“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew. 14:31)

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:28-31)

What does 'you of little faith' mean?

The phrase "you of little faith" in Jesus' statement is being translated from the Greek word ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos). This word means "of little faith, trusting too little" according to the lexicon.

Thus Jesus' use of the word "faith" is not the kind of faith that implies confidence in someone's existence. Peter already had that kind of faith. He accepted God's existence and accepted Jesus' existence.

The kind of faith that Jesus is asking of Peter is trust. He's asking Peter to trust that God loves him, and trust that God is in full control, and trust that the Supreme Being will have mercy upon him and protect him.

Since Jesus was right in front of Peter, there was no sense asking Peter to have faith in Jesus.

Why did Jesus walk on water?

Was Jesus trying to prove that he was great? Was he trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records? No. Jesus walked on water in order to teach something to some of his closest followers.

Jesus walked on water because he wanted his disciples to trust him and trust in the Supreme Being - someone who they couldn't see with their physical eyes.

Jesus' lesson regards trusting the Supreme Being. Jesus confirms that his miracles come from the Supreme Being:
"I have shown you many great miracles from the Father." (John 10:32)
Jesus also was focused upon glorifying God, and not himself:
"If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the One who glorifies me." (John 8:54)
Jesus is asking Peter to trust his Father, the Supreme Being. He wants Peter to understand, as Jesus did, that the Supreme Being is in full control, and we can completely rely upon the Supreme Being. This takes not just faith, but humility.

Why did Peter start to sink?

As Peter is sinking, Jesus takes hold of his hand. This is precisely what takes place for the individual who calls upon God for help. Instead of sinking into the stormy seas of the material world, the Supreme Being will come to our rescue.

Peter began to sink because he needed - just as all of us need - to be lifted up and saved by the Supreme Being. This is Jesus' lesson to Peter.

Sometimes God will send us His messenger as was Jesus sent, and sometimes He will come personally to pull us out of the dangerous waters of the physical world. Either way, the Supreme Being is still the One who ultimately can save us from the depths of this hellish world.

The Supreme Being is our perfect Savior and Protector. He is our ultimate Messiah. We simply need to trust in the Supreme Being.