Matthew 17:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

New Living Translation
"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."

English Standard Version
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

New American Standard Bible
And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have 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.

King James Bible
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Because of your little faith," He told them. "For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

International Standard Version
He told them, "Because of your lack of faith. I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

NET Bible
He told them, "It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yeshua said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for amen, I say to you, that if you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you may say to this mountain, 'Move from here', and it will move, and nothing will be difficult for you”.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He told them, "Because you have so little faith. I can guarantee this truth: If your faith is the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."?of demon[ goes away only by prayer and fasting.">]

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unfaithfulness; for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

King James 2000 Bible
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

American King James Version
And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

American Standard Version
And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Darby Bible Translation
And he says to them, Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard [seed], ye shall say to this mountain, Be transported hence there, and it shall transport itself; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

English Revised Version
And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say to you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Weymouth New Testament
"Because your faith is so small," He replied; "for I solemnly declare to you that if you have faith like a mustard-seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Remove from this place to that,' and it will remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

World English Bible
He said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus said to them, 'Through your want of faith; for verily I say to you, if ye may have faith as a grain of mustard, ye shall say to this mount, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:14-21 The case of afflicted children should be presented to God by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam from the fall!

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Because of your unbelief. The Revised Version adopts the reading, little faith, in accordance with the best authorities; but it looks like a softening of the original term "unbelief," which corresponds better with Christ's own censure, "faithless generation." Jesus gives two reasons for the apostles' failure, one connected with their own moral condition, and one (ver. 21) derived from the nature of the demons exorcised. They had, indeed, shown some faith by making even the attempt at the expulsion of the devil, and were not to be classed with the unbelieving scribes; but they had acted in a half-hearted manner, and had not displayed that perfect confidence and trust which alone can win success and make all things possible. Verily I say unto you. The Lord proceeds to give that lesson concerning perfect faith and its results, which he afterwards repeated in connection with the withered fig tree (Matthew 21:21, where see note) and elsewhere (Luke 17:6). If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, which, as he says (Matthew 13:32), "is less than all seeds." He means a faith real and trustful, though it be small and weak. The phrase is proverbial, expressive of littleness and insignificance. The mustard seed is quite little, but, grown in favourable soil and under sunny skies, it becomes, as it were, a tree among herbs, so that birds may nestle in its branches. To it faith is compared, because, small at first, it contains within itself power of large development and increase; from minute grains copious results are produced. Ye shall say unto this mountain. He points to the hill of Hermon, where the Transfiguration had taken place. Remove hence. It is usual to consider the expression here as an Eastern hyperbole, not to be taken literally, but meaning merely that the greatest difficulties may be overcome by faith. This may be true, but it seems hardly adequate to the explanation of our Lord's emphatic words. St. Paul writes in a similar strain (1 Corinthians 13:2), "If I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains;" where there is nothing necessarily hyperbolical in the supposition. It seems rather that Jesus meant his words to be received literally, implying that if such a removal as he mentioned was ever expedient and in accordance with God's will, it would be effected by the power of faith; not that he hereby sanctioned an arbitrary and wanton display of miraculous power, but he gives an assurance that, were such a measure rendered necessary for the cause of religion, it would be performable at the call of one whose whole trust was centred on God, and whose will was one with God's will. Mediaeval writers, followed by later Roman Catholic commentators, give instances of such stupendous effects of faith. The evidence of such miracles is, of course, defective, and would not satisfy modern criticism, but the existence of such legends proves that a literal view was taken of our Lord's saying. Nothing shall be impossible unto you. The man of faith is practically omnipotent; moral and material difficulties vanish before him.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief,.... The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "because of your little faith", or "the smallness of your faith"; and so does one Greek manuscript; and which is what is doubtless meant by their unbelief; for they were not altogether destitute of faith, but their faith was very low, and their unbelief very great. Christ says, not because of the unbelief of the parent of the child, and those that were with him, though that also was a reason; but because of their unbelief, being willing to convince them of their unbelief, as he had done the father of the child, who had confessed it, and desired it might be removed from him: but lest they should think they had lost their power of doing miracles, Christ adds;

for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed; which was a very small seed, the least of all seeds, and is used very often proverbially by the Jews, to signify anything of a small quantity or weight (b), and is sometimes used of faith, as here; so speaking of the congregation of Edom, meaning the Christians, they (c) say,

"they have not , "faith as a grain of mustard seed".''

And it is used in like sense in other eastern nations; and by Mahomet in his Alcoran (d), who says,

"We will appoint just balances in the day of resurrection, neither shall any soul be injured at all, although the merit or guilt of an action be of the weight of "a grain of mustard seed".''

So that it has no reference to the quality of mustard seed, being hot and acrimonious; which has led some interpreters wrong, to compare faith unto it, for its liveliness and fervency: when our Lord only means, that if his apostles had ever so small a degree of faith in exercise, which might be compared for its smallness to this least of seeds, such an effect as he after mentions would follow; and which therefore is to be understood, not of an historical faith, by which men assent to all that is in the Bible as true; nor of a special, spiritual faith, by which souls believe in Christ, as their Saviour and Redeemer; for of neither of these can the following things in common be said; but of a faith of miracles, peculiar to certain persons in those early times, for certain reasons; which such as had but ever so small a degree of, as the apostles here spoken to might say, as Christ observes to them,

ye shall say to this mountain; pointing perhaps to that he was just come down from, which might be in sight of the house where he was,

remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove: meaning, not that it would be ordinarily or ever done in a literal sense by the apostles, that they should remove mountains; but that they should be able to do things equally difficult, and as seemingly impossible, if they had but faith, when the glory of God, and the good of men, required it. So that it does not follow, because the apostles did not do it in a literal sense, therefore they could not, as the Jew insultingly says (e); since it was meant that they should, and besides, have done, things equally as great as this, and which is the sense of the words. So the apostle expresses the faith of miracles, by "removing mountains", 1 Corinthians 13:2 i.e. by doing things which are difficult, seem impossible to be done: wherefore Christ adds,

and nothing shall be impossible to you; you shall not only be able to perform such a wonderful action as this, were it necessary, but any, and everything else, that will make for the glory of God, the enlargement of my kingdom and interest, the confirmation of truth, and the good of mankind.

(b) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 3l. 1. Megilla, fol. 28. 2. Nidda, fol. 66. 1. Maimon. lssure Biah, c. 11. sect. 4. Maacolot Asurot, c. 2. sect. 21. &c. 14. sect. 8. Tumaot Okelim, c. 4. sect. 2. & 7. 6. (c) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 148. (d) C. 21. p. 268. & c. 31. p. 336. Ed. Sale. (e) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 237.



Matthew 17:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" 20And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have 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. 21"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Cross References
Matthew 8:26
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 13:31
He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

Matthew 17:9
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Matthew 17:19
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

Matthew 21:21
Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, 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.

Mark 9:23
"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."

Mark 11:22
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered.

Mark 11:23
"Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

Luke 17:6
He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.

John 11:40
Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

1 Corinthians 13:2
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Treasury of Scripture

And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Because.

Matthew 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, …

Matthew 14:30,31 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning …

Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

If.

Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have …

Mark 11:23 For truly I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, …

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you …

1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing …

1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, …

faith. That is, as Bp. Pearce well remarks, a thriving and increasing faith, like a grain of mustard seed, which, from being the least of seeds, becomes the greatest of all herbs.

a grain.

Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven …

Mark 4:31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the …

nothing.

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to …

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

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