before. Mark, much like Matthew in his gospel, connects this story with faith. The story ends with Jesus saying that if his disciples have enough faith, they will receive anything they ask for in prayer, including (but not limited to) mountains throwing themselves into the sea.
I really wrestle with that statement. Growing up, this passage was always used to challenge individuals to deeper faith. It might be fair to say "guilt" people into deeper faith. "Have you moved mountains," the argument would go, the obvious answer to which was no, "Then you better try harder. Your faith is weak." But seriously...in the thousands of years that have passed after Jesus said this statement, no mountains have thrown themselves into the sea. Granted, I don't see the point in praying for that to happen anyway, but are we to believe that no one has had enough faith to do it? Is Jesus basically calling all his followers faith wimps?
Maybe some of you can help me out here. I'm wondering if Jesus is hinting at an Old Testament parallel here, maybe somewhere in the prophets. After all, his whole interaction with the fig tree is an Old Testament parallel. I'm hoping that there is some reference, some connection, that if uncovered would clarify Jesus' statement. I hope so, becaue like I said, otherwise we're left with a guilt trip for not being able to move mountains, and that just doesn't seem right.