Luke 17: 5-6 A Grain of Mustard Seed

Luke 17:5-6
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
 
 
 
Verses 5 and 6 "Mustard seed" and "fig tree." East = orient (where dark people are). West = occident
(where white people are).
Oriental way of answering a question—use an indirect answer.
Bishop came here to acquaint West with the Eastern way of living. Bible is an Eastern book, speaks
about Eastern people, their ways. All parables of our lord are based on Eastern thinking, Eastern way of
life. He is sharing those wonderful customs and traditions which play a great part in the Bible.
East means all the people who live across the waters, that side of Mediterranean Sea, that side of
Suez canal, Eastern world is countries on Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea.
All religions came from Eastern world. India is the mother country of Eastern world and Western
world. Bishop does not want to say "teach" but rather "share."
If you don't understand, it is hard to believe. If you understand then your heart accepts it easily to
believe. People said to Jesus, "Increase our faith." He said "if you have faith like mustard seed...."
Verse 6: "Mustard seed," smallest of all seeds. Eastern mustard seed is about 10 times smaller than
Western mustard seed. Eastern seed grows into tree the size of a plum tree, Western grows into a shrub.
Jesus said, with faith like mustard seed, you can tell Sycamine tree....
"Sycamine" tree is same as sycamore tree. It is called wild fig tree. Western sycamore is tall and
bears no fruit. Sycamine tree in East is about size of apple tree and bears fruit 6 times a years, fruit is a
red fig which humans do not eat, there are certain despised foods in the East.
1. Barley cake—to call a man barley cake is to say he is a good for nothing man—Judges 7:13,
taught but not stated, Midians called Gideon a barley cake.
2. Asses head—a kind of root which grows in the hedges, this is eaten during the famine time.
When there is no famine, it is eaten by the pigs.
3. "Doves dung" is really green peas which they feed the doves.
4. Wild figs are despised because only pigs and cows eat them. A person is ostracized for eating
them. No respectable man wants to be seen under the wild fig tree or on it for fear people will think that
he is gathering the fruit.
Mustard seed, sycamore. The disciples were asking for increased believing. Mustard seed of the
East is brown, and much smaller than the American one. So small in fact, that if it got into your eye it
would hardly phase it. The American mustard seed grows into a bush. The Eastern seed grows into a
large tree, even though its seed is very small. You can pluck a sycamore tree by its roots. Sycamore tree
is as big as an apple tree, maybe a little bigger. Yet it has enormous roots. No man can pluck it out by
the roots. Sycamore tree's roots spread so far, wide, deep, etc. Jesus said, "You can plant it in the sea."
Sycamore roots are symbolic of problems. Problems are so deep.
"Mustard seed"—smallest seed, it grows into a tree the size of a palm tree in the East and into a
shrub in the West.
It is a wild fig tree—Sycamine tree in East grows to the size of wild fig tree. In West a fig tree with
no fruit. In East, there is fruit eaten by poor people. This fruit is food for pigs and cows and it is, a
disgrace for people to eat it.
"...faith as a grain of mustard seed...." Apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, he did not answer
if he would increase it or not. Must know the background.
Mustard seed—smallest of ALL seeds. Black and extremely small—so small it may go in your eye
and you won't feel it. Yet, it grows into a tree.
American—larger, white or yellow and grows into a bush.
Sycamine and sycamore tree are the same. This tree produces fruit and is a wild fig tree. American
sycamore tree larger and produces nothing. Fruit is very small. It is a despised fruit and people did not
like to be seen collecting the fruit.
Grain of mustard seed, sycamine tree. The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. The American
and Eastern mustard seeds are different sizes. The American seed is much bigger. The seed in India and
Palestine grows into a tree as big as a palm tree. In the U.S. it's only a small shrub. Sycamine tree and
Sycamore tree in the Bible are one and the same. It is a wild fig tree, not a mulberry bush as Western
commentators say. "If you don't know anything you'll say anything without knowing." (Bishop on
commentators).
Sycamore tree in East about size of our apple tree with several branches to it. This tree is plentiful in
Eastern countries. It grows wild—is not cultivated. Can't build nest in tree in West.
The cultivated figs are bigger and has more juice in it. The wild figs are very small and red in color.
They are edible, but not as juicy as cultivated figs. It is under the cultivated fig trees that the woman
would take their children when they had to work and had no one to keep their child for them. For two
reasons: (1.) for shadow; and (2.) they are taught if the children grow up under the fig tree, they'll prosper
because this tree is a symbol of prosperity. If you would say to any man, "I knew you since you were a
child," you'd say, ''I saw you under the fig tree." This is the cultivated fig tree—not the wild fig tree we're
discussing here. The figs are very much despised in the Eastern world. That is the wild figs are despised
because they are eaten by the cows and pigs. Because they are eaten by these animals, the people are
afraid to eat them for fear of being ostracized by their society. Even if a man is hungry he would dare not
to go and eat of the tree. Even if he went there for any other purpose, they would conclude he was
starving to death.
The people conclude that this man lowers himself lower than the pigs when he eats of the fruit.
There are several things despised in the East.: Barley cakes are despised because only cows eat them.
Anything the animals eat and the people would eat they despise. To call a man barley cake is to disgrace
him—insulting. The Midianites used to call Gideon a barley cake (Judges 7:13). The barley cake
