Faith Can Move Mountains Verse: Exploring Matthew 17:20

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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There is a force that transcends human limitations in a world frequently beset by uncertainty, doubt, and insurmountable obstacles: faith. It is a profound and transforming belief, a firm conviction that has influenced history for people, groups, and even entire countries.

In bleak circumstances, faith can move mountains, conquer the seemingly impossible, and kindle a flame of hope. Therefore, let’s embark on this remarkable journey together as we discover the untapped power of faith[1] that can move mountains, change our lives, and open up endless possibilities.

What Does “Faith Can Move Mountains Verse” Mean?

According to Hebrews 11:6, faith is the cornerstone of a Christian life, and it is impossible to serve God without it. However, faith is an amazing gift from God (Ephesians 2:8–9). Christ would often tell his disciples they could move mountains with a mustard seed-sized amount of faith. Nothing is impossible for God, and those with this faith trust that God is all-powerful and capable of doing the unthinkable (Luke 1:37). 

The saying “faith can move mountains” is mentioned in different Bible verses. This well-known quote is taken from Matthew 17:20: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as little as a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain to move, and it will move. For you, nothing will be impossible.” Jesus makes this stunning statement to his disciples. This raises several issues for us. Does this imply that anything is possible if we have enough faith? Can we perform miracles if we have strong enough faith?

This is what some motivational speakers assert. You can achieve your goals if you believe strongly enough. But as we study the chapter and the Bible, we realize that Jesus is not recommending utilizing faith as some mystical force. Faith is neither a force to be gathered nor a strength to be used. Faith is derived from confidence in God and his plan.

What Is The Symbolic Meaning Of Mustard Seeds And Their Relation To Faith?

The phrase “mustard seed faith” appears twice in the Bible. First, even though Jesus had previously granted them authority—the very thing they needed—to do this (Matthew 10:1), we find Christ’s disciples failing to expel a demon from a young boy in Matthew 17:14–20.

The Master said, “Because you have such little faith,” when they asked him why they couldn’t cast the demon out. “I tell you this: if the faith you have is the size of a little mustard seed, you can tell a mountain to move from one place to another by saying, “Move from here to there” (Matthew 17:14–20).

Then, in Luke 17:6, Jesus says to his disciples, “Even if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, you can tell this mulberry tree, “Be planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.” By using the incredible smallness of the mustard seed as an example, Jesus is metaphorically referring to God’s miraculous power when released into the lives of true believers.

We know that this adage about faith being able to move mountains and uproot trees is to be taken with a grain of salt. Understanding the essence of faith is vital to comprehending the passages. The strength of faith reflects the omnipotence of God, who alone bestows confidence.

a mountain surrounded by majestic snow-capped peaks

How To Have Faith As Small As A Mustard Seed?

We worship a wonderful and powerful God who can do amazing things. He can move all our mountains. He has made promises for our lives that we may believe in and accept. How, then, may we possess faith like a tiny mustard seed?

1. Pray. Most of the time, we cannot significantly alter our lives or our faith. Help is needed. God has promised to give us confidence if we lack it and to use us to accomplish things far beyond our wildest dreams. Sometimes holding tightly to God is one of the most daunting challenges. As it says in Psalm 32:8, “I will teach you and educate you in the way you should go. I will advise you with my loving eye on you.”

2. Evaluate. We all must examine our lives and faith to identify areas for improvement. Spend time carefully identifying your faith’s weak points, then plead with God to strengthen those areas. In John 16:33, Jesus declares, “You will experience difficulty in this world. But have courage! I have overcome the world.” Jesus answered our prayers and said that we would face difficulties. But he has triumphed over the world. Nothing in it can subdue him or resist his will.

3. Take A Chance. God made you cautious. God created you for a purpose that will involve some danger. Have you heard about the disciples? They accepted a great deal of risk when they decided to follow Jesus. They renounced their previous existences and welcomed what Jesus had prepared for them. God also has something important in store for you. But eventually, you’ll have to put your faith in God.

Can Faith As Small As A Mustard Seed Move Mountains?

The significance of Matthew 17:20 is vital for us today. It serves as a crucial reminder that God wants to use you to accomplish amazing things. You can do the impossible if you have just a little faith. You can overcome anything that stands in your way with just a mustard seed’s worth of faith.

Similar to how a small mustard seed can grow into a huge tree, you’re capable of amazing things. And your influence will endure. Therefore, trust God. Beg him to strengthen your faith. Watch what he can accomplish through you.

Jesus gathered his 12 disciples around him and granted them the power to expel evil spirits and cure all illnesses (Matthew 10:12–15). Jesus tells them, “Because you have so little faith,” when they ask him why they couldn’t cast the demon out. You can command this mountain to move from here to there if you have even a mustard seed’s worth of true faith. Nothing will be impossible” (Matthew 17:14–20).

A majestic mountain range bathed in the golden hues of the setting sun


We’ve learned that faith is an active force that moves us ahead and gives us the strength, resiliency, and steadfast determination to tackle challenges. It catalyzes personal development, converting our uncertainties into unshakeable confidence and our worries into unflinching hope.

“Faith can move mountains” reminds us that we are not alone in our goals and challenges. Our stories of confidence and resiliency are woven into humanity’s enormous tapestry. This examination of religion will continue to motivate and encourage us to embrace the endless potential within us.

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