Little Faith

“You of little faith”

Matthew records four occasions when Jesus made this statement to His disciples: 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, and 16:8. In the latter three references it is because they had not joined the dots concerning what Jesus had said and done with regard to their circumstances. His first recorded statement in 6:30 is part of the Sermon on the Mount.

It may be easy for us to join the mockers of the disciples for their little faith – but this would be a great error. We consistently reveal that we are little different. It has been said that we can either worry, or stand in faith in Christ. That is the main subject of Matthew 6:25-34. Any time we worry about our circumstances it is because we are not trusting Jesus Christ in that circumstance. In the storms of life we are likely to worry or panic just like the disciples, and we need Jesus’ rebuke.

It is easy to say we have faith in Jesus when all seems well; but when the storms of life come, what then? In Matthew 8:23-27 we have the record of the disciples and Jesus in a severe storm that threatened to drown them all. The disciples panicked in worry. Jesus slept. The disciples would learn that Jesus had power over all creation including the storm. In the storms of life Jesus is always at hand with more than adequate power to save.

Later they were in a storm again, but without Jesus in the boat (14:22-32). Jesus came to them walking on the water and Peter asked Him to command him to also walk on the water. He did so until his eyes were distracted by the storm; he panicked and started to sink. Even then, Jesus was there to save him. We may mock Peter; but remember, he was the only disciple to have faith to get out of the boat. He may have had only a little faith, but it was sufficient to walk on water because Jesus was the object of his faith.

Not long after Jesus had fed the five thousand men plus women and children with a boy’s lunch, the disciples were concerned about the absence of bread. They had misunderstood what Jesus had said (Matthew 16:5-12). In spite of what they had seen, they worried.

The matter for us is not the amount of faith. Even a little faith may command a mountain to move (Matthew 17:20) or permit one to walk on water. What matters is the object of the faith. Knowing Jesus personally and intimately will increase our faith in Him. Faith comes from knowing Jesus and God’s word (Romans 10:17).

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