The Power in a Mustard Seed
Kenetic Faith • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 45:20
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This morning we are continuing with our study of Kinetic Faith. If you remember from last week, we said Kinetic Faith is faith that is put into motion. It is faith that accomplishes something. It is faith that produces works. And we talked about how one of the ways that God is calling us to have Kinetic Faith in these last days is by being willing to Launch Out Into the Deep; to Let Down Our Nets for a Catch. In other words, we’ve got to get out of the kiddie pool of promises and wade on out into deeper spiritual waters.
This week, we are going to talk about The Power in a Mustard Seed. Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 17.
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
I want to talk this morning about three types of faith:
Minuscule Faith, and
Mustard Seed Faith.
Missing Faith (Verse 17)
Jesus has just come down from Mt. Transfiguration. Jesus was there on the mountain with three of His disciples: Peter, James, and John. Jesus temporarily and partially removed the veil obscuring His divinity and allowed a glimpse of the true glory of His divine nature to shine through His humanity. Meanwhile, back at the foot of the mountain, His other nine disciples encounter a man and his son who is extremely sick and in need of a miracle.
The Young Man’s Condition
The man’s son suffered from some sort of periodic convulsions. The KJV called him a “lunatic.” Several other translations use the word “epileptic.” But whatever this condition was, a few things are clear from the text, (1) it was a life-threatening condition and (2) the source of the condition was demonic. The father says, “He often falls into the fire and into the water.” This demonic spirit was trying to destroy this young man. In Luke’s Gospel, the fathers says, “Luke 9:38–39 “38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him.” The father understood that it was a “spirit” that “seized” his son.
The Disciples Couldn’t Heal Him
The father had hoped to bring his son to Jesus, but Jesus was up on the mountain with Peter, James, and John. So remaining nine disciples that did not go with Jesus to the top of the mountain tried to heal the young man. Now the Bible does not give us any details on what these nine disciples did to try to help this young man. But whatever they did, it didn’t work. Because when Jesus comes back down from the mountain the father comes to Him and says, “I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
In Verse 17, Jesus rebukes His disciples, “Matthew 17:17 “17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”” Jesus calls them “faithless:” without faith: no faith: Missing Faith. But I wonder if this was not only a rebuke of His disciples but a condemnation on those in the multitude that were gathered around watching what was happening that day. Mark’s Gospel tell us that there were Scribes present in the crowd that were disputing with the people. They were probably trying to discredit Jesus’ ministry and His rightful claim to be the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus not only rebukes His disciples (who should have known better by now), but He also condemns an entire generation of people who would reject Him. You can tell exactly how Jesus feels about faithlessness by how He responds here. You can almost hear the tone in His voice, like the thunder and shaking from Mt. Sinai, that speaks of His judgment.
The Generation We Live In Today
I don’t have to tell you that we live in a “faithless and perverse generation” today. Just look around. From politicians to musicians to celebrities to professional athletes, our society is filled with faithless and perverse people. We have become a “faithless and perverse” nation. We’ve legalized the murder of the innocents. We’ve normalized demonic, ritualistic magic as part of our music awards shows. WitchTok is a thing. With a swipe on your phone you can learn to practice the occult. Pornography and sexual immorality are not only tolerated, but are often celebrated. Satan Clubs are starting up in our elementary schools. Drag Queen story time is being allowed in our public libraries. Our children are being taught that it is OK to decide whether they want to be a boy or a girl. And we are giving them access to surgeries to transition them at younger and younger ages and they are coming back later in life emotionally and physically scarred and broken. Men are competing as women in sports because they’ve decided God was wrong about their gender. As a society, we’ve become desensitized to the dangers of the dark and demonic powers that roam the earth. As a result, this generation has become “faithless and perverse.”
Let Jesus Find Faith in Us!
Jesus speaking about the end-times generation says in Luke 18:8 “8 ...when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”” The question for us today is “when Jesus returns, will He find faith in the Church?!” We can’t change the direction of our society as a whole. Only God can do that. But we can make sure that we do not fall into the same traps as this “faithless and perverse generation” that we live in. Let revival and spiritual awakening rise up in our hearts. Let Jesus find faith in us!
Minuscule Faith (Verse 20a)
Jesus Rebukes His Disciples for Their Unbelief
Why were the nine disciples not able to cast the demon out of the boy and heal him?
Was it because of their lack of experience?
Jesus had just given them the authority the heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Did they just need more practice? Did they just need a few more exorcisms under their belt? No, that wasn’t it. It wasn’t inexperience.
Was it because they were using the wrong technique?
