Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.”
I’ve never seen anyone toss a mountain into the sea, and I’ve certainly never done it myself. Indeed, there’s no record in the Gospels of Jesus doing it either. Mountain-tossing, at a strictly literal level, still awaits its first successful attempt.
It’s an unusual and unexpected example from Jesus. In typical fashion, He turns His surroundings into an object lesson designed to stun His listeners. We’d have remembered this line, too, if we had heard Jesus say it.
A mountain? And all I have to do is believe it’s going to happen? We can imagine a delusional person believing it. Or someone with a severely over-sized ego. But the average person? Yet, Jesus was talking to His disciples; everyday people.
A mountain? Sounds extreme. But is it any more extreme than raising a staff and believing that the Red Sea will open (Exodus 14:16)? Any more extreme than stepping into the Jordan River and believing that the waters will roll back so the people can walk through (Joshua 3:14-16)? Any more extreme than walking around a city, blasting trumpets, believing that God would take the city for you (Joshua 6:8-9)? Any more extreme than taking five loaves and two fish and believing it will feed 5000 people (Mark 6:41)?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that I have seen mountains moved by faith. I have seen strongholds broken in people’s lives when they believe. I have seen citadels of Satan crumble in the face of the Gospel. I have seen mountains of despair cast into the sea; mountains of selfishness demolished; mountains of fear reduced to nothing. I’ve seen mountains in my own life moved from center-stage. I’ve watched the circumstances of my life and the topography of my heart changed by the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps this Monday morning — two weeks from Easter — you’ve started the day with a mountain looming large before you. Some mountains dominate our horizon for a long time. Other mountains pop up unexpectedly. They don’t move just because we tell them to, but because we trust the One who moves them; Christ.
Look to Him with fresh faith, true trust, this morning. He raises the valleys and flattens the mountains to “make a smooth highway in the desert” (Isaiah 40:3).