Continuing our simple Sunday reflections on the Gospel of Mark and the following day’s events after Jesus’ arrival in the Temple.
The fig tree Jesus has cursed the day before had died. Such sudden and complete withering is obviously an indication of similiar impending judgement
Jesus’ reply has often been interpreted as a green light for the a positive thinking form of prayer – believe hard enough and it will happen, the secret lies within you!
The basis of all prayer is trusting faith in God. What follows is grounded in his character and faithfulness, not the ability of the one praying. ‘This mountain’ may well have been the Mount of Olives, the dramtic image is of God’s utter readiness to answer the prayer of faith.
Someone has said that ‘God’s sovereignty is the only restriction‘ to faithful trusting prayer. And such prayer cannot be divorced from the authentic character of the disciple who forgives as he / she has been forgiven.
One thing is clear, however exactly prayer works, Jesus encourages his followers to pray with confidence and faith in the willingness and ability of God to answer.
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
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. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”