26 Jan 2020

Little Vs Great Faith

We may have heard lot of stories about faith. In our lives , we may have met people of faith. We all may be knowing someone by whom we are overwhelmed with those people’s faith.

Once

An elderly lady was well-known for her faith and for her boldness in talking about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout “PRAISE THE LORD!”

Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, “There ain’t no Lord!!”

Hard times set in on the elderly lady, and she prayed for GOD to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and shouted “PRAISE THE LORD. GOD I NEED FOOD!! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME. PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!!”

The next morning the lady went out on her porch and noted a large bag of groceries and shouted, “PRAISE THE LORD.”

The neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said, “Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn’t.”

The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said, “PRAISE THE LORD. He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Praise the Lord!”

Another one, The

Flood was on its way, forcing everyone to evacuate. The police rowed up to the most pious woman in town and said, “Ma’am, you have to leave this house! People are dying out here!”

 

The woman replied, “No, I’m not leaving. God has always helped me before, and He will do it again.”

So as the water started to rise, she went to the second story of her house. Another boat came by, and the captain yelled, “Ma’am, you have to get on this boat or you’re going to drown!”

The woman replied again, “No, God helped me before, and He will do it again.”

The water rose even higher. This time she went to the top of the roof, where a helicopter came and hovered overhead. The pilot called into his loudspeaker, “Please climb aboard, ma’am. You are going to drown!”

The women sniffed and again replied, “God is going to save me!”

But the water rose higher, and soon she drowned to death. She went to Heaven, and there she asked God, “Why didn’t you save me, O Lord?”

And God replied, “I did help–I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”.

 

Today we are going to look at the two levels of Faith

Little Faith and Great Faith :

During certain events Jesus describes these two levels of faith. But before that, what is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.”

This definition of faith contains two aspects: intellectual assent and trust. Intellectual assent is believing something to be true. Trust is relying on the fact that something is true. A chair is often used to help illustrate this. Intellectual assent is recognizing that a chair is a chair and agreeing that it is designed to support a person who sits on it. Trust is sitting in the chair.

Only Believing in Something is not Faith. Also, relying on the fact that the something is true is Faith.

Jesus talks about this Intellectual assent (relying on the fact that the something is true) and TRUST. That is what we are going to talk about this today,

The bible talks about Little Faith in many scripture portions we see that

Matthew 6:30

  • If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

(Do not worry about tomorrow)

Matthew 8:26

  • He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

(Jesus is with disciples in a boat , The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”)

Matthew 14:31

  • Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

(Jesus in a boat , Jesus walks on water , peter wants to try it out, so he asks Jesus, if he can join him to walk on the water, But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, was beginning to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!”)

Matthew 16:8

  • Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?

(When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. , Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? )

Matthew 17:20

  • He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

(Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy , Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,

Let us see what is Great faith

Jesus identified only two people in His earthly ministry who He said had great faith; a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5–13)and a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21–28).

For the Canaanite woman, it was her daughter and for the Roman centurion it was his servant.

Let us look at one of them GREAT FAITH Matthew 15 : 21-28

Interesting Chapter (let us read)

Before we discuss this, lets us understand who are Canaanites.

GENESIS 9:20-27

And God promised this land i.e the promise land Canaan .

Let us see the history of Canaanites

The indigenous people of the land of Canaan worshiped many gods but, chief among them, the goddess Astarte and her consort Baal (considered vegetative/fertility deities who then took on more impressive attributes earlier ascribed to Sumerian gods such as Enlil).

Women in Ancient Israel

  • most were restricted to roles of little or no authority,
  • they were largely confined to their father’s or husband’s home,
  • they were considered to be inferior to men, and under the authority of men — either their father before marriage, or their husband afterwards.
  • They could not go out in public, or talk to strangers. When outside of their homes, they were to be doubly veiled With all these challenges, she went to Jesus.

Why her faith was called / known as greatest faith?

  1. She showcased her Faith in real desperation

Matthew 15: 22

22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord

  1. Faith with persistence

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

  1. Faith with humility

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

  1. Faith beyond Insult

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

Her Intellectual Assent on Jesus “22 crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

And her trust

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Both were in Place (Intellectual Assent and Trust). Where are we today? Are we people of little faith or God will say that men / women you have a great faith.

I believe that Faith need to be Built, We start with being people of little faith and sharpen it , practice it and we become people of great faith . God wants each one of us to be called people of great faith.

Virjil Selvan is Pastoring the New Hope Community. The New Hope Community is situated in the heart of the city between Old and New Panvel. We can confidently share that New Hope Community is a Church in Kamothe, Church in Khandeshwar, Church in Khanda Colony, Church in Panvel, Church in New Panvel because we are centrally located and these places surround our church Venue.

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