Check my interpretation here. I was just driving around and I thought about this. I have not checked any of my resources, or even the context in the Bible. I think it sounds right from where I’m at now, and it is encouraging. I also think the principle I see can be found in other scriptures. But I dare not take the Lord’s name in vain and say this is what Jesus meant when I have not researched the passage.

When the disciples asked Jesus, “Increase our faith,” Jesus replies with this answer: “Even if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains.”

This seems like an odd answer. It’s almost like he is answering a slightly different comment/question like “I don’t have enough faith to get married, what do I do?” But if you think about it, maybe he’s dealing with the rationale behind their question, correcting a misunderstanding. The disciples want their faith to be increased. You would expect Jesus to give them instructions on prayer, Bible study, or something like that. Or maybe we would expect an apologetic discourse defending the faith. But he goes into a dialogue about how little faith is needed. It would be like me telling my dad that I wanted a Ferrari and he says, “You don’t need a Ferrari. Your motorcycle  can make it all the way across the country!”

The point is that he doesn’t directly increase their faith with this answer. The answer is not about making them believe more deeply. It seems to be about recognizing where they are at. Maybe it had something to do with the motivation as to why the apostles asked this question. Maybe they were hesitant in their life because they didn’t feel they had enough faith. Maybe they were scared that they weren’t really saved because their faith was not big enough. But what Jesus does is encourage them by letting them know their present faith was sufficient—at least sufficient to accomplish big things (“move mountains”). Maybe his answer was not about increasing their faith, but about giving them confidence in their current faith.

You don’t have to have ginormous faith to step out and follow the Lord. The fact is that our faith—that we are scared is too small—can do amazing things.

What do you think?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    3 replies to "You Already Have Enough Faith, So Quit Asking For More!"

    • [email protected]

      What great work you are doing- Now I am not :”woke” but PLEASE replace the painting of the stereotyped blue eyed=, fair skinned Jesus , with no image at all or a rough looking Semitic man. Some BLM groups are going to spring a black Jesus on the world. I think it was the Father’s intention only to know He was a carpenter, and I believe a face of character , but in no way one where he is a model type, but the “son of man type” So point being, nothing that will begin discussions impedeing the Gospel.

      I have done a lot of work on Acts 15, and think it is possible that “James the Just” actually believed HE COULD keep the law. James is the “darling of ‘workers’ -those that have not seen the law as inobtainable , and just as no one would even allow for a Judas” will not allow the brother to never qiuite get the “Gospel as revealed to Paul. It was John the Baptist who realized “the new way” and James”the Just” wanted to return to something that was our very very tough schoolmaster, and fondly remembers that experience.

      • Gordon

        I’ve seen depictions of Jesus as white, black, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, as well as Middle Eastern. He is the creator of all peoples and I love to see him embraced in this way. It is wrong when he is depicted as a sinner (which I have seen as well), but colour? Not a problem. The only people who object to Jesus based on colour are racists.

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