This is probably a familiar subject to many of you. We've all heard that term, "Faith to Move a Mountain", right? But, how many of you have ever seen the following verse?
Mathew 17: 20 (in the NISB version). And just so it makes more sense, the disciples had just asked Jesus why THEY hadn't been able to heal the sick man.
"And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you..."
That is a remarkable verse, isn't it? Can you imagine being able to move a mountain? And honestly, what kid, after hearing that, doesn't try to? I know I did. I remember driving through to some place and trying to get that mountain to move. I believed it would, or at least, I was pretty sure at the time that I believed it would. But, a Mustard Seed is VERY small. Ever seen one? So, I thought that surely I had THAT much faith, and that would mean that the mountain should move, right? Did it? Nope.
I was always so disappointed. I couldn't understand it. Why did the Bible say I could do that, but then God didn't let it happen?
Well, if you look at the following verse (Mathew 17:21) it says this:
"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, this verse does not appear in all versions of the Bible. And yet, this verse NEEDS to be there. It explains the whole verse before it! It explains why, when I told that mountain to move, it didn't move.
"That kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting". What I take from this verse is that even though I might have the faith to move that mountain, if I have no reason to (other than just wanting to do it), it isn't going to move. Look at the verse again. "Prayer and Fasting". Let's look at both of those in bit more detail.
Prayer is something that you do to talk to the Lord, right? It's a connection. A connection to either thank Him for what He has done, or request something of Him. Perhaps you are requesting an answer on what you should do after you graduate, or if you are supposed to go on that missions trip. So, in the verse referring to praying, I think it's referring to the requesting part of prayer.
Fasting means going a certain amount of time without food. Sounds awful to some, but this was done quite often in the Bible. Any time someone mourned, they fasted. When David was troubled about what to do, he fasted. Prophets fasted, waiting for a word from the Lord. Fasting is done for various reasons, then. So, when I read the 'fasting' in that verse, it strikes me as being the fasting as one would do when waiting for an Answer from the Lord.
So then, "except by prayer and fasting" would mean that we aren't supposed to do those things (move mountains, etc) unless we have really consulted and prayed about that. It isn't something that you just get to do on a whim. It's something that happens only when it NEEDS to happen.
I guess that would explain why I couldn't move that mountain when I was 10 years old. :-)
That also tells you why I want to learn Greek and Hebrew.
Why? Well, I'd love to learn those languages for one reason: to be able to study the original manuscripts of the Bible. I have no idea where those manuscripts are to be gotten, but I would love to be able to study them in their original language. Imagine how much more you would get out of it? There are 5 different words in Hebrew/Greek describing "Love" alone! 5 different kinds of love. Imagine what other words you would find like that? But, when we translate it into English, all those different "loves" turn into one "Love". So, I imagine we are missing out on a whole lot more.
Since that verse in Mathew isn't in most versions of the Bible, and it is certainly important!, I wonder what other verses have gotten left out. Wouldn't it be interesting to find out? And to get to really study and see those original writings?
In Christ's Service,
(All Pictures via Pinterest)