On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. ……..As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Comment: Quite frankly my first thought on reading the first few verses are along the line that Jesus was acting unfairly – it wasn’t the season for figs; And it sounds a bit like a spoilt child’s tantrum! Maybe He knew that it was a pre-ennially fruitless tree, but that sounds like an excuse – maybe I will get help in the second bit..,,
and I do! The story is about praying and getting answers. Jesus is about to die and depart. Belief and faith are to be at the core of this new religious era, into which God is seeking to lead us. It certainly should not lead us into the thinking that God is a great gift-giver and we can demand anything we want – this is dealt with elsewhere in prayer passages. It is about the issue of how we request in prayer. As we pray, a forgiving heart in us is highlighted; and it writes in bold and red the importance of belief and trust.
Prayer: Help me to believe more and understand the ‘whole-book’ context of Your teaching about prayer, Lord Jesus.