Remember “the Uncola?”

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s marketers for 7-Up came up with a scheme to distance their drink from the more popular dark carbonated beverages. They sold it as the “Uncola.” Meaning to cash in on the spirit of rebellion that characterized much of the hip culture of the day, they tried to make 7-up look like a rebel, too. By adding an “un”, they sought to describe what 7-up WAS by what it wasn’t—it was definitely NOT a cola.

Jesus often used different kinds of figurative speech to make a point or teach a lesson. Analogies, metaphors, similes. (It’s as if HE—the Master of the Universe enjoyed making teaching as interesting as possible!)  A notable example of this was when Jesus confronted His disciples’ apparent UNbelief.  The disciples watched Jesus heal a sick child that they themselves were unable to help. When they asked the Master why they were powerless to help the boy, “Jesus said unto them, Because of your UNbelief …” (Matthew 17:20a KJV)  “Because what you have is UNfaith.”

The word in the New Testament often translated as “faith” and “belief” is the Greek word “pistis” meaning “persuasion.”  Jesus had asked them elsewhere, “Where is your FAITH?” (Luke 8:25 KJV) i.e. “your persuasion?”

In essence, Jesus was saying: “You were UNABLE to help the child because you’re UNPERSUADED.”  Why was that? … because they apparently hadn’t been listening. 

So then FAITH cometh by HEARING, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17 KJV)

Jesus knew that if they heard His words and obeyed Him closely—if they KNEW Him as well as ALL His Creation knew Him—even the smallest seed—they would KNOW that He IS Who He says He is—the I AM. They would be absolutely PERSUADED by the evidence of His unlimited wisdom and power.

“… for verily I say unto you, 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.” (Matthew 17:20 KJV)

Jesus did NOT say, “If ye have faith THE SIZE of a mustard seed.” He said “AS.”  I don’t believe it was the seed’s SIZE that Jesus was referring to, but its INSIDE.

Every element of God’s creation is both aware and obedient to the will of the Master Creator. “Natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator God who is logical and has imposed order on His universe (Genesis 1:1). Everything in the universe, every plant and animal, every rock, every particle of matter or light wave, is bound by laws which it has no choice but to obey.” (Answers in Genesis)

From the farthest star in the cosmos to the tiniest subatomic quark, everything that God created—even every tiny mustard SEED—is fully PERSUADED that there is ONE GOD, that He is the Almighty and is worthy of all faith, trust, and obedience. When Jesus encouraged faith “as a mustard seed,” He was NOT promoting small faith. Rather, Jesus was suggesting a faith that is fully PERSUADED and convinced that NOTHING that God ordains is impossible! 

There is NO SEED on God’s green earth with UNfaith!

Prayer: Lord, I believe; help thou mine UNBELIEF. Forgive me for taking my eyes off You and failing to listen to Your voice. The more I recognize, remember, and recall what You have said and done, the more I know YOU—and the more I am PERSUADED. That is FAITH in Your Name! Amen.


Barbara Hilderbrand and husband, Derrald, live in Wausau, Wisconsin. They’ve served in various ministerial roles within the UPCI over the past fifty years – pastoring in Illinois, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Global Missions’ Europe/ME region. Barb also served in Ladies Ministries in Alaska and Wisconsin. They now eagerly await their next assignment and/or the NEXT stamp on their passports. She also posts devotions and articles regularly on her website:

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