The Meaning of Matthew 14:31 Explained

Matthew 14:31

KJV: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

YLT: And immediately Jesus, having stretched forth the hand, laid hold of him, and saith to him, 'Little faith! for what didst thou waver?'

Darby: And immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught hold of him, and says to him, O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?

ASV: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

KJV Reverse Interlinear

And  immediately  Jesus  stretched forth  [his] hand,  and caught  him,  and  said  unto him,  O thou of little faith,  wherefore  didst thou doubt? 

What does Matthew 14:31 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 14:22-36 - Help In The Hour Of Need
Jesus always comes in the storm. It had been a great relief to escape from the pressure of the crowd to His place of prayer, on heights swept by the evening breeze and lighted by the holy stars. But He tore Himself away because His friends needed Him. He is watching you also in the storm and will certainly come to your help.
He uses the element we dread as the path for His approach. The waves were endangering the boat, but Jesus walked on them. In our lives are people and circumstances we dread, but it is through these that the greatest blessing of our lives will come, if we look through them to Christ.
His coming is sometimes delayed. The gray dawn was already beginning to spread over the scene. The disciples' strength was spent. He was not too late to be of service, but just in time to save them from despair. Be of good cheer, and if Jesus bids you come to Him on the water, always believe that His commands are enabling. Keep looking to Him, not at the storm. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 14

1  Herod's opinion of Jesus
3  Wherefore John Baptist was beheaded
13  Jesus departs into a solitary place,
15  where he feeds five thousand men with five loves and two fishes
22  He walks on the sea to his disciples;
34  and landing at Gennesaret,
35  heals the sick who touch of the hem of his garment

Greek Commentary for Matthew 14:31

Didst thou doubt? [εδιστασασ]
Only here and Matthew 28:17 in the N.T. From δισταζω — distazō and that from δις — dis (twice). Pulled two ways. Peter‘s trust in the power of Christ gave way to his dread of the wind and waves. Jesus had to take hold of Peter (επελαβετο — epelabeto middle voice) and pull him up while still walking on the water. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 14:31

Matthew 28:17 But some doubted [οι δε εδιστασαν]
From δις — dis (in two, divided in mind). Cf. Matthew 14:31. The reference is not to the eleven who were all now convinced after some doubt, but to the others present. Paul states that over five hundred were present, most of whom were still alive when he wrote (1 Corinthians 15:6). It is natural that some should hesitate to believe so great a thing at the first appearance of Jesus to them. Their very doubt makes it easier for us to believe. This was the mountain where Jesus had promised to meet them. This fact explains the large number present. Time and place were arranged beforehand. It was the climax of the various appearances and in Galilee where were so many believers. They worshipped He is now their Risen Lord and Saviour. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 14:31 mean?

Immediately now - Jesus having stretched out the hand took hold of him and says to him [You] of little faith of why did you doubt
Εὐθέως δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἐπελάβετο αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ὀλιγόπιστε εἰς τί ἐδίστασας

Εὐθέως  Immediately 
Parse: Adverb
Root: εὐθέως  
Sense: straightway, immediately, forthwith.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
ἐκτείνας  having  stretched  out 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐκτείνω  
Sense: to stretch out, stretch forth.
χεῖρα  hand 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: χείρ  
Sense: by the help or agency of any one, by means of any one.
ἐπελάβετο  took  hold 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐπιλαμβάνομαι  
Sense: to take in addition, to lay hold of, take possession of, overtake, attain, attain to.
αὐτοῦ  of  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
λέγει  says 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω 
Sense: to say, to speak.
αὐτῷ  to  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
Ὀλιγόπιστε  [You]  of  little  faith 
Parse: Adjective, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: ὀλιγόπιστος  
Sense: of little faith, trusting too little.
τί  why 
Parse: Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: τίς  
Sense: who, which, what.
ἐδίστασας  did  you  doubt 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: διστάζω  
Sense: to doubt, waiver.