One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49


Mustard Seed Faith
Matithyah (Matthew) 17:20
 And He says to them, “Because of your little faith; amein, for I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’; and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.”

A mustard seed is very small.  What is rather shocking, is that what Yeshua is teaching His talmidim, is that they were not able to cast the demon out of the child because of their little faith.  Now the size of a mustard seed is so very small that if dropped it would be difficult to find, if not impossible to find it again.  Yeshua tells them that they did not even have that much faith.

If that is all the faith that it takes to move a mountain, then why is it that more people do not have this much faith?  Perhaps it is because our understanding of faith is not where it should be.  YHWH willing, with this study, we will be able to move our understanding to a more Scriptural perspective.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:31-32
31 Another parable He set before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds; but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

Yeshua even tells us that the mustard seed is smaller than all other seeds.  While there are other truths in this passage that we will deal with later in this study, for now there is one truth that is essential to know and understand if one is going to walk in victory with Yeshua.

Yochanan (John) 12:24 
“Amein, amein, I say to you, except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

It is absolutely critical that each person understand this truth.  Before any seed can grow, it must die.  If it does not die, it cannot grow.  This is truly one of the paradoxes that Elohim placed in our world when He created it.

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, as Elohim has allotted to each man a measure of faith.

According to YHWH’s plan for each person and what His will is as to where each person fits in the body of Mashiach, He has given to each a measure of faith.  Now from what we have seen already in this study this consists of something that is similar to the size of and like a mustard seed.  But when YHWH gives this faith to us it is dead in much the same way a seed is dead. 

And what is one supposed to do with a seed?  He is supposed to plant it.  And if a man takes proper care of this seed, planting it in good soil, watering it, pulling out any and all weeds, then it will grow into a great and healthy tree.  (see the parable in Matithyah 13:31-32 above)

The truth is that as long as one just simply hangs onto what was given him and does not properly use it as it was designed to be used, then it ultimately will be of no use to him and actually be a part of one’s demise.  We see this clearly illustrated in the parable of the talents.

Matithyah (Matthew) 25:14-17
14 “For it is just like a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his ability; and he went on his journey.
16 Immediately he that received the five talents went and traded with them, and made other five talents.
17 In like manner he also that received the two gained other two.”

Please note that these first two servants, the one who had received five talents and the one who had received two talents both immediately set to work to increase that which had been entrusted to them.  They did exactly what they were supposed to do with what they had been given.  However, notice what the third servant who only received one talent did with his.

Matithyah (Matthew) 25:18 
“But he that received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his master's money.”

When it comes to money, digging a hole in the ground and hiding it is not what money is designed for.  Furthermore, doing this with money does no one any good.  Giving it away to the poor would have accomplished more than hiding it in the ground.

Now, please note how the master of these servants reacts to each one when he returns.

Matithyah (Matthew) 25:19-23
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants comes, and makes a reckoning with them.
20 And he that received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; behold, I have gained another five talents.’
21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
22 And he also that received the two talents came and said, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; behold, I have gained another two talents.’
23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ ”

As we can see from this description from Yeshua, when a person uses what he has been given in the proper manner and in a manner that is pleasing to his Master, then his Master will bless him for it.

However, now look at the contrast between those two servants who did right in the eyes of their master as compared to this next servant who did not do right in the eyes of his master.  Furthermore, this servant even confesses that he knew what he was doing would not be pleasing to his master.

Matithyah (Matthew) 25:24-30
24 “And he also that had received the one talent came and said, ‘Master, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter;
25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth; behold, you have your own.’
26 But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter;
27 you ought therefore to have put my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to him that has the ten talents.’
29 For to everyone that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that has not, even that which he has shall be taken away.
30 And cast out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”

This particular servant did not do with the talent what he should have done with it.  Rather than take a chance and do his very best to increase it, he simply hid it away.  Likewise, YHWH has given to each one of us a seed of faith.  What He wants each one of us to do is to plant that seed in good soil.  He wants us to grow that seed of faith into a large healthy plant that will be a blessing to all those around us.  In another parable Yeshua teaches us about this principle.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:3-9
3 And He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went forth to sow;
4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the birds came and devoured them;
5 and others fell upon the rocky places, where they had not much earth; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth,
6 and when the sun was risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And others fell upon the thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked them;
8 and others fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He that has ears, let him hear.”

