20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:20-24, New International Version)
Theme: Rejoicing and Thanksgiving
Thanks for the very thoughtful comments about purpose yesterday! Today, the lesson from Tuesday of Passion Week relates to faith. Jesus uses the cursed fig tree as an object lesson about believing in God when we pray. Unfortunately, this passage has often been misinterpreted, leading to despair when supplicants don’t get what they believe they will receive.
Make no mistake, Jesus is making an emphatic statement about the importance of faith. However, He is not saying His Father is like a genie in a bottle. This may appear contradictory but consider the fact that Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer for Jesus is always within the context of His Father’s will.
It is mysterious and humbling to know that God has elected to perform elements of his will in concert with praying, believing Christians. It is also a source of rejoicing and thanksgiving.
Please study the passage above. If you have the time, you can reflect on the importance of faith by reading Hebrews chapter 11.
What personal lessons do you take from Jesus’ teaching on faith in God when we pray?
Please leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.