Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” — Matthew 21:21 (NIV84)
So how does one react when someone says: “I am telling you the truth. You can move mountains.” This is pretty tough to believe. When was the last time you threw a mountain into the sea? What do we do with Jesus’ truth claims when they seem, well, untrue? I am afraid that it is verses like this that cause us to interpret Jesus’ words as unbelievable; hence we put phrases like this into myth and allegory. And we all know what to do with myths — not believe them.
But is that fair to do to Jesus’ words? He seemed to be pretty certain about what He was saying. He said to them: “Just as I cursed the fig tree and it withered and died, you will move mountains. Just believe and do not doubt.” Well, it’s tough not to doubt when we have already thrown His words into the category of myth. But what if He really meant it? What if He really meant that we would be able to move mountains?
Let me tell you what I think. Every time we witness to our Christian faith, we are in the process of moving mountains. God uses us to spread His Word, and we know that His Word has the power to change hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. It has the power to take spiritually dead people and make them reborn by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words like these are even greater than moving mountains into seas. Moving a heart from the worldly kingdom to God’s heavenly kingdom is certainly a greater work than moving physical earth into a physical sea.
Let’s not underestimate the truthfulness or the power of God’s Word.