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.
Another possible explanation is that Christ was pointing to the necessity of faith as a prerequisite to any achievement. There are mountains—many in Appalachia, for example—that have literally been stripped away in order to extract the coal and other minerals contained therein. What does it take to remove so many tons of rock and soil? Naturally, one requirement is that the right people share a belief that a commercial quantity of coal is hidden beneath the mountain’s surface. Without such conviction, there would be no action.
In this case, the definition of faith isn’t strictly contained to a religious or spiritual realm. Furthermore, it implies that we all have faith, whether in God, science, or some other ideology. In fact, all our actions—no matter how innocuous—are based upon some logical rationale that eventually leads to a leap of faith. After all, wouldn’t we live our lives differently if we didn’t believe the sun would rise tomorrow morning?
The final interpretation of the scripture is that the term, “grain of mustard seed” doesn’t disparage an embryonic particle of faith, at all. Rather, it describes a powerful ideal, one that compares our beliefs against the massive unknown that surrounds us and encourages us to seek true learning. In other words, Christ may have been saying that, although faith serves as an important guide, it shouldn’t be anything more than a heuristic “rule of thumb.” It shouldn’t, for example, be our standard of truth. Faith, in fact, can evolve (or grow like a plant) as truth becomes known.