Recently 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.
May we be women of GREAT faith.
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, Women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.