You’re gonna need faith


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

Is faith believing that God exists? Is faith believing that you, with God’s help, can accomplish a daunting task? The Bible tells us several times that the just shall live by faith. Is that living faith a catalyst for getting through the day, or is it something that changes who we are? If living faith changes who we are, does it mold us into what God wants us to be?

Luke 17:6 is a verse people often use to gain the faith needed to accomplish something that seems impossible, “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

There is no doubt that this verse has helped people accomplish the seemingly impossible through the centuries. But, there is a side to this verse few people see. This verse deals with the condition of our hearts.

To see the mustard seed verse in a different light, let us look at the context surrounding the verse.

The verses immediately preceding Luke 17:6 – Luke 17:3-5, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”

The faith the size of a mustard seed verse is Jesus’ response to a request for more faith after the apostles heard that they should forgive someone seven times in one day. In this context, the verse is about the faith needed to change our hearts.

It is against human nature to forgive someone seven times in a lifetime, let alone seven times in one day. Knowing their hearts and the seemingly impossible task Jesus put before them, the apostles plead for more faith. They understood their hearts would need to change from normal to a heart more like God’s. They also knew that faith was the only thing capable of accomplishing the task.

We have looked at the verses before the faith as a grain of mustard seed verse; now, to get more context, let us look at the verses afterward.

In Luke 17:7-9 Jesus gives an example of a servant who has worked all day in the fields. The man has been plowing, feeding the cattle, and general farm labor. At the end of his outside workload, he comes into the house. Once inside, the servant receives orders to make supper for the master, and when the master has finished his meal, the servant is free to sit down and eat.

This scenario might sound harsh, but Jesus is making the point that the servant tends to the master’s needs before he tends to himself.

Are not we Christians servants of God? If yes, whose desires should we put first, ours or His?

To love God enough to put Him first in everything requires faith. Hence, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed…” sits in the middle of the passage.

In summary, the passage begins with a story about the condition of our hearts, in particular about our relationships with other people. Then we are told if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can say to a tree to get up and move, and it will. Then Jesus moves on and talks about our relationship with Him.

Do you have a God-like heart when it comes to those around you? Do you have the faith needed to be a proper servant of God?

Like the Apostles, most of us must say to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website:; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: All Scripture KJV.

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