Please note there are four types of soil. 

1.  The hard packed soil of the path
2.  Rocky soil
3.  Soil full of thorns
4.  Good soil

The type of soil that one’s heart consists of is completely dependent upon the choices that he makes.  When Yeshua first gave this parable His talmidim did not understand it nor did they understand why it was that He taught the people in parables, and they asked Him for an explanation.  But before Yeshua gives them an explanation of the parable He reminds them of a passage from the prophet Yeshayah in answering why He taught in parables. 

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:11-15
11 And He answered and said to them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And to them is fulfilled the prophecy of Yeshayah, which says,
By hearing you shall hear, and shall in no wise understand;
And seeing you shall see, and shall in no wise perceive;
15        For this people's heart is grown dull,
And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed;
Lest they should perceive with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them.”

The key to understanding what Yeshua did and why He taught in parables is underlined.  Please note that these people made a choice to close their eyes and not to see and understand.  Because people make this choice, Yeshua spoke in parables. 

What the teaching in parables does in effect then is to make one have to be dependent upon His Spirit to understand certain things, and without His Spirit he is nearly guaranteed to misunderstand certain things.  In fact, this is true not just of the parables that we find in Scripture, but all of Scripture.  We will see how this plays out shortly.

Let us recall from earlier the passage from Romans 12:3, which says in part:

… as Elohim has allotted to each man a measure of faith.

From the parable of the talents we saw that not each man received the same, but rather:

“… to each according to his ability …”

From this we know that some will receive more seeds than others, as it is according to one’s ability and according to His will.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 12:11 
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, dividing to each one individually even as He wills.

So regardless of what we have received from His hand, we should do our very best to use it to bring glory and honor to our heavenly Father.  We must guard against bringing glory and honor to ourselves with the gifts that YHWH has blessed us with.  His gifts are to bring glory to Him and edification of His body.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 7:17 
Only, as YHWH has distributed to each man, as Elohim has called each, so let him walk.  And so I ordain in all the assemblies.

The master of the servant who received five talents expected more from that servant than he did his other two servants.  This is the very reason why the master gave this particular servant five talents.  He gave each of his servants according to the ability with which the servant was able to do. 

Likewise, YHWH gives to each one of us according to our ability.  Therefore, He expects each one of us to walk in the fullness of that which He has given to us, whether that is one, two, five, or however many gifts.  We are to walk in them all and in the fullness of them.  He also expects us to increase that which He has given us.  Now we need to understand that as we walk in that which YHWH has given to us and we increase it through our own diligence, YHWH also will give us more as well.

“… take away the talent from him, and give it to him that has the ten talents.”

If we increase what YHWH gives to us, He also will increase it as well.

The body must function properly.  In order for this to happen the body must be properly and fully equipped.  So if one part of the body does not do its duty according to YHWH’s will, then there is a problem.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 12:26
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Please note that in the body, if one suffers all suffer with it.  So if one member does not do right, as did the servant who was given one talent fails to fulfill his call as YHWH has given to him, then the whole body suffers as a result.  At some point, YHWH will come to that man (or woman) and sit in judgment of him and not only take away his talent (gift, faith, etc.) and give it to another who is already in the body, but He will then cast him out of His kingdom.  (Let us remember that judgment begins with the house of Elohim.)

“… cast out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness;”

This is a lamentable event, but entirely necessary in order to purify the body and protect it from unwanted disease and dysfunction.  Mashiach’s body, like our own, is in many ways self-healing when it is functioning properly.  However, there are times when it cannot heal itself and outside power and authority must be exercised.  While YHWH is patient, not willing that any man should perish, He also knows when enough is enough.  When one who refuses to do right reaches this point, destruction is almost always swift and complete.  And when that person happens to be in a leadership position, YHWH knows that this places a greater portion of Mashiach’s body at risk.  Therefore, obviously for all concerned it is always much better when the one who is not doing according to His will repents and does His will.  However, there are times when YHWH must perform radical surgery on the body of Mashiach.

