April 12 (Holy Tuesday): Mountains and Fig Trees

April 12 (Holy Tuesday): Mountains and Fig Trees

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

“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. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’”
—Matthew 21:21-22 NIV

Jesus spoke these often-quoted words on the Tuesday before his crucifixion as he returned to Jerusalem to teach in the temple.

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark tell us that Jesus had seen a fig tree, and approaching it because he was hungry he found it without fruit and cursed it.

The fig tree withered. Astonished, Jesus’ disciples asked him how he did it.

Jesus replied that this type of miracle was within their reach as well; the only condition was that they needed to have faith.

What does this mean?

On the one hand it means that nothing is impossible for God. There is nothing too big for him. What we cannot do, he can do through us.

And perhaps it has another meaning: just as Jesus made the unfruitful fig tree wither, he gave us the authority to remove every unfruitful thing from our lives.

That habit that limits you; that low self-esteem that always leads you to the same unhealthy relationships; that anxiety that doesn’t let you sleep…whatever it is, Jesus gave you the authority to remove it from your mind and from your life.

It might not happen as quickly as the withering of the fig tree, but take heart: no mountain is too big for God to move.

Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:

Inhale: Jesus,
Exhale: Give me faith.

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