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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mountains and Mustard Seeds

Jesus said that if we have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, we can do anything, including some really radical earthwork. Healing a terminal illness should be a breeze. Right?

Well, under those rules, yes, there should be miraculous cures right and left, along with the Mt. Everest Sailing Resort. I mean, we're people, and we can sure pack more faith into our personas than can a lil' ol' mustard seed, right?

But that doesn't happen. Mountains do not take a last landward bow before swimming. And doctors are still driving BMWs.

I don't doubt that there are miraculous cures - I saw a splenic tumor in a German Shepherd shrink from nearly a foot long to nothing.

It's just that there aren't very many. Few claimed, fewer verified - and verification is a fair test. I don't think Jesus would have shied away from it - indeed he invited people to see for themselves, and be convinced.

My thought is that when Jesus talked about the mustard seed, he was actually referring to a degree of faith that we can almost never achieve. The seed is 'all faith'; it doesn't doubt, because it's never been exposed to intellectual rigor (or rigor mortis, if you prefer). We, on the other hand, question everything. "I took it on faith" is often seen as a sign of almost hopeless naivete.

The power of faith grows exponentially with its purity, then? And the enormity of the seed's faith thus arises from its complete lack of adulteration. That is the goal that is nearly unreachable to us mortals.

Maybe it's the way it's supposed to be - mountains being tossed into the sea would give Lloyd's of London a headache, so Jesus set us a goal we could never reach.

But He never said, don't try.

5 comments:

  1. Interesting angle on the mustard seed.
    Have you seen Apocalypse 2012? Cheesy plot, cool special effects. Your Everest beach resort made me think of it.
    I'm a fan of doubt, actually. If you can't beat them, join them! The book of Job celebrates all those questions & doubts and the other stuff.

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    1. I thiunk that Jesus had a very sly and ironic sense of humor. My spiritual upbringing took place in an orthodox Jewish household (not my family - long story) and I see reflections of my spiritual parents in Jesus' sayings.

      Haven't seen Apocalypse 2012 - I'll look for it. I kind of lean toward Hugh Grant films, much to my wife';s delight (and, at first, puzzlement)

      I think that if wee look at the Bible with too much reverence to see doubt and humor, we end up losing respect for God.

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    2. Hugh Grant is one of the finest actors to ever show up and say the alphabet. I have a few more on my list. All I need is a few letters and I'mgood. I don't care what the movie is about. I'm just there for the *acting*. Tell B I think she's highly cultured and the next time I'm out, we'll need to have a film festival.

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    3. I want to be Hugh when I grow up!

      Also - look at Russell Crowe in "A Good Year" - he creates a character in which good and bad is mixed so well that there is no artifice - he's real!

      I'll pass it on to B. I was told that I was highly cultured too, once...which meant that me mates were grateful that I didn't pee in the communal shower. At least not too often.

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  2. Once I heard someone utter the phrase "if your mother prayed harder, her hearing would come back". Umm, yeah, shut the %#&% up, you total idiot!
    I did see a full blow miracle in Bible college though. A girl there, a mouse actually, by the name of Evangeline Lennox,had been hit by a bus a year or two earlier. She wore Coke bottle glasses, had a severe hump in her back, limped like a wounded bird and was a nervous wreck.
    One weekend, some of the more Charismatic types had a prayer and healing service for her. BAM! Right then and there, she was healed, all the way down to perfect vision!!!!!!!!!!
    I will never forget her face or what she said, "God healed me". That was it. I barely knew her, but I'll nver forget her face or her utterly peaceful, grateful smile.

    I KNOW He can heal anyone for whom healing is part of His plan. I've been praying that you're one of those.

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