Matthew 8:26 – Why Did Jesus Say To His Disciples “Ye Of Little Faith”?

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In the Holy Bible, Hebrews 11:1 states that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the proof of things unseen. Your relationship with God depends on faith, since without it, you cannot possibly please him.

On the other hand, we find this poignant moment in the Gospel of Matthew 8:26, where Jesus addresses his disciples, “Ye of little faith.” The phrase has resonated throughout generations, capturing an essential component of the disciples’ journey with Jesus and providing valuable insights into the nature of faith, trust, and human doubt[1]. But what exactly does this mean for us? What does it mean to be “of little faith,” according to the Bible?

What Does “Ye Of Little Faith” Mean?

The phrase “ye of little faith” appears in the book of Matthew when a violent storm erupted on the lake where Jesus and his disciples were traveling, sending waves surging over the ship. At that time, Jesus was sound asleep. The disciples went and awoke him. “Lord, save us! We are drowning!”

Jesus heard them and responded, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Everything then became completely calm when he rebuked the winds and the seas. “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him in great calm,” they wondered in awe (Matthew 8:23–27).

Why Jesus said this and what “ye of little faith” signifies is still a mystery. He was aware of the impending storm. In other words, Jesus was testing his disciples’ knowledge of him at this particular time.

Remember that they had heard him preach and witnessed some of his miracles, but had they matured, and more importantly, had their faith grown? This circumstance demonstrated that the disciples’ faith still required development.

However, Jesus is remarkable in many ways. Note what he did after realizing their lack of faith. He took action right away to start fostering their trust. The men were astounded when Jesus stood up and rebuked the winds and the seas.

The test was given to them. He immediately started striving to strengthen their faith when they failed because he knew it was weak. While he didn’t ignore them, he put in more effort to foster their development of great faith. Jesus will treat you similarly. If you don’t pass the test, God won’t give up on you; instead, he’ll work to fortify your faith so you can do better. We worship a God like that.

In other words, despite having witnessed innumerable miracles and personally experienced his teachings, the disciples’ temporary incapacity to trust in God’s might and providence fully is reflected in this expression. By employing this phrase, Jesus emphasizes the inherent human struggle to give up control and embrace steadfast trust in the face of uncertainty and difficulty.

What Are The Men Of Little Faith?

The Sermon on the Mount is contained in Matthew 6:30. Concern over material necessities is still a topic of conversation in this passage. The King James Version of the Bible reads: Therefore, if God clothed the grass green, but is cute today, and the next day put it into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“O you of little faith” is how we translate a single Greek phrase that Jesus perceived by combining the terms for little and faith. “O you of little faith” refers to those with inadequate faith, low confidence, or weak beliefs. The first way to spot them is through their agitated concern. Despite living in a world where flowers wear regal attire and birds feast, they are frequently concerned with their needs.

The weak of faith frequently proceed in needless fear (Matthew 8:23–27). Jesus knew when to calm concerns rather than rebuke them since not all fears result from a lack of faith (Matthew 14:26–27). However, even when his disciples were aware that Jesus was with them, fear seemed to stand in their way for some reason.

In many instances, people with weak faith frequently exhibit high skepticism (Matthew 14:28–33). These instances brilliantly display Jesus’ kindness. He offers confidence, serenity, and assistance in response to his followers’ worries, anxieties, and uncertainties. It is evident that his love is intertwined with the rebuke we need to hear.

Jesus’ counsel is not meant to be negative; it comes from a loving desire to support his disciples in developing a stronger and more steadfast faith. Despite how harsh or difficult it may be, it encourages us to strengthen our relationship with God by highlighting the changing power of trust and great faith.

stormy clouds over the sea and ye of little faith

Lessons For Those With Little Faith

Even though God has promised in his Word that he will safely bring us through trials, circumstances, and even our earthly life, there are moments when we lose focus and feel like we are sinking. In these moments, we tend to focus on the storm rather than God Himself.

Furthermore, to walk comfortably with Christ, we need more than a bit of faith. Therefore, as we gather the compassion Jesus shows to individuals with little faith, let us also pay attention to the lessons he imparts, understanding that he corrects us for our comfort.

We may have little faith because of our temperament, but there is nothing that can’t be fixed with God. We are not “powerless” in this situation because of the presence of the Holy Spirit inside us. We can think, pray, ask, and remember; as time passes, we can see it growing to great faith.

How Can We Grow From A Little Faith To A Great Faith?

Jesus Christ cares about strengthening your faith because it affects every aspect of your life as it grows. It impacts your relationship with God and your ability to pray and grasp his word. Everything is affected by faith. Thus, Jesus wants it to develop.

1. Testing: “My brothers and sisters, whenever you go through various trials, consider it pure joy, knowing that testing your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must complete its task for you to be mature, whole, and deficient in nothing (James 1:2–4).”

As we read in the Book of James, the testing of our faith allows us to grow more fully as followers of Christ. In other words, God allows these trials to strengthen your faith. In reality, a religion that isn’t put to the test won’t develop; therefore, we should welcome the challenge.

2. Teaching: One of the reasons we read the Bible is that it helps build our faith. By educating ourselves on God’s nature and his involvement with the world, our faith increases. As Paul stated in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing is by the word of God.”

3. Time: Over time, one’s faith will increase, and each of us develops at a different rate. While some people will grow more quickly than others, everyone will eventually do so. Imagine it being similar to making yeast buns. They will rise, but first, you must be patient and allow the natural process to take place by letting them sit for a while. The same is true of faith.

Prayer To Strengthen Your Faith In God

Lord God, our glorious Heavenly Father,

We are poor, unhappy sinners. We understand your will, but grant us more strength to carry it out. Our flesh and blood cause our limitations; the devil is a tough opponent.

We now have access to the gospel of your Son, Christ Jesus, thanks to your Holy Spirit, Almighty, and Eternal God. Awaken our hearts so we can genuinely receive your word and not mock it or hear it in vain, as your people did in the past.

Please remind us that our most valuable possession is the gift that Christ, Immanuel, gave us. Through God’s word, fill us with your joy and your spirit’s tranquility. We are grateful that you protect us with favor like a shield and that we are secure in your custody.

Amen.
giant rocks on seashore with afternoon sunlight and ye of little faith

Conclusion 

May you see Jesus’ heart after reflecting on what “ye of little faith” means. He isn’t upset with you. He is not attempting to undermine you. Rather, he wants to strengthen your faith.

God wants you to grow tremendously in your faith. He will take whatever action is required to bring you there. He wants to see your willingness to follow him. Thus, if you work with him, your faith will increase, and he won’t ever have to say to you, “Ye of little faith.”

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