After Jesus asks the disciples to do yet one more seemingly impossible thing – to forgive someone seven times – the disciples cry out, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5) This kind of discipleship seemed to require more faith than they possessed.
Perhaps we also wonder whether we have “enough faith” to face the challenges of discipleship in today’s world.
Jesus does not think that “more faith” is what the disciples need. Instead, he tells the disciples that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (which is among the smallest of seeds), that would be enough (Luke 17:6). It is the presence – not the quantity – of faith that matters. If one has the tiniest amount, it is enough.
David Tiede writes in a commentary on Luke, “There is no need for desperate quests for ‘more’ faith, as if it could be quantified or possessed.” It is God’s spirit working in and through our faith that makes all things possible – not how much faith we have.
This message is excerpted from “Weightlifting and the mustard seed,” by Cheryl M. Peterson in the January/February 2021 Gather magazine. Today is the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
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