the measure of faith as God’s  deposit in you. It comes as no surprise   you  are called a “believer” because you were born spiritually wired to believe God. That measure of faith was imparted into your spirit by the Word of God that came to you.

Faith is not a product of human manipulation of the heart. It is a spiritual impartation. You will no longer struggle  with “getting faith” if you catch this truth. Faith is imparted by the Word of God. You do not need to try to  “convince” your heart or ” make yourself believe”. Faith is triggered by God’s Word. Fill your heart with His Word and your faith will raise its head so high it will blow your mind away!

The Measure is the seed

If God has deposited faith inside of us, it means we have a seed deposit. Even if this measure of faith is as small as a grain of mustard seed, we can remove all the mountains on our way. You already have faith as a believer given to you by  God. That measure of faith is God’s faith deposit in you as a seed.

“It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,  yet when it is sown, grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.” (Mk. 4:31-32 )

Just in case we had questions whether  faith like a mustard seed in size will be enough, Jesus cautioned us with these words,

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. (Matt. 17:20 KJV)

Faith as small as a mustard seed will move mountains. Learn to start using your faith.

Faith like a Mustard Seed

What does God expect from us when He gives us a seed? He expects you to plant that seed and groom it until it produces fruits. This is illustrated in the parable of the talent in Mathew 25.

The master give his servants talents( or dollars today for easy comprehension)    and expected them to trade and use what they were given to gain more. He gave them  the talent as a seed and expected a harvest( more talents) when he returns. Read Hebrews 11 and you will find examples of the harvests of faith- men who USED their faith to do things and obtained results. God is well pleased to see us use our faith, stand on His Word and rule the circumstances of life. Faith pleases God.

Plant your seed

The faith like a mustard seed deposit given to us should be  nurtured to  grow and mature and should be  exercised to get it stronger each day. As  we  study God’s Word, our faith  grows stronger and more mature. As you learn to use your faith, it becomes even stronger and stronger. If you cannot believe God for little things, you will certainly not do so for bigger things. If you cannot believe God’s Word and not be anxious because there is a little problem at your job, you will certainly not be able to believe God when a devastating disease tries to come your way.

God is well pleased when we use our faith to subdue the issues of life. Learn to stand on God’s Word in faith and see results. Start practicing. Practice makes perfect! Perfect your faith by exercising it!

Recommended Read

Faith Mimics: Looks like Faith but it is not Faith

Daily Devotionals on Faith: A Collection of Brief Devotionals that will ignite your faith

Must Read!: What is a Daily Devotional?

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4 years ago

This was another close interpretation but not it….. the mountain represents God himself. We will move God by preaching abour him…..

Gloria Ashaba
Gloria Ashaba
4 years ago

You have made me understand faith… In a simple mighty way… Glory to God for this great revelation…amen
Thanks Gloria
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