“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Often we look for an easy way out. Here, the disciples are looking to Jesus for a quick fix. He warns them just before this conversation about the severe consequence of leading anyone into sin. It’s no wonder they’re asking him to help them increase their faith! However, Jesus answer shows us more about what they’re really looking for.
What they probably want is similar to what we may want as well. They want some sort of magical light switch moment that will cause us never to doubt again, or maybe some sort of intense spiritual experience that will open their eyes and let them see the big picture. Whatever it is they had in mind, they’re asking the wrong question. Don’t get me wrong, the thing they seek – greater faith – isn’t wrong. It’s the way they’re seeking it that is off.
Jesus answers their request with what almost sounds like criticism. Here they are asking for faith, and he tells them that if they just had a tiny little bit they could perform a miracle. The point here is that faith isn’t something that is magically given to you. It comes only from true belief in Jesus. It’s a bit of a wakeup call to the apostles, and to us, that we have so little faith. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to uproot a tree and send it into the ocean. Maybe the point here was for Jesus to show us just how little faith is really required of us and show us where we fall short of even that little bit.
Do not look, like the apostles did, for an easy way out. Instead, look at your faith and examine your doubts. What is causing them? What makes you lose faith? Confess those things, pray about them, study scripture concerning them, and confer with other Christians. It certainly isn’t an easy way, but it’s a better way.
Help us in our unbelief. I pray that we will not seek an easy way out, but that we will be willing to work toward a stronger relationship with you and more faith in you. Please forgive my doubts and unfaithfulness, and restore me when I fall.
In Jesus’ Name,