In Matthew 17, Jesus was approached by a father whose son was possessed by a demon. This demon would cause the boy to have seizures or fall in fires and water. This father begged for Jesus to have mercy on his son and to drive out this demon. And Jesus, of course, drove out the demon. However, the disciples had already tried to cast out the demon but failed. They asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon and He answered them, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
This past year I took a Greek exegesis class, which was my fourth and final semester of Greek. (Thank the Lord.) We had to translate this verse, Matthew 17:20, and I will never forget what my professor said in the discussion. He said something along the lines of, “we all know that a mountain won’t literally move if we pray even with a little bit of faith.” I stopped at that point and pondered over what he just said. Please understand that the professor was looking at it from an exegetical perspective. Jesus was giving an example, imagery, etc., to the disciples to illustrate faith. Jesus wasn’t necessarily being literal in moving a mountain. But, think about it! I think my professor, without even knowing it, had missed the whole point Jesus was trying to make. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:3. I don’t think a child would doubt Jesus when He said that mountains would move if they had faith, would they? In times of today, as my professor did, we too miss Jesus’ point. Maybe we too are like the disciples. When is the last time you prayed and God moved a mountain? Maybe that mountain is a person who hasn’t been moved by Jesus yet?