The Bible talks a lot about faith. Some people seem to have it, some don’t. Sometimes, the people that have it in one story, seem to lose it in the next. Faith is the stuff of salvation and everyone seems to have an opinion about what it is and how to understand it.
One common theme regarding faith is that people tend to see faith as an “all or nothing” commodity. Do you have faith? Yes… or no. In one sense, I suppose you can talk about faith in those terms, but I think faith is much more complicated than that.
Jesus talks about faith in terms, not only of existence (Yes/No), but of quantity and quality as well.
Sometimes He refers to “little faith”…
You of little faith! – Matthew 6:30b
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” – Matthew 8:26
… Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:31
Jesus said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?” – Matthew 16:8
He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith… if you have faith the size of a mustard seed…” – Matthew 17:20
and sometimes “great faith”…
(Jesus) marveled and said… “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.” Matthew 8:10
Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great…” – Matthew 15:28
The Bible seems to present faith more like a dimmer switch. You know… the light switches some of us have in our homes that allow us to regulate, on a sliding scale, the amount of light in a room.