This week, we’re walking in Jesus’ footsteps to the cross and beyond.
It’s Tuesday. Jesus is on his way back into Jerusalem. According to eyewitness reports:
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:18-22)
Jesus doesn’t have much time left so he packs two powerful lessons into one.
A tree without fruit is useless. We’re Jesus’ branches in this world (John 15:1-5). Our job is simple: let the Holy Spirit produce fruit through us. What kind of fruit does Jesus want to see growing in our lives? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
Faith can move mountains. Jesus wants the disciples to understand the incredible power of God unleashed by prayer in the lives of those with faith. As John the disciple put it, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).