We see this very thing in the life of Ananias along with his wife Sapphira.  These two wanting to bring glory and honor to themselves, conceived a plan to do this.  Or so they thought.

Ma’aseh (Acts) 5:1-5 
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Kepha said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 While it remained, did it not remain your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your power?  How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart?  You have not lied to men, but to Elohim.”
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the spirit; and great fear came upon all that heard it.

This piece of property that belonged to Ananias was his to do with as he saw fit.  He could easily have sold it and given a portion to the apostles and just been honest about it and it would have been acceptable to all, especially YHWH.  However, he wanted to look more “holy” than he actually was and so he wanted to have the appearance of giving the whole amount while actually secretly keeping a portion for himself and his wife.

Ma’aseh (Acts) 5:7-10
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in.
8 And Kepha answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.”  And she said, “Yes, for so much.”
9 But Kepha said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to try the Spirit of YHWH?  Behold, the feet of them that have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out.”
10 And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband.

Healing is always the first choice of YHWH as well as those in the body of Mashiach who are filled with His Spirit.  But as we saw in the parable of the talents, one of the master’s servants failed to carry out his assigned task.  The result was not just forfeiture of his talent, but also his life as the master commanded him to be removed and cast out into outer darkness.  This man went from having little faith to no faith at all.

All too often removal from the body of Mashiach is exercised as a first option by some, rather than it being the last resort choice as it should be.  Part of this difficulty perhaps lies in the lack of perception by some in not seeing that not everyone has the same position or function in the body, nor the same amount of faith.  Not all gifts in the body require the same amount of faith to accomplish them.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 12:25 
that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

The muscle in my arm is much stronger than the muscle in my finger.  However, without the muscles in my fingers, the muscle in my arm would not be as readily usable.  So even though there are parts (individuals) in the body of Mashiach who do not have as much faith as other parts, those parts are no less important than those who do have great faith.  All of these parts need to work together to function properly, to accomplish His will.

There are three basic types of faith spoken of in Scripture.  Each one of these types of faith corresponds to one of the servants in the parable of the talents as to how much he received from His master.  Likewise, we too receive from our Master Yeshua according to His will and our own abilities.  Those who have little faith are like unto the servant who received only one talent.  Those who have “such” faith are like unto the servant who received two talents.  Then there are those who have great faith who are like unto the servant who received five talents.

Those who have little faith are the largest group or type.  It does not take a lot of faith to move mountains.  It only takes as much faith as a mustard seed.  However, as we discussed above, when we receive that mustard seed faith it is completely dead and of no use.  The problem is that most people simply hang onto this mustard seed and do not ever plant it in good soil and thus it remains alone.

Matithyah (Matthew) 6:30 
“But if Elohim does so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, you of little faith?”

Those of little faith worry about what to wear, where their next meal is coming from, and other such things.  There is absolutely no need to worry ourselves about these things.  YHWH has promised us that if we do His will, then He will provide what we need.

The group or type of people who have “such” faith contains fewer in number than the previous group.  They have planted their mustard seed and it has grown substantially.  It is not yet fully grown, but it is growing and healthy.

Matithyah (Matthew) 8:5-10 
5 And when He had entered into Capernaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him,
6 and saying, “Adoni, my servant lies in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.”
7 And He says to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 And the centurion answered and said, “Adoni, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers; and I say to this one, ‘Go’, and he goes; and to another, ‘Come’, and he come; and to my servant, ‘Do this’, and he does it.”
10 And when Yeshua heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, “Amein, I say to you, I have not found such faith, no, not in Israel.”

This type of faith seems to be focused upon knowing without any doubts who Yeshua is and the authority that has been given to Him.  In this case it was a Roman centurion.  This man knew that Yeshua was a man of authority like himself.  If Yeshua would just simply give the word, then it would be done.  It is interesting to note that in Scripture this is the only man ever recorded with this type of faith.  Luke 7 also records this same incident.

Then finally, there are those who have great faith.  Like those who have such faith, this group also is a small group.

