By Robert Halsey Pine
“He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’” (Matthew 17:14-21 NRSV).
Jesus shouted out with impatience when the man brought his epileptic son for healing. The disciples had tried and were unable to cast out the demon from this boy. Jesus said, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you?” Faith, hope and love are the keys to the new life in Christ Jesus. Christ’s own faith in God allowed Him to cast out the demon from the boy. He is frustrated because God sent Him to be a light to His people and He knows that His time is short. He doesn’t know if man is going to “get it” in time.
John tells us through the revelation to him (Revelation 21:1-5 NRSV) that there is a, “…New heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” His vision continues with seeing God dwelling among us and wiping every tear from our eyes. The loud voice from the throne of heaven said that death and mourning, crying and pain would be no more. The voice said, “… for the first things have passed away…See I am making all things new.” Jesus wants us to realize that we must think and believe differently in this new life. It is our inability to give up ourselves and surrender to God that limits us.
We are on loan by God to Earth. He’s sharing us. We are His. We are part of His inventory. He created us. Through Him we share in His power. We must not forget that we didn’t put ourselves in this life, He did. I don’t remember voting on being a human. We forget where our authority comes from and either don’t use it or misuse it.
The word of God as found in scripture tells us who we are and shows us the path that we must take. Our response many times is to argue about it or ignore it.
We have been promised our salvation by the propitiation of Jesus. As was the Prodigal Son welcomed home by his father, our Father will welcome us home in heaven. We should then have faith, for we are God’s own on loan to an earth with darkness that cannot overcome His light. If we see in our own mind’s eye that the darkness will overcome, we have no faith. We will not be moving any mountains.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.