All posts tagged: examples of great faith in the bible

What does it mean to have Great Faith?

At points throughout the Gospels, Jesus referred to people with “great faith.” One of them was a Phoenician woman. The incident recorded in Matthew 15:21-28 drips with controversy. At the outset, you certainly get the sense when Jesus spoke of her great (megas in the Greek) faith, He was speaking of a woman with huge quantities of faith. But it is no coincidence, this account is strategically situated only 18 verses after Peter’s walk on water where Jesus admonished His Apostle for his ‘little’ faith (Matthew 14:22-32). Matthew purposely contrasted the ‘little’ faith of Peter with the ‘great’ faith of a gentile woman — a humiliating exercise for any self-respecting Jewish man. And this is where it gets interesting, because you can only understand the Phoenician woman’s “great” faith in light of Peter’s “little” (in the Greek ‘oligos’) faith. In a previous article, I discussed the various meanings of “oligos.” It can refer to a small quantity (James 3:5) or brief as in time (Revelation 12:12). Since Peter actually walked on water, Jesus was not referring …