According to the powerful Word of their Lord, the fig tree which previously had the outward appearance of life, was seen for what it really was. Jesus spoke and it was.
It was the final spring Passover of Jesus’ earthly life. In fact, it was the final week of Jesus’ life. On Sunday, Jesus was escorted into Jerusalem on a donkey, thus fulfilling the prophecy that He was indeed the Shepherd/King spoken of by the prophet Zechariah. This point was not lost on the crowd as they spread cloaks and palm branches along His path and some shouted, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, while others responded, Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest (Mark 11:9, 10).
Instead of being crowned as King as some of the crowd wished, Jesus withdrew to Bethany. The next day, Jesus came upon a barren fig tree that should have had fruit on it and declared that, May no one ever eat from your fruit again. Following this, He arrived back at Jerusalem and cleansed the temple. The next morning (Mark 11:20) the disciples saw that what Jesus had said about the fig tree was quickly and emphatically fulfilled. As the disciples walked by, they marveled that it had already withered away.
According to the powerful Word of their Lord, the fig tree which previously had the outward appearance of life, was seen for what it really was. Jesus spoke and it was. The fig tree was a representation of the Jewish nation at that time. The temple worship looked alive, but it was actually only dead forms and rituals. Then, in verse 22 through 24, Jesus makes this amazing promise: Have the faith of God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes the thing will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask for when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.
Notice three elements here to the prayer of faith.
1) Be specific (say to this mountain).
2) Don’t doubt. The word is dia-krino in the Greek, meaning to judge thoroughly. Here the meaning is to judge whether God is able to perform what you are asking or not.
3) Believe that you have received. That is, be as sure of having the thing asked for as if you already had it.
A few years ago, one of my members from Kenya and I had been praying at various times for her children to receive their visas to enter the United States. On one occasion, I was sure that I heard her say that the children had received the visas.
I was truly rejoicing and praising the Lord in prayer. I was thanking God that they had their visas and looking forward to their arrival. I fully believed that they had their visas, because their mother had told me that it was so. After prayer, she informed me that the children did not have their visas yet, but that we were just continuing to pray that they would receive them. Nevertheless, I had prayed with specificity; I knew that the Lord was able to perform what we were asking, and I was sure that it was already so. Well, that very week the children received their visas! What does God want you to believe for today? If it is truly according to His will, you can KNOW that it is yours, in His time.
Rob Benardo, pastor of the Battle Creek Tabernacle