The Reading: Mark 11:20-26
“… whoever says to this mountain …” (v.23) RSV
During the following weeks we are learning how to exercise the authority that God through Christ has given us. We are not simply limited to asking God to do things, but are hearing from God what we should be doing, doing it and seeing the power of God at work.
Sometimes we are faced by an immovable object, a ‘mountain’ (v.23). This may be to do with money problems e.g. how to get a mortgage or overcome debt. The problem may be trying to achieve planning permission. It might be to do with a church leader who is blocking progress. Whatever the ‘mountain’, we first of all pray about it. We lay the problem before our God. It is not our place to tell him what to do! However, as we pray and listen we may discover that his purpose is to move that ‘mountain’. He then tells us: “You move it!”
We are not used to this task. Somehow we think that miracles take place if God chooses to do something. But the fact is that most miracles simply do not take place because we do not exercise our authority. We are instructed, “YOU say to the mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea’” (v.23). This may sound incredible, but that is only because we have lost sight of the dominion that we have been given.
Of course we cannot do this on our own authority or to fulfil any selfish ambition. This authority lies with those who have faith. And what is faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). No wonder Jesus said that man shall live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
“Say to this mountain …” (v.23) follows the cursing of the fig tree by Jesus. In Matthew it follows the failure of the disciples to cast out the demon from the boy at the foot of the Mount of Transfiguration. The faith that they lacked needed to be like “a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20); in other words, alive and growing.
I know O Lord that with you nothing is impossible. Help me to act upon that knowledge for your sake. Amen.
1 Who did Jesus tell to feed the 5000?
2 How did Jesus calm the ‘mountain’ of waves?