Did they do it all wrong? Should they have had a silver cross and some holy water? Did they have the right stance? Should they have held their hands up or streched their hands out? Did they zig when they should have zagged? Should they have put their right foot in and took their right foot out? Do the hokey-pokey and turn themselves around? Was it their technique? No, it wasn’t their technique.
Was it because they were using the wrong formula?
What about what they said and how they said it? Was it because they didn’t use the right combination of words? Was it because they spoke too quietly or too loudly? Was it because they said, “begone thou foul demon of hell” when they should have been saying, “hasta la vista, baby?!” No, it wan’t that either.
It wasn’t lack of experience, technique, or the right formula.
It was lack of Kinetic Faith
Jesus said it was because of their unbelief. The word “unbelief” means “little or no trust, skeptical.” It was because of their minuscule faith. But it ultimately wasn’t about the amount of their faith. We’re going to talk about Mustard Seed Faith here in just a moment. Mustard Seed Faith is small faith. The mustard seed was the smallest seed known in that area at the time. So Jesus is making a huge point here. It is no so much the size of our faith that matters. So what is it then? What distinguishes just small faith that is ineffective from Mustard Seed Faith that is effective?
The Results are Not Dependent on the Size of Your Faith, but on the Object of Your Faith
The power to move mountains is not in our ability to muster up faith (pardon the pun)! The power to move mountains in not in our ability to ascend to some higher plain of spiritual consciousness. The power to move mountains is not in our ability to manifest something out of nothing. The power to move mountains is in Jesus Christ. We simply have to point our faith (no matter the size) in the right direction. And the right direction is Jesus.
Faith in our methods, our programs, our abilities, our charisma, won’t produce anything. Were the disciples just going through the motions in trying to heal the young man? Were they so confident in themselves because they had already seen some powerful miracles taking place because of the authority Jesus had given to them that they just though it was going to be an automatic thing? Like they had already figured it all out and could do it on their own without Jesus?
Who knows for sure, but the point is Kinetic Faith is only kinetic when it is connected to Christ. Jesus must be the the author and the finisher of our faith. He must be the object of our faith.
Mustard Seed Faith (Verse 20b)
What is the Difference Between Minuscule Faith and Mustard Seed Faith?
Jesus said, Matthew 17:20 “20 ...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus uses the example of a mustard seed to describe the kind of faith that can move mountains. But isn’t mustard seed faith small faith? Well the mustard seed was one of the smallest seeds that was used and known in that area. So the point Jesus is trying to make is clear. Small faith can move mountains if it is applied properly.
Mustard Seed Faith Has Kinetic Power
Why didn’t the prayers of the nine disciples work? Why were they not able to heal this young man? After Jesus healed the young man, His disciples came to Him later and asked, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus said it was because of their unbelief, but then He went on to explain it further in Matthew 17:21 “21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.””
If you want a formula or if you want to even call it a formula, there it is: Prayer and Fasting! The disciples attempts to help this young man had no power because their faith lacked Kinetic Energy! Their faith lacked Kinetic Energy because their prayer life lacked fire!
It Takes Fervent Prayer
If you want to see God move mountains; if you want to see the miracle-working power of Jesus Christ in your family; if you want the kind of Kinetic Faith that produces results; it is only going to come through prayer and fasting. James 5:16 “16 ...The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Do you want to see God move for you and answer your prayers, get your prayer life set on fire! And if you want to supercharge your prayer life, intensify it with fasting.
“Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”
There is an urgency in my heart to reach our youth. There is a burning desire in my heart to see a wave of revival break out. There is a hunger in my heart to see signs, wonders, and miracles take place in the body of Christ. God is still a mountain moving God! Jesus is still working miracles today! The same promise that Jesus gave His disciples still applies to us today! Matthew 17:20 “20 So Jesus said to them, “...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
That’s The Power in a Mustard Seed! There is no power in our words. There is no power in our methods. There is no power in our programs. There is no power in our experience. But there is power in the name of Jesus! There is power to heal! There is power to save! There is power to deliver! There is power to set free! There is power to overcome! There is power to restore! There is power to move mountains!
It’s all about Kinetic Faith! It is not about how much faith you have! It is about having the right kind of faith! It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. It is about having faith that is founded upon the Rock of Jesus Christ! And it is about seeking God’s face. “This kind does not come but by prayer and fasting.”
Do you need a miracle? Fast and pray. Do you have mountains that need to be moved in your life? Fast and pray. Do you want to see revival spread across this nation? Fast and pray. Do you want to see sinners saved? Fast and pray. Do you want to see this church filled? Fast and pray. Do you want God to send you blessing and increase? Fast and pray. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much! Little is much when the Lord is in it!