“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-20 (ESV)
When Jesus was in his public ministry on earth he took advantage of things that happened each day to teach his disciples. This verse is from one of those times. A father had a boy who was possessed by a demon. Jesus’ disciples had attempted to heal the man’s son but failed. Now the father brings the boy to Jesus and pleads with Him. Jesus rebukes the demon and heals the boy instantly. The purpose of this teaching is not to encourage us to move mountains around. The real lesson which Jesus was teaching was about the nature of the faith which produces results. Jesus spoke of faith being as small as a mustard seed. Ever so small, the seed would produce great results. Jesus was saying that even if their faith was as small as a mustard seed, it would produce great results because the faith would be there. But the results of even such faith come from God and He is great. It is of when we make God – rather than ourselves – the object of our confidence that the greatness of God brings results, providing the faith is in our hearts.