Faith – Oligopistos – Matthew 6

Faith 2

As mentioned in my earlier post, I was in discussion with my Sunday School teacher and we verred into the topic of faith.  This topic addresses the first Greek word in our table below

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs #GreekTransliteratedEnglish Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571ἄπιστοςapistosthat believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680ἐλπίςelpishope, faith
G3640ὀλιγόπιστοςoligopistosof little faith
G4102πίστιςpistisfaith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103πιστόςpistosfaithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066ὀλιγοπιστίαoligopistialittleness of faith
 
little faith
 

Strong’s Number G3640 matches the Greek ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance.

We will look at the first of four instances that Jesus (and only Jesus) used this Greek word in the following post. (Matthew 6:30 is parallel passage in Luke 12:28)

Matthew 6:25-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
 

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing?

 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
 

yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

GrubWorry over Grub and Garb

Worry worry worry.

Garb

A concern over food and clothing just doesn’t connect with me, residing in the USA and having much more than I need.  The disciples didn’t have it so good.  They had food for the day, thier daily bread. They may have had one set of apparel, and when it became worn, purchasing new wear would constitute a significant burden on thier resources. An inner garment and an outer garment, a belt and some sandals.  Food and clothing was a justified concern.

Does Jesus simply say not to worry.  No – He elevates our standing before God via  directing our attention to a bird and a little flower.  Amazing.  Let’s consider the lily.

The Lily

Madonna_lilyWe find Jesus talking to His disciples, speaking of the toil (growing exhausted) and spinning of a simple lily compared with the splendor of Solomon, (Israels wealthiest King).

This alone is instructive for us as believers, since we surely estimate King Solomon’s splendor (clothing/appearance) to be greater than that of a humble lily.  But the Master states that thinking to be wrong thinking.

Solomon spent his days toiling to create a splendor he enjoyed.  The lily does not toil, and is simply a splendor. (By the way, in the Lord’s estimation the greater splendor.)

Solomon had splendor that was external.  The lily’s splendor comes from within.

As believers, Jesus tells us the Father will “much more clothe” us.  He has greater concern for us than the lily, yet the lily had great splendor.  He compares the lily of the field (which has a temporary existence) with believers (non-temporary existence) who have so little faith.

Is Jesus simply speaking of the literal clothing on our back?  The Word states He supply’s our every need, so the clothing on my back is provided by the Father.

He is addressing the topic of worry.  Worry over the clothes on our back and the food we eat.  He reminds us numerous times that we are of much more worth than a sparrow or a lily.

MickeyMy greatest downfall in my walk with the Father is worry.  A mind numbing, paralyzing worry.  I have so little faith.

My worry comes from one source.  I have my eyes fixed on the wrong object.  Solomon’s splendor was visual, pride elevating, of this world.  The lily simply exhibited the life God supplied.  The lily didn’t toil for something beyond its reach, or seek to add to its current splendor, or even compare its splendor with a dandelion.

This is against my nature! I continually set goals to gauge my progress, compare myself with others and seek more out of life instead of simply enjoying the life supplied by the Father.

Abstract Watercolor TextureMy perspective is completely upside down.  Oh – I can justify my worry, calling it careful planning, walking in wisdom, careful stewardship.  How shallow and of no impact.

How accurate when Jesus called me out, that one with little faith.  Father forgive me and teach me to keep my eyes on you.

Please leave a comment and come visit next time to continue our look at faith.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

 

 

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