Skip to main content

Oligópistos Word Study

Oligópistos - Little Faith

In Matthew 8, we see the young disciples of Jesus panicked and frantically trying to keep their boat afloat while crossing a lake. 

I think an important detail to consider before we move past this that most teachers don't consider is that Jesus' disciples weren't 45 and bearded - most of them were under 18.

A bunch of kids.

The waves were sweeping over the boat and they were terrified as most of them probably didn't feel too comfortable about having to swim to shore in a storm like the one they were experiencing. There have been many sermons and many stories written about this, but I want to dive deeper into what Jesus actually said. 

He woke up to the cries of his child disciples yelling, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" and he responded, "You of oligópistos, why are you so afraid?" ¹

Oligó- means low in number or having a small quantity of, while -pistis simply means faith. More accurately, the word Oligópistos denotes having a few occurrences of faith. It means that, yet again, the disciples have forgotten who they are with, the Messiah - the embodiment of the eternal God, on Earth, to bring his kingdom closer.

When Jesus spoke this to his closest disciples, I'm sure they were cut to the core. They knew he was Messiah. That verse is followed by a statement "The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” ² These men were not his disciples, but the other men on the ship that had just experienced the power of the Messiah for the first time. Don't attach this statement to the disciples because they knew exactly what Jesus was saying. 

He was talking to the kids that have been following him and were close to him and saw his miracles and healings and listened to his sermon on the mount and had given up everything to follow the long awaited messiah. In our context, it would be more casually translated, "I know you gave up everything to follow me, but was that it? You haven't really trusted me with anything since then. There's only a handful of things that I can count, a small quantity of times when you've shown that you truly believed."


Okay Jesus, as a disciple what does this story mean for me? 

Simply put, it means we do not just claim allegiance to God, but we live as if we believe it. Jesus was not attacking their discipleship, just their belief that God is over all things. How would our lives change if, instead of panicking about not making rent next month, we sit in patience and wait for Jesus by his bed while the world is chaotic around us? What would our lives look like if we built up a history of trusting that Jesus won't let us drown? 

A few things from this word study and then off we go:

1. Jesus isn't oblivious

He knows just what you're going through. He knows it can be scary, and he didn't rebuke their fear. He was just upset that they didn't trust his power in their lives. How much more does God know what we're going through when the Spirit dwells within us? It might seem like he is sleeping, but he is waiting for you to submit your will to his. He is not oblivious about the storm around you, but he is waiting patiently for you to leave the others up top fretting about life, and to go sit by his bed because he is the only one who can command the waves, and trusting that he will. 

2. Jesus wants you to build a history of trusting him

This is not for his benefit, but for yours. If you were to walk in a constant, reoccurring faith that reveals itself over and over again, it will impact those around you. We see that his disciples struggled with this because after he died, they just went on with their days grieving his death instead of believing he would do what he said he would. Contrary to popular teaching, this rebuke IS about quantity. This was not for Jesus' sake because he was insecure about his disciples not being perfect examples. This was for our sake because he knew that we would have authority among our brothers and sisters and the bystanders of our lives if we were to prove our faith by quantity of times we have believed he is greater than our circumstances. What would it look like to you if, over and over again, you saw a friend in danger or trouble and every time they didn't panic, but believed and it was answered? It would cause you to trust Jesus a little more, wouldn't it?

3. Jesus loves you

This is plain and apparent in every teaching of the scriptures, but let's apply that to this verse. Jesus is for your ultimate joy and he always has been. When he rebukes you, it is not as a slave master to his slave, but rather a friend to another friend. He is saying, "Hey, what's up? You're putting yourself through pain and you have a very heavy burden on you right now. I already took care of that. Just believe and you'll feel better. I have everything under control, watch." He is saying that in this text. He didn't create a whip or pull out the paddle. He said, "Don't you know how much I love you and how much power I wield over the world? I'll show you again and maybe tomorrow you'll trust me a little more." 

He is for you and wants your life to be filled with instances of faith so that you don't have to struggle or carry a burden too heavy. He wants you to be free to do two very simple things: love God and love your neighbor. 

Test his yoke and rest in this reality today. 

¹Holy Bible: New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Matthew 8:26
²Holy Bible: New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Matthew 8:27


  1. Anonymous15:52

    Pragmatic Play’s Live Casino gaming experiences Power Up new prospects of Play™ by 바카라 사이트 offering Twists on basic titles, reworking participant favourites and Elevating the leisure. While we evaluate different playing sites, want to} verify with native laws in your space before playing on-line. We might obtain compensation from the sites we really helpful in our guides, but our reviews stay unbiased and reader-supported. Since streaming applied sciences have improved over time, it is now potential to provide a fast, high-definition model of basic table games utilizing reside audio-visual feeds.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

When the Seas Become Solid

  When the seas become solid   To finish out the three-part series on faith, I will be covering a practical application to equip anyone and everyone to feel more confident in their faith. This analogy came to me in a meditation and it has developed into a filter that I experience the world through, and I can only pray the same for you. I also pray that even though this story that has been exposited by many greater women and men than I am, there would be a freshness in the words I write that could lift your spirit and shine a new light on what I believe to be a new understanding of this ancient and incredible mystery of God. First, I will start with the vision I received and put it into a biblical context. I talked about this story in the first blog of the series when I dove into little faith . It takes place in Matthew 14   and it is when Jesus calls Peter out onto the water. We will pick up in Matthew 14:22.   Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of h

Love in 1 Corinthians 13

Study of Love in 1 Corinthians 13                         To understand anything about the depth of this passage, we must first break down this incredible passage of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or the “Love is…” passage. The other parts of the passage play into the entire narrative of 1 Corinthians, but this segment gleans an apparently inspired message of the nature of God that must be understood to grasp the weight or the kavod (glory) of this chapter. William Barclay gives his insight into the kavod of this chapter. “For many, this is the most wonderful chapter in the whole New Testament; and we will do well to take our time in studying words the full meaning of which could not be sufficiently revealed in a whole lifetime.” [1]           First, we must understand a study of such a deeply profound and delightful book will seem to be a drop in the ocean of wisdom, but I shall attempt the same: to take my time and try to express a profound and deep study of the chapter in light of the gran