18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Dear God, other Gospels mention that this tree was out of season and that is why it didn’t have any fruit. Just the fact that a couple of different Gospels include this story is interesting. There must be something about it that they want to make sure we understand about Jesus. Frankly, if I were Jesus’ follower and biographer, I might have left out this story. It seems too selfish and harsh. Curse a tree? Really?
I guess there are two things that they wanted us to see: Jesus had the power to curse a tree and we do too, and… well, I’m having trouble coming up with the second one. I doubt they were trying to say it was okay to get angry with a tree over its lack of fruit (especially if it was out of season).
So let’s focus on the power of faith. I think that I have seen you work in wild and wondrous ways during the course of my life. I have seen you protect me from the wrong jobs and help me get the right ones. I have seen you help me raise money for an organization when none was to be found. I have seen you miraculously heal people who needed your touch. At the same time, I have seen you choose not to heal. I have heard your silence when I have cried out to you for an answer or direction. Each time, you were acting out your will, but it was hard to experience.
Father, I submit myself to your will. If you feel like cursing a fig tree on my behalf, then go for it, although it’s hard for me to imagine asking you for that. If you want to allow me to be pressed so that I might come out the other side stronger in my faith in you, then press me. If you want to do anything in my life, I submit to it. You are my God, I am not yours. I am your servant, you are not mine.