Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington , M. Div.

“…because of your little faith.  For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move…” (Matthew 17:20).

The ‘Epileptic Boy Healed’ faith event is followed by a private moment with the disciples.  They were expected to have healing power and this boy’s father reported to Jesus that he would not have had to ‘get to him’ except for the faith failure of his disciples.  This consciousness caused the disciples concern for their inability to ‘exorcize’ authority over demons and they take this opportunity of privacy to ask Jesus, “why could we not cast it out?”  ‘Oligo pistian’ = ‘little faith’.  Spiritual healing powerlessness directly related to ‘little faith’.

Jesus used one of the ‘littlest seeds’ to teach his disciples about the measure of faith.   Your faith is little— look at this little seed!

There is no usage of ‘mustard seed’ in the Old Testament.  Biblically, it is found only 5 times— all 5 uses exclusive to Jesus.  The 5 becomes 2 as this teaching to measure faith by the ‘mustard seed’ is a double tradition (Matthew 17:20) and (Luke 17:6); a follow-up to the triple tradition ‘The Parable of The Mustard Seed’ (Matthew 13:31-32) (Mark 4:33-32) and (Luke 13:18-19).  Jesus has introduced this scripturally new idea that “the Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed…  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree…”

Let me attempt the ‘NEW Logic Line’ now in my head:

1) The Single Text placed in the mouth of Paul, which very pointedly alters his greatest message teaching to The Church Eternal; of 1 Corinthians 13-14:33 “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”  The verse that follows has been used by the Christian Church throughout it’s entire history to make the words “Women be silent in the Church” a foundational mantra for all of time.  Single in that, it is not related to ‘Faith’ nor ‘Hope’ nor ‘Love’ which each appear countless times throughout Biblical Reference; but the ‘one and only’ time that this notion is to be found in Bible.  Which, further,  has become the ‘Greatest Divide’ in World Religious Traditions in sustaining and maintaining a ‘male supremacy’ that translate into ‘THE POWER, yea, THE AUTHORITY of The Church’.

2) The Church has come to know itself as ‘The Bride of Christ’; giving rise to the Church being sung immortal as ‘the female gender’.  “The Church’s ONE FOUNDATION is Jesus Christ HER Lord.  SHE is his new creation by water and the word.  From heaven he came and sought HER to be his Holy Bride.  With his own blood he ‘BOUGHT HER’, and for HER life he died.”

3) ‘2020State’ is now the ultimate translation of this ‘male supremacy’ STATE of the CHURCH… SHE has been made… SILENT!

There can be no doubt that Jesus is introducing the possibilities of faith.  Lay aside the birth genealogies that place him in the line of the Davidic House— scripture would suggest a very humble origin.  Manger born in a stable to the house of a carpenter— to one who is sought out by  multitudes confident in his power to heal; all based upon a relationship with God whom he knew as his father.  If you think, if you believe, if you trust, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed… you can say to a mountain… or to a tree…”

by email: