Luke 17:6

6 And the Lord said, 1"If you had faith like 2a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this 3mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

Luke 17:6 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 17:6

And the Lord said
In answer to the disciples. The Syriac version leaves out the word "Lord": and the Persic version, in the room of it reads, "Jesus":

if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed;
(See Gill on Matthew 17:20)

ye might say unto this sycamine tree;
which was near at hand; for in Galilee, where Christ now was, such trees grew, especially in lower Galilee: hence those words F21;

``from Caphar-Hananiah, and upwards, all the land which does not bear (Nymqv) , "sycamines", is upper Galilee, and from Caphar-Hananiah, and downwards, all which does bear "sycamines", is lower Galilee.''

This, by Maimonides F23, is said to be a wild fig tree; but the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions render it, the "mulberry tree": and that the sycamine and mulberry tree are the same, Beza shows from Dioscorides, Athenaeus, and Galen; though whether it is the same with the sycamore in ( Luke 19:4 ) is not certain. The first of these writers makes them to be the same; and the last asserts they are different, and so they should seem by their different names.

Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea,
and it should obey you:
for such a tree to be plucked up by the root at a word speaking, is very wonderful and miraculous, and beyond the power of nature; and much more for it to remove into the sea, and plant itself there, where trees grow not; and to believe this should be done, and such a word of command obeyed, one should think required very great faith; and yet, if it was but as a grain of mustard seed, which is very small, it might be done. The design is to show, what great things are done by faith, and what an increase of it they should have.


F21 Misna Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 2.
F23 In Misna Demai, c. 1. sect. 1. & in Bava Bathra, c. 2. sect. 11.

Luke 17:6 In-Context

4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
7 "Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'?
8 Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'?

Cross References 3

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.