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Date palms and fig trees, St. John's River, Fl...

Date palms and fig trees, St. John’s River, Fla, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today’s lesson takes us deep into the heart of FAITH, as we discuss why FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE. We have set before us today two precepts, (1) of ABSOLUTE FAITH and (2) doing the ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBLEJesus teaches this important lesson to us, by first cursing a fig tree, and the fig tree withered away, and then He tells us that we can speak to a mountain and it will obey us.

Now listen to the words of Jesus and his disciples; as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:20-24 ESV)

The precept of the first asks the question of why was the fig tree both cursed and withered.  This passage emphasizes the power of true faith.  Some have suggested that the fig tree represented Israel, which bore no fruit and would soon face the judgment of God.

The second precept illustrates the casting of an enormous mountain into the sea is an extreme example of the absolutely impossible.  Let us understand that Jesus always insistent upon simply believing.  The point here is having faith in God can accomplish the impossible.  No doubt can exist anywhere in your thought process.  Therefore, you must come into the complete understanding that, “FAITH AND DOUBT CANNOT DWELL IN THE SAME HOUSE.”

The next morning, Tuesday, Jesus and his disciples passed by the same fig tree they had passed the day before.  Jesus had cursed the tree, saying that no one would ever eat from it.  By the next day, in the morning light, they could see that the tree had withered.

The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so soon wither away; but all will wither who rejects Christ; it represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Our lives are supposed to be the living example of the fruit trees.  If we are truly living for Christ and walking in our faith, we will bare much fruit.

This incident is the Savior’s interpretation of the tumultuous welcome He had just received in JerusalemFig trees in Bible lands produced an early edible fruit before the leaves appeared.  It was a harbinger of the regular crop, here described as the season for figs.  If no early figs appeared, it was a sign that there would be no regular crop later on.  When Jesus came to the nation of Israel, there were leaves, which speak of profession, but there was no fruit for God.  This reminds me of the farmers saying, “The harvest is ripe, but the labors are few.”  There was promise without fulfillment, profession without reality.  Jesus was hungry for fruit from the nation.  Because there was no early fruit, He knew that there would be no later fruit from that unbelieving people, and so He cursed the fig tree.

After this incident, Christ taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern. (Mark 11:27-33)

Jesus did not explain why he cursed the fig tree, and we don’t know whether the disciples understood Jesus meaning.  Yet his words to them could mean that despite the coming judgment on spiritual laxity in Israel, they would be safe if they had faith in God.  Their faith should not rest in a kingdom they hoped Jesus would set up, in obeying the Jewish laws, or in their position as Jesus disciples.  Their faith should rest in God alone.  When we think about this, we must ask the question of ourselves, “Where does our faith rest, and are we walking out our faith in total belief that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us?  The choice is ours, live in complete faith and accomplish the impossible, or live in doubt and always worrying about accomplishing the impossible.

This concludes lesson one as Jesus instructs us on having ABSOLUTE FAITH.  In lesson two we will present you with the second precept on doing the ABSOLUTE IMPOSSIBLE.  May the grace of God rest and abide within you now and forever, I remain your brother in CHRIST JESUS, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

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  1. A good one to remember… TY!

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