“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”
Matthew 17:20, Message
This verse is one I struggle with. Mostly with conceiving why anyone would want to move a mountain—or maybe that’s the question. Jesus’ answer speaks to a bigger problem.
Peter had given the perfect answer when asked about “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus rewarded him, along with James and John, to the Mount of Transfiguration.
After that miraculous encounter, they must have expected to march into Jerusalem at the head of an army. Instead, three times before the end of the chapter, Jesus tells them I’m going to die. I will be raised again.
They didn’t have a clue what Jesus meant. Look at the questions they asked:
· Wasn’t Elijah supposed to come first?
· Why couldn’t we cast the demon out of this man? (Just a note: the nine other disciples. The big three were away with Jesus when the situation developed.)
· When Jesus repeated His warning, they felt terrible. They didn’t ask questions.
· When the Pharisees tested Jesus about paying the temple tax, that becomes the important question.
I wish I could say I would be different. But I’m the same way. I make an excellent ostrich. I stick my head in the sand until the last possible second of a mounting emergency.
I don’t take God seriously enough. If I fill my mind and heart with His word, His love, his will—I might stop asking stupid questions. I might join God in what He’s already doing.
The disciples wanted a kingdom. God offered them salvation.
I want fans in the tens of thousands. Instead God hands me a table with three emotionally and dementia challenged women. No mother could feel any prouder when I see small steps of progress. I feel like my genuine love and concern helps those three women.
Forget the thousands. Them I don’t know about.
But my small community here, I do know and am known. If I take God seriously, I will work here with joy and abandon.