Donna's Blog

Faith to move mountains

Posted by donnadawson on August 31, 2016 at 3:05 PM

"Do you know of any of the faith giants who actually moved mountains?"  

The question jolted me as my husband and I discussed with a friend the passage in Matthew 17 where Jesus talked about having faith to move mountains. 

I had just read a rabbinical website where the rabbi teaching talked about different Rabbis 'casting their mountains'.  It had astounded me because he went on to explain that each Rabbi studies the Tenach and then determines his theology based on it.  That theology is referred to as his 'mountain' and he casts it at other Rabbis so they can debate.  We were excited to realize that Jesus wasn't just speaking literally but he was also speaking as a Rabbi.  So we began to chew on the scriptures.  At first glance, it does seem that Jesus is telling his disciples that they can actually pick up a physical mountain and throw it into the sea but as my husband quipped, do we know of anyone who has done it?  Clearly, no.  

When we apply the Rabbinical meaning however, it all comes together.  In chapter 16, the Rabbis were asking for signs.  Never mind the fact that Jesus had already performed enough signs to validate his ministry ten times over.  The deeper issue was faith.  They had spent so much time studying the scriptures and refining their 'mountains' so they could cast them at each other that they had become blind to the miracle of faith.  Along comes Jesus and tells his disciples, who are unable to cast a demon out of a boy, to stop looking at the theological mountains and simply have faith that the power that comes through the name of Jesus, from God, manifested by the Holy Spirit, is enough to do the job.  The Pharisees didn't need a sign.  They, and the disciples, needed to cast their mountains into the sea of forgetfulness and pick up the tiny grain of faith.  And Jesus emphasized that only by picking up that faith could they have the ability to cast off those lofty and burdensome mountains.  

Wow!

Categories: theology in the raw

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1 Comment

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Reply Lynne Collier
11:21 AM on February 16, 2017 
What a revelation! Thank you for explaining that, Donna. I know I'd thought of that often and wondered if it was literal.
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