«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’ » (Matthew 17:20).
There are a number of different realities present in this story. Jesus, Peter, James, and John had just come down from the mountain after Jesus’s transfiguration. The rest of the disciples were jealous because they had not been allowed to participate in that occasion, and they were upset that they had not been able to heal the man who was possessed by a demon. On the other hand, there is the desperate father with his son covered in wounds caused by water and fire, due to the convulsions the demon threw him into. The waiting multitude gathered around. The rabbis and scribes expressed their scorn saying that there was no hope for the boy. Who would Jesus address first? Everyone needed it, in different ways for each.
The entire situation required more faith Chan could be found in all those unbelieving hearts, and the father realizes that. He verbally expresses his own doubt, his unbelief, and then his faith. But faith is not in abundance at the scene, and that saddens and worries Jesus. There had to be more.
Jesus worked His miracle of healing, and at the same time He taught one of the most unforgettable lessons found in the Scriptures. His comparisons were always noticed, and they have given their fruit throughout the ages.
To think that the mustard tree, so leafy, tall, and strong, comes from such a tiny seed, so easily lost sight of, is something really quite remarkable.
In those tiny seeds are hidden the genetics to produce miles of greenery and yards of height and breadth, if the plants are give space and freedom to grow.
The disciple had just participated in the glory of the mountain, but they had to come back to the plains and confront the reality and the needs of the people.
Tomorrow we will have a special day of encounter with God, but after that a new week will begin and we will have to return to the plains to do battle with our everyday problems, those problems which require so much faith.
«It is faith that connects us with heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness…. The obstacles that are piled by Satan across your path, though apparently as insurmountable as the eternal hills, shall disappear before the demand of faith» (The Desire of Ages, ch. 47, pp. 429, 431)