defeated the proud Midianites. God hath chosen the foolish and base things of the world to confound the
wise. God chooses nobodies and makes them somebodies by the power of God and then puts them on top
of the world to speak to them.
Revival will never come through the "organized religious churches," nor the world council or any
other council of man. "It'll come through God's man as he says, 'thus saith the Lord.'" Then God only
will get the glory. Man has many degrees and dies by degrees also. It takes Christ in you—not degrees.
Degrees are incidental, not fundamental.
The famine was so acute in Samaria that they sold asses heads for so much—and so was dove's
dung. So human beings would eat under ordinary circumstances. Asses head—a kind of a root grows in
hedges. Is not asses head at all; no more so than our hot dog is a dog.
Dove's dung—a type of pea or bean. The doves are fed with these beans. (Goes back to the
sycamore tree—wild one.)
Mustard seed in America—large and white. Mustard seed in India—small and brown, four times
smaller. Smallest of all seeds in the world. So small won't sting if in eye. If you have so much faith, said
Jesus. Sycamine tree—wild fig tree, not planted. About size of an apple tree; fruit edible. (Sycamore in
America—huge but produced nothing—like Christians. Roots not widespread. Eastern Sycamine—
although small, innumerable roots, so many can't pluck without leaving some behind, roots represent
problem. It's like no other tree. Thick and thin, deep and widely spread. Never able to pluck out without
leaving some behind. Jesus Christ said if you had faith (believing) so small as mustard seed, you could
pick up Sycamine tree and all its roots, and plant in the sea. Therefore, two impossibilities made possible
by one act of faith (believing), the size of a mustard seed.
Mustard seed in India—so small grows into a tree; like palm tree.
Mustard seed in America—larger seed grows into a shrub.
Lesson learned, spiritual application—No matter how many or of what type your problems are
(problems = the roots) that you face, but if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, you can command that
the problems be plucked up—be solved, gone, plunged into the sea. Believe it shall be so. We have
Christ in us, the hope of glory, the seed of God, all power of God in us; He that is in you is greater than
all your problems. Command problems in the name of Jesus Christ to be gone and believe that it will be
so.
Mustard seed. Sycamine tree. Apostles asked for more faith. Jesus did not respond about the
"faith," he only mentions mustard seed and sycamore tree. A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. (It
is different from the Western mustard seed.) It is black and very small. So small, if put in the eye there
would be no strain as a result of its' presence. Yet, it does grow into a tree. Our mustard seed is larger,
yet it does not grow into a tree, only a shrub. Sycamine tree—sycamore tree are the same. This is like an
American pear tree. The sycamore tree in the East produce fruits; it is a wild fig tree. The figs are very
small. Nobody in the East enjoys being seen picking this fruit.
The fruit is very much despised. Amos 7:12. The preacher is told to go back to Judah to preach.
His reply in verse 14 is that he is not a prophet; he is a collector of sycamore fruit. This is the menial of
menial tasks, like feeding the swine, a man can never be accepted back into society again. (Prodigal son.)
Collecting the sycamore fruit is the worst thing to do; this is why people are afraid to be seen under the
tree. Others might misunderstand that the person is collecting wild figs and the people will run him
down. (Also, to be seen on the top of sycamore tree is a humiliating experience.)
Zacchaeus was a short man and he got in the sycamore tree. Luke 19:1-10. It is a struggle to get up
through the branches, it is not a very tall tree, so vision is not real great. Why didn't he go upon a
housetop or on top of a camel? Why sycamore tree for Zacchaeus? Because he was a sinner, although he
was a rich man and had money. When he saw Jesus passing by, if he wanted to see Jesus he could have
gone to a housetop. He knew this. He wanted to humble himself. In order to manifest humility, in the
East, they always get in the sycamore tree. People think negatives only...for instance: "He must have
gone bankrupt overnight; he was all right last week, but he must have lost all of his money, because he
has gone there to collect fruit. They will ostracize him after that. Zacchaeus knew that.
The Easterners have a different way of calling than the Westerners. You need to see the gesture.
Jesus knew of the humility involved in this sycamore tree. He said, "Zacchaeus, make haste and
come down." Why did Jesus call only one man? There was only one man who emptied himself of all
pride, social status, standing and fear of the neighbors. We are not afraid of Christ who died for us, but
we are afraid of the other man and what he will think of us! Zacchaeus was a better man. He that
humbleth himself shall be exalted. The other people there were only onlookers like the church members
in the Western world. They were not preparing their hearts to let Jesus come in.
Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus' home, Jesus is willing to do the same for us! We don't make
room for Christ. To busy for Jesus Christ. We must have a place for him. If anything hinders you, get
rid of it.
What "plucked up" means is that the sycamore tree has extensive roots although it has a small
stature. One cannot pluck it up without leaving any roots behind; because there are so many roots spread
 
far, wide and deep. The believing you have, although as small as a grain of mustard seed, you can pluck
up a sycamore tree by roots and plant it in the sea—both impossible. You need no bigger believing than
that and you should get results. (The roots stand for all the problems.) The more we dwell on these, the
lower we go. Cast our burden upon the Lord. If we want to pluck these roots out, we must have the
believing to do so.
 
 
 
 
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