What Does it Mean to Have Mustard Seed Faith?

What does it mean to have a mustard seed faith? The mustard seed was the smallest particle imaginable. Jesus said that even faith as small or undeveloped as a mustard seed would have been sufficient. 

Mustard Seed Faith Meaning

We aspire to have the power to command our problems away. Problems, drawbacks, and challenges are as huge as a mountain. We all want to be able to make a bold move, to make it all disappear. We want to be able to conquer it. But what does it take to do that? Jesus says in Matthew 17:20 that all we need to have is “mustard seed faith”.

But what does it mean to have faith as small as a mustard seed?

What is Mustard Seed Faith?

mustard seed faith

The mustard seed is referred to by people in Jesus’ day to define something that is very, very small. It is one of the tiniest seeds found in the Middle East. It is so small yet its plant can spread vastly and rapidly. So the conclusion is that the quantity of faith required to do great things is very small indeed.

How does faith relate to a mustard seed?

Having a mustard seed faith is not about how big our faith is but it is about the object of our faith. Who do we hold on to? Who do we rely on?

A seed won’t grow if it is not planted and tended properly. Its requirements to grow and flourish are the following: 

  1. the right soil;
  2. watered in intervals;
  3. some fertilizer for added nourishment; and
  4. the right amount of sunlight.  

Like our faith, a seed cannot grow if we only rely on our own. This will make us reflect and have a heart check on the status of our faith.

Have you asked yourself the following questions: How great is your faith? Have you tended your faith today?

What Does the Bible Say About Mustard Seed Faith?

The mustard seed faith teaches us to focus on the nature of our faith, which is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). It teaches us to put our faith entirely in God’s power rather than in our abilities.

Even the smallest amount of faith as long as it is genuine faith in Jesus can make the impossible happen. Genuine faith founded in His word and His promises seeks what God wants rather than forcing what we want. It always trusts in His perfect ways and His perfect timing.

We can get our supply of faith from reading the Bible. Here are verses that can water our mustard seed faith.

mustard seed faith

Bible Verses about Mustard Seed Faith

At this moment, Jesus emphasized that a person’s confident, abiding faith, together with God’s Almighty power turns everything possible. This is, of course, our hearts are in sync with God’s will. God is fully capable of doing things that man regards as impossible (Mark 11:22-24).

Having faith to believe in the Word of God is the epitome of receiving the promises from Him. Hearing or reading the Word is beneficial just as water is for seed. We are reminded to make reading the Bible a habit. As we indulge in the Word, we are enlightened about who God is and how He is so mindful of us (Romans 10:17).

A Reminder for Us to Seek God

Our faith in God will reflect our actions toward others. A genuine relationship with God makes our hearts overflow so we treat others just as Jesus would. This is faith in action, the application of what we believe in, reflecting Jesus in our lives so others would come to know Him as well. As we continue to seek Him, we become more like Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of understanding and reason – a life of knowing Him who calls us to go (Hebrews 11:1). 

Trusting the spoken Word of Jesus even if we are unsure of what is ahead is honored by God. A fully surrendered heart is what faith is about. We are in no doubt, confident and hopeful for we know that all of what God has spoken in our lives are true and shall come to pass. There may be times that we would have to wait but we are sure that if Jesus told it, it will happen (Luke 1:37).

Faith in Action

Coming to know God entails us completely surrendering our lives and our hearts to the One who called us. Look toward the things that we hope for in full confidence that the Lord will fulfill all His promises. Our vision is restored as we see that God is in full control of our lives, our plans, and our future (2 Corinthians 5:7).

As children of God, we can trust Him with all our hearts, even if we cannot understand or explain the situation we experience. It is best that in all times, God is included in everything that we do so that we can express our confidence in Him to lead us to the right path. It is living a life surrendered to God’s Will and plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

People in the Bible who Displayed Great Faith?

There are many accounts in the Bible of people who displayed great faith. We can all learn from their stories and experiences. It can teach us how to enable the mustard seed within us to grow and gain great faith. Their life is a lesson that we can pull inspiration from to continue with our faith journey.

mustard seed faith

Life Lessons from the Mustard Seed Faith

Abraham taught us that faith can empower us to obey. He did not hesitate and followed exactly what God had ordered when told to sacrifice his son, Isaac. God showed His faithfulness by providing a ram for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-19). God is our Great Provider and He never fails to come through for us no matter what challenge we are up against.

