Monday, November 17, 2014

The Difference Between Little Faith and Great Faith

Little Faith is the Faith that Fails to Reason

For instance, if someone can believe that God created the universe, then he should be also able to believe that God is in complete control of the universe and all things. However, if such a "believer" begins to lose faith in the control of God or provision of God, he is a man of little faith.

In Matthew 6:30, Jesus rebukes those people as having little faith who know that God provides for the flowers and the birds, but they fail to apply that logic consistently to their life; they fail to believe that God can also provide for them. Such faith is inconsistent, and is called "little faith".

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their little faith because they knew that Jesus was with them in the boat, and still were not able to reason, or logically conclude that no storm could harm them if their Savior was with them. They had a broken, fragmented faith that failed to bind two experiences together consistently with faith.

In Matthew 14:31, Jesus rebukes Peter for having little faith because he was walking on the water but when he saw the winds he almost seems to have forgotten, or was not able to take into consideration, that he had been actually "really" walking on water, and if he could walk on water, then what could any storm do to him.

In Matthew 16:8, Jesus rebuked the disciples because they failed to reckon their experience of seeing Jesus's miracles with the loaves and fish and began thinking of lack of bread again.

Faith is not anti-reason. When people fail to properly reason and have faith in consistency, they are people of "little" or fragmented faith.

Little Faith is equal to no faith. What is called as little faith in one Gospel is called as "no faith" in another (Mark 4:40; Matt 8:26)

Jesus said that if someone had faith like mustard seed and does not doubt then he can move mountains (Matt 17:20; 21:21)

Remember, Faith like mustard seed is NOT small faith or little faith. A mustard seed, though small is complete and consistent. It can give rise to a plant. But, if that seed is broken into pieces, it becomes inconsistent and useless.

Similarly, people who can believe God about one thing but cannot believe God for other things are having broken, fragmented, and inconsistent faith. If they can believe that God can forgive sins, but cannot believe that God can heal diseases, then they have "little faith". But, if one has faith as consistent as a complete mustard seed, then no matter how small and insignificant that faith looks to other people, that faith is enough to do great things.

Faith always has results – “Your faith has made you well” (Matt 9:22)

Great Faith is Faith that is Consistent and Does Proper Reasoning

For instance, in Matthew 8:10, the Centurion reasons:
1. I am a man of military authority and what I say my soldiers obey.
2. Jesus is a man of supernatural authority, so what He says the elements must obey.
3. Therefore, if Jesus only says a word, my servant will be healed.

He reasoned properly and was able to apply his knowledge of authority in military office to faith in the power of Jesus over sickness. That's why Jesus called His faith as "great".

Similarly, in Matthew 15:28, Jesus calls the faith of the Syro-phoenician woman as great because she had a very rational and reasonable reply to Jesus. Jesus said to her that it is not good to give the bread of children to dogs (He called her dog!). But, she immediately reasoned, "But, even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table". She only needed the crumbs, she said. That was great faith!

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