Years ago as I was reading Matthew’s gospel, I noticed Jesus’ words of encouragement and admonishment about the faith of His hearers. I found this interesting and thought I would share with you.
Jesus spoke of no faith.
But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40
Jesus spoke of little faith.
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30; Luke 12:28
But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?” Matthew 16:8
And Jesus spoke of great faith.
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Matthew 8:10, Luke 7:9
Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Matthew 15:28
Most of these are excerpts from familiar passages. Let’s consider to whom Jesus was speaking each time.
When Jesus said they had NO faith – Jesus was speaking to His disciples.
When Jesus said they had LITTLE faith he was speaking to His disciples in all four illustrations.
When Jesus said they had GREAT faith they were not Jews. He was speaking to a centurion and a woman with a demon-possessed daughter. Both of these individuals took action that showed faith.
I found it interesting that His own disciples were feeble in their faith while others, He said, showed GREAT faith.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.