Faith of a Mustard Seed, What was the Overall Meaning of This Parable by Jesus?

1 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!

2 It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.

3 So watch yourselves!“If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.

4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”

6 The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!

7 “When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’?

8 No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’

9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not.

10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”


It’s not how big our faith is but how big the ONE is our faith is in that determines the significance of having faith in Jesus. The disciples were trying to figure out how they could obtain the most confident trust in Jesus beyond the other disciples.

The parable was also about sin and why we should not sin or tempt others to sin although temptation will always exist while on earth…and of course it was also about forgiving others an infinity amount of times as Jesus has forgiven us for an infinite penalty.

Sin and forgiveness of others is an act of choosing not to hate but to love others and God. The parable included faith, obedience, sin, and forgiveness because they are all completely connected to this faith of a mustard seed parable.

Sinning is actively living a life not in a right relationship with God and therefore is believing lies on a spiritual level based on physical senses. The physical senses determine the way that you live and so your faith in an idol (anything you love more than God and His commands) is based on this experience of the senses. You physically experience something but that does not make your faith rational.

The pagans would fashion a physical idol out of gold and worship that idol because it made their physical senses feel a certain way which provided an experience they could use to justify their worship of that idol and the ways in which they chose to live.

The pagans needed something they could touch and see as a way to prime themselves to have an experience. Their faith was in the idol and the intangible spiritual experience it produced whether that came about from sacrificing their baby in a Baal temple, having sex with a temple prostitute, and the many other terrible experiences produced by having faith in a physical idol.

The parable seems to intentionally not make the link between faith and sin at least not spelling it out clearly as I would first assume it should.

The reason should be understood and this can be found in what the parable explains as the natural duty of a servant. If you have faith in the good Master Jesus you would of course remain in right relationship with him by not sinning if he were with you physically or as He is now while seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

Just like faith in a pagan idol would spur people on to evil, faith in false God’s and false Christs spur people on to do things they physically have a compulsion already to want to do and leads them to do even worse.

People believe in these false Christs and even Evolution because it ultimately points back to themselves and what they would like to do. In essence it allows them to “do as you will” as in the garden of Eden the serpent told Eve,

“But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die,

5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.

7 Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles.”

A genuine trust that Jesus has forgiven your sins and released you by payment from bondage from it and from it’s punishment hell is all spiritual. You can’t touch the actual unlocked shackles and you cannot see the dungeon of hell waiting for you.

Just because it is spiritual does not make it a “leap of faith”.  The Christian faith is not blind but rationally defensible, logical and self-consistent. Rationality exist in the spiritual realm, just consider the fact that you believe in laws of logic like in the uniformity of nature.

You know there will be a night time and you know when you wake up it will be morning and the sun will come up at its designated time like it does everyday. Gravity most believe to act the same tomorrow as it does today but no one can see into the future.

We take for granted the amount of things we believe by faith without seeing. So faith absolutely works within rational thought and Jesus saving us by forgiving us of sin and releasing us from the chains of its bondage are very much a clear rational spiritual truth that the whole Bible points to.

This spiritual understanding is something we cannot understand with our physical senses but we confidently believe based on spiritual qualities of discernment.

As long as our faith is in Jesus we should strive to not sin because of duty to the one who saved us, created us, and takes care of us.

The humble servant who has been forgiven is simply doing his duty to his master as an act of gratitude by loving in the act of obeying His commands.

Our Master has paid our bond payment for sin and set us free from obeying the impulses of our senses to sin as well as released us from final judgement.

We are now slaves to a righteous forgiving master who loves us.

In fact we have been bound back to God in a perfect way which is how the original creation was intended to be where one day we will live as a servant to our master incapable of sinning

We will be restored to the perfection God originally had for his creation at the beginning of creation back before Adam and Eve first decided to, “Do as you will”.

We are not to have a blind faith or a leap of faith. God expects us to trust in Him like you would if putting a parachute on before jumping out of an air plane. You trust the parachute will save you and you should trust that Jesus will save you from eternal conscious torment separated from God.

Because I know that He alone is good and He is faithful to all His promises and His Word including every jot and tittle is true I know I can trust Him completely.

Abraham’s confidence in God regarding being told by God to sacrifice his son Isaac provides a great example of true faith.

A good prayer would be to ask that God would give you great confidence in Him and His Word.

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