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Jesus said; O men of little faith

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posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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“Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught [Peter], saying to him ‘O man of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew ch14 v31

There are many references in the Gospels to the importance of Faith.
That is, trust in Jesus as the one sent by God.

We know that the woman who anointed his feet was saved by her faith, because Jesus told her so.
He defined his disciples as “the little ones who believe in me”.

Having little faith (OLIGOPISTOS) is an advance on having no faith at all, which is why Jesus tends to apply the word to existing disciples.
It means someone who does indeed have faith, but not as much as he needs.

It may mean doubt about God’s ability to provide for us.
Jesus used the word in the Sermon on the Mount.
He was urging his followers not to be over-anxious about their food or clothing.
Their heavenly Father provides for everyone, even the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
“Are you not of more value then they?...
If God so clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? “ Matthew ch6 vv25-30

On another occasion, he was in a boat with his more immediate disciples, and began warning them about “the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees”.
As often happens, the metaphor gave them trouble.
Their minds began casting around for a way of taking the words literally, and they told each other that he was warning them “because we brought no bread”.
So he had to explain what he meant, but first he berated them for thinking that “having no bread” would have been a problem.
Did they not remember the previous times when he had produced ample food?
As in the Sermon on the Mount, this was a case of anxiety over their supplies.
That’s why he called them “men of little faith”. Matthew ch16 vv5-11

It may mean doubt about God’s ability to protect them from danger.
Jesus was asleep in the boat on a different journey, when a storm was blowing up, and they seemed to be in danger of getting swamped.
They were anxious enough to wake him.
His reproach, before he calmed the storm was “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” (Matthew ch8 vv23-27)

Or it may mean doubt about the power of prayer.
When the disciples were unable to heal the boy who was convulsed by a “dumb demon”, Jesus said it was “because of your little faith”.
In fact, he finds it exasperating; “O faithless [APISTOS] and perverse generation, how long am I going to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”
For so long, he had been trying to teach them the importance of faith, and they had not been listening (Matthew ch17 vv14-20).

The verse quoted at the beginning comes from the “walking on the water” episode.
Three gospels describe how the disciples, troubled again by strong winds, saw Jesus walking towards them.
Matthew has the additional detail that Peter asked Jesus to call him to come out onto the water.
When he heard the command he wanted, that gave him the confidence to try it out for himself.
And it worked, as long as he kept his confidence focussed.
When he took notice of the effects of the wind around him, he began to be afraid.
When he began to be afraid, he began to sink into the water.
So he appealed to Jesus, who pulled him up and reproached him for his doubts.

The characteristic of the disciples of Jesus was that they believed in him and entered a new relationship with God.
The moral of the story of Peter’s walk is that faith in Jesus is not just a momentary act, at the point of decision, but a continuing state of trust.
His followers will achieve much less if they allow themselves to become “men of little faith”.




posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Keep the faith... keep the faith.

"All is not lost" (Gandalf voice)



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


His followers will achieve much less if they allow themselves to become “men of little faith”.


it seems to me that they were already "men of little faith"... that faith in him grew as his ministry progressed




posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: Akragon
True, and if they started with little faith then he wanted it to grow.
But he was also concerned about the occasional "dips" in their faith, and the Peter episode is a classic example of that.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:47 PM
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It's like I told a friend of mine once. God always has a way. If He doesn't open a door, well then I look for that open window. If He hasn't opened a window, it's because I need to start looking for the open manhole somewhere ... but He hasn't let me down.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:48 PM
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So the Disciples got to travel with Jesus and see his miracles first hand, yet still couldn't conjure up enough faith in him to be satisfactory? What hope then do people in the present day have, after reading a 2,000 year old book?


I would like to add that I am in no way attacking anyone. Serious question



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: Sourcery

Remember also that Jesus was perfect in his faith as in all else. Of course, the disciples didn't measure up.


None of us would. That's kind of the point.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:53 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Do you mean to tell me that i am not perfect? Lol... good point my friend. I'd like to say that HE hasn't let me down either, just being "that guy" for the moment.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: Sourcery
It's all about trust, isn't it? -and trust under extreme conditions is never going to be easy.
Seeing the miracles would have been a good start, but obviously they weren't always bold enough to apply this trust to the needs of particular situations.
They were only human.




edit on 15-4-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: Sourcery

John 20:29New International Version (NIV)

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Faith seems to be a growing thing with a 2 steps forward and 1 back for a lot of us .Finding joy when we experience tribulation causes our patience to grow .The more patience we get the easier it is to grow and trust that God is with us .More trust is having more faith . There is a very big noticeable difference in the disciples after the resurrection . The resurrection of Jesus sealed the deal .



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 05:59 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well and let's be honest, I'm sure they all suspected He was the Son of God even if He never said so directly. What the Son of God can do or what will happen for Him is another matter entirely than what might occur for mere mortals. It had to have been hard for them to listen to Him tell them to trust that the same stuff would happen for them and really believe that.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 06:05 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
Yes, from the first day; "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man" (Luke ch5).
As the storm incident shows, and the episode of the boy with the demon, it was easier to believe in the powerof Jesus than to rely on what God could do for them directly.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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a reply to: Sourcery


So the Disciples got to travel with Jesus and see his miracles first hand, yet still couldn't conjure up enough faith in him to be satisfactory? What hope then do people in the present day have, after reading a 2,000 year old book?