Matithyah (Matthew) 15:22-28
22 And behold, a Cana’ani woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, “Have mercy on me, Adoni, You son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon.”
23 But He answered her not a word.  And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshipped him, saying, “Adoni, help me.”
26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs.”
27 But she said, “Yes, Adoni; for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.”
28 Then Yeshua answered and said to her, “Behold, woman, great is your faith; be it done to you even as you will.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour.

It is interesting to note that in both of these cases of great faith, they were from outside the covenant of Israel and came in and were grafted in because of the faith that they had in Mashiach Yeshua.  They each knew who He was!

One who has more faith than another should be careful not to disparage those of less faith than he has.  What we need to do is to encourage and lift up those who are weaker so that they may grow in faith and knowledge of Yeshua and increase their own faith.  This is part of the proper function of the body of Mashiach Yeshua.

1st Thessalonians 3:10 
night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face, and may perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Most likely without exception, all of us have things that are lacking in our faith.  Shaul prayed for the talmidim in Tessaloniqa that what was lacking in their faith would be supplied and that their faith would be perfected.  Sounds like a pretty good prayer to me.  Perhaps more of us should pray this for one another.  Let us ask our heavenly Father to lavish faith upon our brothers and sisters rather than asking only in a selfish manner for ourselves.

Ya’aqov echoes this same idea, only he tells us the main way in which one’s faith comes to perfection.

Ya’aqov (James) 2:22 
You see that faith was working with his works, and by works was faith made perfect;

The truth of the matter is that if one’s life does not back up what he says, then what he says is of no account.  There is an old proverb that goes something like:  I can’t hear what you are saying because what you are doing is so loud.

It is at this very point of doing that faith is either its weakest or strongest.  It is at this very point that faith either grows or dies.  One thing that faith is not: it is not stagnant, nor can it be.  If one’s faith is not growing, then by default it is dying.

This brings us back to this parable, which we looked at briefly in this study.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:31-32
31 Another parable He set before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds; but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

This parable is one of a group known as Kingdom Parables.  It is a parable about the kingdom of heaven.  In this particular parable Yeshua is likening His kingdom to a grain of mustard seed.  In another verse Yeshua teaches us that this same mustard seed is used to teach us about faith and how the two are similar.  So, if the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, and if faith is like a mustard seed, then what does this tell us about how the kingdom of heaven and faith are interrelated?  They are very closely related and much alike.  Please consider this passage.

Luqa (Luke) 12:31 
“Yet you seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.”

We saw above that when the seed of mustard is properly planted in good soil it will grow.  As it grows it becomes something like the kingdom of heaven.  In this same way the kingdom of heaven was planted in each one of us.  It is through and by the use of faith that this thing called the “kingdom of heaven” grows and becomes to us a tree.  If this is done properly, this plant will become so large that it will be the all-consuming thing in one’s life.  This is as it should be.  This is what we should desire to have happen. 

By faith, that which YHWH has given to us in the form of a dead seed becomes a full grown tree yielding more seed, so that others come to us to be fed and to receive that seed in them.  This is the picture and meaning of the birds coming to nest in its branches. 

When we come to Mashiach Yeshua each man is given according to his ability and according to His will a measure of faith.  Then each man must do with that faith that which is pleasing to our heavenly Father; he must increase it.  As this faith increases in one’s life, the self-life of that person decreases.

Yochanan (John) 3:30 
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Each person is given this mustard seed of faith.  However, not every person treats this mustard seed of faith as he should treat it.  Those who plant it in good soil reap a good harvest.  However, there are many who do not even have good soil to plant the seed in.  There are others still who don’t even plant the mustard seed of faith, but simply hang onto it as something to collect.  From time to time some even get it out and brush the dust off of it and look at it and admire it, but ultimately put it back into their hiding place.

If we truly desire to see our faith grow, yea, to see His kingdom grow in us, then we must plant the mustard seed of faith.  Then we must exercise it as it grows in order for it to be a strong and healthy plant. 

May YHWH open our eyes to His truth that we may walk in the fullness thereof; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach.  

Amein and Amein.

Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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