Matthew 14:31
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:22-33 Those are not Christ's followers who cannot enjoy being alone with God and their own hearts. It is good, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. It is no new thing for Christ's disciples to meet with storms in the way of duty, but he thereby shows himself with the more grace to them and for them. He can take what way he pleases to save his people. But even appearances of deliverance sometimes occasion trouble and perplexity to God's people, from mistakes about Christ. Nothing ought to affright those that have Christ near them, and know he is theirs; not death itself. Peter walked upon the water, not for diversion or to boast of it, but to go to Jesus; and in that he was thus wonderfully borne up. Special supports are promised, and are to be expected, but only in spiritual pursuits; nor can we ever come to Jesus, unless we are upheld by his power. Christ bade Peter come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know his Lord's power, but that he might know his own weakness. And the Lord often lets his servants have their choice, to humble and prove them, and to show the greatness of his power and grace. When we look off from Christ, and look at the greatness of opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to him, he will stretch out his arm, and save us. Christ is the great Saviour; those who would be saved, must come to him, and cry to him, for salvation; we are never brought to this, till we find ourselves sinking: the sense of need drives us to him. He rebuked Peter. Could we but believe more, we should suffer less. The weakness of faith, and the prevailing of our doubts, displease our Lord Jesus, for there is no good reason why Christ's disciples should be of a doubtful mind. Even in a stormy day he is to them a very present help. None but the world's Creator could multiply the loaves, none but its Governor could tread upon the waters of the sea: the disciples yield to the evidence, and confess their faith. They were suitably affected, and worshipped Christ. He that comes to God, must believe; and he that believes in God, will come, Heb 11:6.And Peter answered ... - Here is an instance of the characteristic ardor and rashness of Peter. He had less real faith than he supposed, and more ardor than his faith would justify. He was rash, headlong, incautious, really attached to Jesus, but still easily daunted and prone to fall. He was afraid, therefore, when in danger, and, sinking, cried again for help. Thus he was suffered to learn his own character, and his dependence on Jesus: a lesson which all Christians are permitted sooner or later to learn by dear-bought experience. 31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said to him, O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?—(Also see on [1307]Mr 6:50.)Ver. 29-31. Peter, by saying if it be thou, showed that his faith was not so strong as it should have been, after he had heard his Master’s voice. By his saying to him,

bid me come unto thee on the water, he showeth a something stronger faith, and a resolution to obey his command; but his fear afterward, when the wind began to rise higher, and he began to sink, argued again the infirmity of his faith. Thus Peter is a pattern of the best believers, who though they may sometimes think that they could trust God in any state or condition, yet often mistake their own hearts, and begin to shrink in an hour of great extremity; which lets us see what need we have to pray, that God would not lead us by his providence into great temptations, much more to take heed that we do not throw ourselves into them. No man knows how he shall find his heart under a great temptation, until he hath tried it. It therefore gives us a caution, as against condemning others, so against boasting, and too much confidence as to ourselves, and lets us see how much need we have to keep our eye upon Christ and his strength in such an hour.

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand: God is never far off from his people when extreme troubles are hard at hand. Christ says Peter, but not without a cheek;

O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Doubting is directly contrary to faith, yet it will not conclude a soul to have no faith, only a little faith.

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand,.... The Syriac reads it, "and in that very moment"; for his case requires immediate assistance, and Christ readily gave it; he reached out his hand at once, being just by him,

and caught him; as he was sinking to the bottom, and lifted him up, and set him on his feet upon the water, and enabled him to walk with him to the ship; but not without reproving him for the weakness of his faith,

and said unto him, O thou of little faith: he does not say, O thou unbeliever! or, O thou who hast no faith! for some faith he had, though but small; of this phrase; see Gill on Matthew 6:30.

Wherefore didst thou doubt? waver, fluctuate, or wast divided between faith and fear. He was worthy of reproof, since he had had the order of Christ to come to him upon the water; and an experience of his power in supporting him thus far; and was now so near unto him, that he had no room to doubt, whether it was he or not, nor of his power to preserve him.

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 14:31 f. Εἰς τί ἐδίστ.] διατί πρῶτον μὲν ἐθάῤῥησας, ὕστερον δὲ ἐδειλίασας; Euth. Zigabenus. For εἰς τί, wherefore? comp. Matthew 26:8; Wis 4:17; Sir 39:17; Sir 39:21; Soph. Tr. 403, Oed. C. 528, and Hermann’s note.

ἐμβάντων αὐτῶν] According to John, Jesus did not go up into the boat, but the disciples wanted to take Him on board. A difference that may be noted, though it is of but trifling importance. See note on John 6:21.

ἐκόπασεν] Comp. Herod, vii. 191. LXX. Genesis 8:1. It became calm. Anthol. vii. 630: ἡ μακρὴ κατʼ ἐμοῦ δυσπλοΐη κοπάσει, and see Wetstein.

Matthew 14:31. ἐδίστασας: again in Matthew 28:17, nowhere else in N. T., from δίς, double, hence to be of two minds, to doubt (cf. δίψυχος, Jam 1:8).

Matthew 14:31. Ὀλιγόπιστε, O thou of little faith) Even great faith is little in comparison of that which we ought to have. We should also possesss constancy.—εἰς τί, wherefore? to what end?) With what advantage? He is not blamed because he came out of the vessel, but because he did not remain in the firmness of faith. He was right in exposing himself to trial; but he ought to have persevered.—ἑδίστασας, didst thou doubt) The nature of faith is perceived from its opposites, doubt and fear. See Mark 5:36; Romans 14:23; Jam 1:6.[673]

[673] Matthew 14:33. Θεοῦ υἱὸς εἶ, Thou art the Son of God) Since they perceived that Jesus was such by reason of His miraculous walking on the sea, they ought not to have wondered at this very miracle to such a degree as to be lost in amazement. It is for this reason they are censured by Mark 6:51-52. For the mind, which faith has rendered intelligent and sober, unlearns excess of astonishment—Harm., p. 333.

Matthew 14:35. οἱ ἄνδρες, the men) who perhaps were engaged in labouring in the fields.—V. g.

Verse 31. - And immediately. Without any waste of time, just as in ver. 27. Jesus stretched forth his hand. So that St. Peter had come up to him (ver. 29). And caught him; and took hold of him (Revised Version, ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ: cf. Hebrews 2:16; Hebrews 8:9). And said; saith (Revised Version). The writer passes to more vivid narration. Unto him, O thou of little faith (o)ligo/piste); Matthew 6:30, note. But in Matthew 17:20 (Westcott and Hort) the substantive is used of faith in a more active sense. Wherefore (εἰς τί); "למה, literally rendered" (Dr. Guillemard). Didst thou doubt? (ἐδίστασας). In the New Testament, Matthew 28:17 only. Christ saves first, and rebukes afterwards. Perhaps the need for help was more immediate than in ch. 8:26, or possibly the fervency of St. Peter's love deserved gentler treatment. Matthew 14:31
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