“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)
Oh You Of Little Faith
Four times in the gospel of Matthew Jesus says, “Oh you of little faith.” The occasions of these four times teach valuable lessons of trust, power, faith and spiritual understanding.
One: Matthew 6:30. In the sermon on the mount Jesus outlines the preamble to being a disciple of Christ. He exhorts His followers to know that God will take care of them. “Take no thought for your life” is the theme of His message in Matthew 6:25-34 that as God takes care of the fowls of the air or the lilies of the field, so He will take care of us. If God will take such good care of fowls and flowers, will He not take better care of us? Do not allow the worries of this life to overwhelm you. Trust in God that He will provide.
Two: The disciples are with Jesus in a boat when a great storm arose on the sea. The twelve thought they were going to die and pleaded with Jesus to save them. Seeing the power of Jesus in miracles, why would these men fear the perils of nature when the Son of God is with them? “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). There are storms that come in our lives that cause us to fear. If Jesus Christ is our Savior why should we fear? Through the power of His Father and the Holy Spirit we can overcome all storms. God will take care of us.
Three: After feeding the 5,000 the disciples again enter a ship to cross over to the other side. Jesus comes walking to them on the water and Peter implores the Lord to let him walk to Him on the water. Simon shows great courage to step out of the boat but when he sees the waves and winds he becomes afraid. Beginning to sink he cries out to the Lord to save him. “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). Peter began with great courage but lacked the faith to keep his eyes on Jesus. We have great faith but sometimes the trials of life take our eyes off of Jesus and we begin to sink. Turn your eyes of faith back to Jesus and trust that with His help you can walk on water.
Four: Matthew 15:32-39 records the feeding of the 4,000 and Jesus coming to the coast of Magdala. His disciples follow but forget to bring bread. Jesus warns his disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (who had previously tempted Jesus to show them a sign) and the disciples thought He was mad at them for not bringing any bread. “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). He wanted the disciples to beware of the “doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:12). Sometimes we do not see passages clearly because we are thinking of carnal things instead of spiritual lessons. Pray to the Father to grant spiritual understanding to desire the true manna and see the deeper meaning of scripture.
Faith is a process that should grow every day. May we pray, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Faith means being grasped by a power that is greater than we are, a power that shakes us and turns us, and transforms and heals us. Surrender to this power is faith. (Paul Tillich, The New Being, 1955)