Teaching moments are spontaneous opportunities to illustrate an important principle or truth. During a Jewish holiday, Jesus and His disciples had been walking back and forth from Bethany to Jerusalem.
The previous morning, they walked past a fig tree that was barren of fruit. Strangely, He declared, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again” (Mark 11:14). He was setting up a future teaching moment.
The next morning, walking back into Jerusalem, they passed this same fig tree, only now “the fig tree dried up from the roots” (Mark 11:20). Shocked, Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away” (11:21), to which Jesus replied, “Have faith in God.”
The disciples were to have an unwavering trust in the omnipotent God who can do anything that He wills to do for His own purposes. The key to an unconditional faith is to have a “no–matter–what” trust and an “anything–is–possible” kind of confidence in the God who cares; though He may seem silent at time, He is always present and can change things the way He sees best.
If you fully give your life over to God (Rom 12:1–-2), then whatever God allows to happen in your life is OK. It belongs to Him. He can do with it whatever He wants, even if that means tragedies or miraculous interventions. Either one is OK, since now your life belongs to Jesus. He makes no mistakes.
The one who learns to trust God fully knows He can be trusted with however He may decide to answer to his prayers. Jesus continues in the next verse, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23). Jesus, by using hyperbole, illustrated the virtually limitless possibilities for the believer with faith who “does not doubt in his heart.”
Earlier Jesus had said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). As committed as you are to His word and purpose in life, you can count on His power to assist you to accomplish His will and purpose for your life. “Have faith…”
“Father, Thank you for the lesson of the fig tree. My heart’s desire is to bear fruit for you. Give me wisdom to show You how much I love You by how I care for all those that are Your family.”
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