My Senior Pastor, W. Michael Martin taught a profound series on this subject a few years ago…
We have all heard it or said it. “It only takes a little faith” based primarily on Matthew 17:20 when Jesus says that with the faith as a grain of mustard seeds we can move mountains. But, if you will notice, He didn’t say faith OF. Jesus said the faith AS a grain of mustard seed.
The implication here is that it takes great faith for a little grain of mustard seed to grow into something great…
Matthew 13:32 (NKJV)
32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
So, a mustard seed DOES NOT have LITTLE FAITH, but GREAT FAITH.
The truth be told, that Jesus was always annoyed and rebuked His disciples when they displayed ‘little faith’, such as in Matthew 17…
Matthew 17:14-20 (NKJV)
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is [a]an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [b]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your [c]unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Here, Jesus rebuked the disciples for having ‘little faith’, just as He did during the storm in the sea…
Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, [a]“Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
However, Jesus was always impressed by great faith…
Matthew 15:28 (NKJV)
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Luke 7:9 (NKJV)
9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
Quite frankly, this concept has been misunderstood and taught wrong by sincere people. The bible never says that it only takes a little faith.
But, as the old saying says, “When we know better, we should do better”.
Check out the video above of Pastor W. Michael Martin of Oak Spring Church Arlington TN teaching on faith from this perspective.