We learned from Isaac that faith brings future blessings. To have faith in God is to be hopeful and expectant. God will confidently come out of our faith. (Hebrews 11:21)

Gideon taught us that we have a powerful God who enables us for the task He appointed with our doubts and fears. (Judges 6)

Moses instilled in us that our faith can overcome the world. He heard God speaking from a burning bush, instructing him to go back to Egypt and face the Pharaoh. And God promised that he would go with him. He led God’s people out of slavery and has led over 3 million traveling Jews for 40 years. (Hebrews 11:23-26)

Joshua taught us that no wall is too high or too strong when we obey and put our trust in God. He carried the responsibility of taking over the Promised Land. He also told Joshua that he would go with him into the land and a new world. (Hebrews 11:30)

Paul taught us that our faith can transform even those who have the hardest heart (Acts 9:1-19). Paul, who was previously known as Saul, was a persecutor of Christians. But when He had an encounter with Jesus, his vision of life transformed. He preached that our life is not our own and that if we live we live for Christ, and if we die we die for Christ. (Romans 14:8)

Ways to Have Faith, Even as Small as a Mustard Seed

mustard seed faith

How to have a Mustard Seed Faith

What we fear the most is where we trust God the least. The things that keep us awake at night are the things that we are not trusting God to handle. What we fear the most shows us where we need to grow with God. And like a mustard seed, we take our time to grow our faith amid adversary and uncertainty.

All God wants us to do is ask, seek, and knock. It says so in Matthew 7:7-8. We communicate with God through prayers and Jesus tells us to have intensity, passion, and persistence in our prayers (Philippians 4:6).

Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) says “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” You may think that what you do for God may seem small and insignificant, but God rejoices in what is right, not necessarily in what is big. The size of your faith is far more important than the size of the job. Be faithful to the small opportunities. Begin where you are now and do what you can, trust, and leave the results to God.


All we have to do is ask. It’s that easy.

We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us through prayer. We make our requests known to God through our prayer, and everyone who asks receives. The reward of asking is receiving. Don’t overcomplicate things, it is easy to live a blessed life, just ask. 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:4)


God will always answer those who diligently seek Him. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)

If you seek God, you will find Him and if you keep going, you will reach Him. Your success will always eventually be guaranteed if you don’t stop attempting.

Prayer is similar to seeking in that we are looking for God, His Word, and His will, and whoever seeks finds. The reward of seeking is finding.

mustard seed faith


A door won’t open if permission is not granted. Doors are placed strategically to protect, to keep some things in and some things out. In the Kingdom of God, access is valuable. Prayer is like knocking until the door is opened, and we seek entrance into the great heavenly palace of our Great King. Entering through the opened door into His place is the reward of knocking, and the best reward of all.

Oftentimes, God does not reveal what exactly is on the other side of the door that we’re knocking at. But what He does tell us is that we have permission. As children of God, we have access to all the good gifts our Father in Heaven has stored up, especially for us. We don’t know to see if we might get in but we knock because we are already invited in.


Have faith, believe, and hope for the things unseen. Because if you believe, whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours (Matthew 21:22). With confidence and humility, ask. Seek with caution and diligence. And with sincerity and persistence, knock.

Challenge yourself to put your faith in action and apply it to every scenario you come into. Pray that God would increase your faith and make it grow. Our lives were meant to grow and flourish in our faith.

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:15)

mustard seed faith

In Summary

Faith even as small as a mustard seed can enable us to do the impossible. However small a faith we have, as long as we trust and focus our eyes on the object of our faith, we can move mountains.

What mountain or problem are you facing today? Command it to move. Declare the victory that we already have over it in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Even the smallest amount of genuine faith placed in Jesus Christ, the one true object of faith, results in great miracles happening in our lives. All of which are for the Glory of God.

Are you ready to grow the mustard seed within?

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Alex Shute
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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