Last summer on our back patio Mary and I had a beautiful full Citronella plant sitting right beside our Adirondack chairs. I was careful to water it and keep it fertilized, and then one morning I came outside and the entire plant was withered. It’s amazing how quickly life can be sucked out of a plant. I’m not sure how effective this mosquito plant was in driving away mosquitoes, but the aroma was heavenly and I was sad to pick the entire thing up and throw it in the trash.
In one of our earlier Devos, we saw Jesus come upon a fully leafed fig tree, but when he got up close, it was fruitless. He stated that the tree would never have fruit on it again, and now Mark tells us the rest of the fig tree story.
“As Jesus and his disciples passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Now Peter remembered and said, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed is dried up.’ Jesus responded, ‘Have faith in God. Certainly, I say to you that if you say to this mountain, ‘Be picked up and cast into the sea,’ and you don’t hesitate or doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will be done, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your false steps.’” Mark11:20-25
Jesus doesn’t even comment on the meaning of the dead fig tree. He leaves us to keep tracking the story and see what group of people wither and die because they don’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior. Instead, he focuses his disciples’ attention on the power of prayer and the need for complete trust that Jesus can do what we need him to do. Jesus is not giving us miraculous powers to command mountains to jump into the sea. He is asking us to walk with him and trust him, then we can ask for whatever we need and he will supply it.
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