Chinese Translation: 简体中文 繁體中文

Withering the Fig Tree

Matt 21:18; Mark 11:12

Matt 21:18-22 (web)
Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry.
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves.
He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!"
Immediately the fig tree withered away.

When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying,
"How did the fig tree immediately wither away?"

Jesus answered them,
"Most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith, and don’t doubt,
you will not only do what is done to the fig tree,
but even if you told this mountain,
‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it would be done.
All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

What does this reveal about Jesus?

He can destroy with merely a word.


See also the parable of the barren fig tree. Living an unfruitful life incurs judgment.

There are those who misinterpret what Jesus is saying here. They assume they can make God their slave, forcing Him to do what they want simply by asking for whatever selfish desire they have and assume God is obligated to give it to them as long as they don't doubt. Rather than putting their faith in God, they put their faith in their own faith, and by doing so hope to create their own reality. This is particularly the case with the New Age existentialistic Christians of the Word Faith Movement.

What Jesus is referring to is not faith in faith, in which the person takes the place of God. But rather an unwavering conviction that one is doing God's will.

Asking is asking in accordance with God's will. Confidence of faith should be in proportion to our confidence of understanding God's will. An example of this is the disciple's failure to cast out the demon, which Jesus had assigned them to do. Why did they fail?
"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matt 17:20
They knew what God's will was, having been explicitly assigned the task. So their doubt was illegitimate. But this does not apply to those who replace God's will with their own will.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Aug 15,2020