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When Jesus lived among us, he commended ONLY

two people for their "great faith," according to the

Gospel of Matthew. 

 

 

     Who were they?

 

 

     What (if anything) is significant about them?

Tags: bible, faith, jesus

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Colby, I want to take this deeper as I know you do as well. Right now, for some reason, I can only come up with the centurion. I know there is another. The Gentile Woman's Daughter? When I find the other, the deeper comes from what is significant about them. That's the fun part. lolol

Great faith begins as a follow of Christ realizing His divine authority. The motives are pure & with a humble heart & with complete trust in God's Word doing what it says it will do. 

Very well said.  Two people stand out in the Gospels for Jesus having commended them for their "great faith." One, a Roman centurion; the other, the Gentile woman's daughter.  As we say these days, go figure! Imagine that! Say what?! Pray our faith is like theirs!

I kept coming back to that lady with the daughter but the version I was readying was saying the fact about He had never seen faith as great as hers. 

It's remarkable that the two people Jesus singled out for having "great faith" were a Roman centurion with a servant suffering from paralysis and terrible pain (Matthew 8) and a Canaanite woman whose daughter is demon possessed (Matthew 15).  Neither were Jews like Jesus.  I erred in my previous response when I referred to the daughter.  I should have said her mother. 

 

What was so great about their faith?  Both the centurion and woman sought out Jesus, believing in him completely.  

 

In contrast to these two people of "great faith," elsewhere in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is critical of those with "little faith."  WHO was Jesus referring to?

There's a common thread in the vivid witness that the Bible provides about miraculous healings performed by Jesus. It is faith.
  • Granted, it comes as no surprise to us that our Lord had the power to perform miracles.
  • However, the common denominator in these stories is faith.
  • It's the faith of the people approaching Jesus that actualized the healings he performed.
  • In each instance, Jesus says words to the effect that because of your faith "you are healed" or "your request is granted." Faith is the key ingredient here.
  • Not just any kind of faith, mind you, but a persistent and deeply-held faith that's actively lived out in the world. This kind of faith opens the door to God's kingdom.

I think it's significant and particularly instructive that Jesus didn't commend his disciples for their "great faith" in Matthew's Gospel, but rather says this about only two people whom we would least expect: A Roman Centurion and a Canaanite woman. In contrast to them, we read about an example of "little faith" demonstrated by Peter the Apostle in Matthew 14.

  • Peter says, “Lord, if it's really you, command me to come to you on the water.”
  • Jesus replies, "Come" and "Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus."
  • But, as he is walking, a strong wind and waves cause Peter to lose confidence and become terrified.
  • Peter, beginning to sink, cries out to Jesus, "save me!"
  • Jesus then extends his hand and takes hold of Peter, saying "you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
  • Jesus rescues Peter, pulling him into the boat, and finally the disciples get it.
  • "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'"

In another example (from Matthew 17), we read about the disciples finding themselves unable to drive out demons despite being given that authority by Jesus.
  • They go to Jesus, in private, and ask him, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
  • Jesus says, "because you have so little faith," adding that "if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could move a mountain."

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