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4) Matthew 8 - So Great Faith
Matthew 8:10-12

This man's great faith is Jesus' estimate of the man's understanding upon which his faith is founded.  Let us look at
some examples of measured faith:

Matthew 17:20 the disciples could not cast out a demon "because of their little faith" and were guilty because a small
amount of real confidence in God could have accomplished relatively greater results.  The apostles pleaded with
Jesus to, "increase our faith!" as if His requirements required an even superior faith.  Instead, Jesus replies again
that the smallest amount of real faith would give significant results.  What was needed was not more faith, but more
humble obedience (Luke 17:7-10).

Faith is a moral phenomenon for which the believer himself is responsible.  Jesus evidently did not actually answer
the disciples' request as they had stated it, but rather He increased their understanding about what they could
expect from God.
Back to Matthew 8 Study Index Page

There is a certain point at which God does not need to increase our faith, in fact, cannot, for that is just the point
where our own responsibility begins and we must ACT on the faith we possess based on the evidence He has given
us all.  We grow in faith by doing His will.

Mark 9:24 - the father of the demonized boy recognized the doubt in his life that questioned Jesus' ability to help: "I
believe: help thou my unbelief!"

Mark 4:40 - Jesus rebuked the believing disciples for their fear.  Matthew 8:26 during the storm: "Why are you
afraid?  Have you no faith?  (Luke 17:5)

Luke 18:8 - Jesus seems to despair of finding any faith on the earth when He returns.

Matthew 15:28 - Jesus praised the Canaanite woman for her dogged instance that He heals her demonized
daughter: "Woman, great is your faith!"

Luke 22:32 - Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith not fail.
Matthew 6:30 - Jesus attacked worry about food, clothing and shelter as evidence of little faith (also Luke 12:28).

Matthew 14:31 - Jesus rebuked Peter for being afraid to walk on the water after he had begun to do so: "O man of
little faith, who did you doubt?"  Jesus rebuked the Twelve because they so quickly forgot the miraculous division of
loaves and fishes and were worrying about the fact that they had hardly any bread for the whole group: "O men of
little faith..."

Matthew 8:11 - the figure which Jesus used is typically Jewish in language.  In many Old Testament texts the
commonest idea of the Messianic rule was the enjoyment, by reassembled Israel, of the joyful banquet at which the
patriarchs of renown would be honored guests. (see Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 25:6-9, Isaiah 45:6, Isaiah 49:12, Isaiah
59:19, Zechariah 8:20-23, Malachi 1:11).

It never crossed the minds of the Jews that any Gentile would ever be permitted to sit down at that feast.  These are
Gentiles from all nations of the world whose belief in God exceeded that of the Jews that rejected Jesus.

Many shall come from the east and the west of the apostolic age.  What started as a mere trickle (Acts 10 through
11:18) has grown into the mighty river of Gentiles that John saw in the Revelation (Revelation 7:1-9).

They shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom.  Jesus is looking at the kingdom as God's reign
finally perfected.