Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 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. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. 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.”
Jesus demonstrates the power of faith and prayer to His disciples in this passage. They have seen Jesus do amazing things during their time together but they still don’t understand that God can do the same things through us when we believe. Jesus tells them “if you have faith and do not doubt” that “you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”.
This story is also a warning to us if we take time to examine it. We have heard “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2). Jesus is showing them that if we do not produce “good fruit” by obeying God’s commandments and loving one another, we will wither and die.
Jesus sacrificed Himself to free us from sin. He is the way, the truth and the life for all of us, bringing us back to the connection with God we knew at creation. When we accept the gift of salvation He gives, we can be made new and go in His name to share the Good News of our redemption.
Loving Lord, we are ashamed of our barren lives and our lack of fruitfulness. Help us to grow in faith, following the example Jesus taught. In Your name we pray, amen.