So Jesus said some things that just blow me away! They leave me feeling like a spiritual midget and “wimp!” I read something like that Jesus said again today… In fact, I read it every year about this time, and every time I read it I feel the same way. Matthew records it right after Jesus’s “Triumphal Entry” to Jerusalem and after his cleansing of the temple. Here is the account of what Jesus did and said…
“In the morning, as Jesus was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again!’ And the fig tree withered at once! When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither at once?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘TRULY, I SAY TO YOU, IF YOU HAVE FAITH AND DO NOT DOUBT, YOU WILL NOT ONLY DO WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO THE FIG TREE, BUT EVEN IF YOU SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, ‘BE TAKEN UP AND THROWN INTO THE SEA,’ IT WILL HAPPEN. AND WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER, YOU WILL RECEIVE, IF YOU HAVE FAITH.’” (From Matthew 21:18–22 ESV)
Now here’s a working definition of faith that I use… “Faith is confidence in God… trusting His character, believing and obeying His word, embracing His promises, following His leadership, drawing upon his encouragement and strength.”
This passage, it seems to me, emphasizes what I would call the “initiative of faith.” In other words, there is the possibility of miraculous things happening as devoted obedient followers of Jesus “exercise their faith.” Hey, Jesus declared it – I didn’t!!
I don’t know about you, but I want that in my life more than it exists right now! My wife and I had a conversation about it this morning after our time of devotions… I said, “I need more faith! I need faith like that!” And she said, “Me too!” How about you? Oh Lord, “increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5-6)