Did you know that Faith is a gift from God?
Ephesians_2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

And did you know that faith is delivered by the Holy Spirit?
Acts_10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

And every person has a measure of faith.
Rom_12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

You have asked how some can have seemingly more faith than others even after 2,000 years? It is a gift of measure which only God can understand. For that person who is given much is much required.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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Thank you for this! I needed the reminder. God always catches me when I least expect it.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: YachiruKusajishi
Glad to be helpful. I am on a "faith" theme for a few months this year.



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 11:13 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Addressing OP but anyone is welcome to answer if you have answers:




Can you feel faith and doubt? Doubt I know I can feel. It feels heavy, like a pressure against my body?

Maybe it is a partial nervous system disconnect. A lack of will, or motivation, which causes partial paralysis, perhaps.

Anyways...

If we can sense them, faith and doubt, then it kind of seems they may actually exist, beyond the mind, as something, or the lack of something.

So...

What does faith and doubt exist as? Do either have a physical or spiritual body or are they purely conceptional? Conceptual, like in the way that lag doesn't really exist - lag being a lack or decrease in carrier signals or information flow.

If we can solve what they are, it seems like we should be able to work faith to strengthen it or maybe resist or fast from doubt, thereby strengthening faiths path?

Also, maybe Jesus was being literal when he mentioned the size of a mustard seed?

Thoughts?


Edit for another idea: If faith comes from God, and Jesus scolded his disciples for having little faith, it seems like Jesus is suggesting that they have put away or not built up, through their own ways (practice or fasting), the faith they have received. That sound correct? Thus, we should be able to strengthen faith by practice?
edit on 4/15/2016 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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a reply to: Seede

I'm more incline to follow your understanding - that faith is a substance (some form of the Word) which is received.

Any ideas as to how to strength it, if it can be done? Or does any strengthening come from God? Also, what about fasting?

And do you think it would be morally wrong to attempt to train faith? (I know people say practice faith, but I do not think they mean practice so as to train or build up the substance within themselves, or do they?)

?



Hebrews 11:
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

edit on 4/15/2016 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep




Can you feel faith and doubt? Doubt I know I can feel. It feels heavy, like a pressure against my body?


This made me think of "Doubting Thomas". Thomas gets a bad rep but how real and true was his reaction. I think about how crushed the deciples were to know they lost one of their best friends and teachers, although Jesus told them how things were going to go, no one really understood the depth and ramification of what the good news of Jesus resurrection would bring.

Everyone deals with tragedy in different ways, Jesus did not need to show Thomas anything yet even in doubt Jesus makes and effort to meet Thomas in that moment of weakness. Confusion, joy, hope, fear anger, bitterness, a whole gambit of emotions are at stake. I think Thomas more than any of them knew exactly what was at stake and the ramification of Christ Jesus being alive, fulfilling the prophesies, crushing the ideas of an earthly kingdom, knowing that he had indeed been befriended by the King of Kings.

Thomas reaction upon seeing Jesus "My Lord and My God" John 20:28. Thomas' doubt like Peters did not disqualify him from Jesus pursuit.

This is so encouraging to me because my human nature is to be cynical and doubt at times, yet I know my faith in its smallest amounts is good enough for the God of this Universe to pursue a relationship with me, and in me he see that my little mustard seed faith is enough to move mountains.

Faith is not a switch you turn on or off, there is not an algorithm that can be used to solve it. It is more of a Heuristic where it dosent matter how you get there as long as you make a decision to get there.

DISREALI: Great Thread!!

edit on 16-4-2016 by Observationalist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 03:42 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
Can you feel faith and doubt?

We find the answer to that if we treat "faith" as another word for "trust". You can be conscious of how much trust you feel or do not feel in a particular situation.
So faith exists as a sense of confidence in the other person.
At the same time, if your sense of confidence is not complete, you can make a conscious decision to rely on the other person anyway. As an act of will, you can may aside your doubts and act accordingly. So when Jesus said "All things are possible to him who believes", the troubled child's father cried out "I believe! Help thou my unbelief!" (Mark ch9 v24).
In the case of Christian faith, God can help in this, as others have been pointing out. I see it as the effect of the Holy Spirit on the unconscious mind as well as the conscious mind.



posted on Apr, 16 2016 @ 04:02 AM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
And do you think it would be morally wrong to attempt to train faith? (I know people say practice faith, but I do not think they mean practice so as to train or build up the substance within themselves, or do they?)
"Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Two points of language are brought in here.
The basic meaning of the verb "practise" is "perform habitually". So doctors and lawyers "practise" their professions, even when they are fully trained.You can choose to "practise" your faith, in either sense, by setting aside any residual fears and anxieties you may have and ignoring them. The bridge looks very unsafe, and you are not confident that it won't fall apart, but you decide to cross it anyway. That is acting in faith.
That is why it is possible to have faith in God even when your doubts have not been fully removed. That is why faith does not depend on "proof". In fact the existence of proof partly takes away the operation of faith.

As for the quotation from Hebrews, beware of the mistake to building too much on the form of words adopted by the AV. You will find in more modern translations "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for".
edit on 16-4-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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