A good many of us didn’t study Greek and therefore can’t read and understand much from the original writings of the New Testament. We’re not any better with the Aramaic dialect, nor did we attend divinity school. We’re just plain old laymen, “laic” as opposed to the clergy, or of “the cloth”.
But laymen or not, we have to deal with the day-to-day struggles of life and try to make some sense of faith and religion, exactly what it is that we believe. This series, In Laymen’s Terms, will be an attempt by a genuine layman, Me, to put into words what I believe. Hopefully, some of it might be helpful if for no other reason than to make us pause and think about things. Here goes!
A Little Bit of Faith
When things are running smoothly in our lives, it’s pretty easy to have faith. God is good. Jesus is our Savior. We are saved by Grace, not good works. No problem with that, right? Having faith is easy.
But then a loved one dies unexpectedly, or finances go south. Maybe the doctor’s report is not good, or an addiction cannot be overcome. How about when an innocent child you love is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor? Now faith gets a little trickier. Do I believe in a God I can’t see? Did His Son really rise from the dead? Is there actually a spiritual world or is this pure fantasy?
When things aren’t looking all that rosy, there is one verse in the bible that keeps my faith from tanking. It comes from Matthew 17, verse 20.
“For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move hence to yonder place’, and it will be move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
With our faith crumbling in the dust, we are somehow asked to make a mountain move? That makes things worse, not better.
But if you read between the lines, Jesus is not asking for a huge amount of faith, just a tiny little bit.
How little? Well how about the size of a mustard seed? I cook with mustard seeds from time to time and they are really, really small. You can put a couple dozen in a teaspoon. If you put one in your pocket, you’d be hard pressed to fish it out. Faith the size of a mustard seed is not much faith at all. But it is a tiny speck of faith, and that’s all that Jesus needs. With just that small amount, He can move the mountains.
Remember the story about Jesus feeding 5,000 people with a brown bag lunch from a small boy?
Jesus said to his disciples, “We’ve got a bunch of hungry people here. What do we have to work with?” It turned out to be a ‘mustard seed of a lunch’, not much to work with at all, but that would be all Jesus needed.
When things aren’t going well in our lives, if we would just reach deep down into that pocket where we store our faith and find the tiniest little speck, that will be enough.