Faith is an important aspect to the believer’s walk; however, I have noticed that it is generally misunderstood. God gave us “a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3) in order to perform His will for our lives on earth. Many people talk about ‘increasing their faith’, ‘not having strong faith’, ‘not having enough faith’, ‘having small faith’…but these statements are contrary to the Word of God.
In Luke 17:6, Jesus compares faith to a mustard seed.
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you…” (Luke 17:5,6 NKJV)
and in Luke 13:18,19 Jesus compares the kingdom to a mustard seed as well:
Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” (Luke 13:18,19 NKJV)
If we draw the conclusion that, because it is compared to a mustard seed, our faith is small, then we would also have to draw the conclusion that, because the kingdom is compared to a mustard seed, it is small too. God would not belittle His kingdom by calling it small, so there is clearly something else here.
Let’s look at the mustard seed:
The seed referred to in this scripture is that of the plant brassica nigra, also referred to as black mustard. These seeds are 1 mm in size; however, despite their small size, the black mustard plant grows to up to 10 meters (33 feet) tall.
The point that Jesus is making is described in 1 Corinthians 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty… (NKJV)
God uses things that are seemingly absurd to the natural eye. The word foolish comes from the Greek word mōros which means dull or stupid (as if shut up), heedless, absurd, foolish, that which is considered by the ignorant as a foolish policy or mode of dealing with things (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).
Using normal human reasoning, a 1 mm seed growing to 10 meters tall is absurd. This fact is outside of our natural apprehension because we just sow the seed but God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7). It takes time for the seed to grow; God has an appointed time for it to reach its max, but it will be done.
Faith was given to us by God so that we have access to those things which are not comprehensible through human reasoning or natural apprehension and may even seem contrary to what we see with our natural eye.