After Adam and Eve first sinned against God in the garden of Eden, God promised (Genesis 3:15) to send one who would crush Satan’s head and make a way for lost sinners to be reconciled back to Him.
We learned in Matthew 1 that the one prophesied about so long ago was indeed Jesus. The Promised Messiah. Holy One of God. Immanuel, God with us. The One who came to seek and save the lost.
And yet knowing these truths and prophecies, the religious leaders still refused to believe that Jesus was that ONE. Therefore, they rejected Him and they rebelled against the truths of His teachings.
Jesus declared through the illustration of the fig tree that they would remain in their sins and be cursed forever unless they repented and began to bear the fruit of righteousness in their lives.
This was both a warning to the disciples and an encouragement. It was a warning not to get caught up in the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. And it was an encouragement to continue on and bear fruit for Jesus’s kingdom once He was gone.
It’s also a warning for us who live by faith not to get caught up in the things we do. It’s not enough to merely go to church on Sunday or attend a Bible study. We must also put into practice the things we learn, or we too can get caught up in hypocritical living instead of heartfelt service.
Genuine faith means bearing fruit for God’s kingdom.
How are you actively living, not just talking about, your commitment to God? Are you showing the leaves of religion or are you bearing the fruit of a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ? And do others see this fruit of faith because you live it out in your day-to-day living?
When Jesus cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, it immediately withered and dried up. The disciples were again astonished at the words Jesus had spoken and the response of the fig tree. They questioned Jesus: “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”
And Jesus responded to them by saying:
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
What is Jesus saying? Is He saying whatever you desire He will give you if you have faith to believe?
NO! God is not a genie; He is the living holy God!
What He is saying is that faith in Him, and prayer seeking His power and help, will indeed bring about the desired fruit of His kingdom. Nothing is too big for Jesus to bring about or for Him to overcome. What He seeks is our willingness to come to Him and ask for help!
So what is your mountain of difficulty? Nothing, and no one, is out of God’s reach. Including you.
Maybe you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol or gambling. Maybe you or a loved one is addicted to pornography and this is your mountain. Perhaps it’s a family member who is lost. A friend who is ill or dying or a rebellious child. A difficult job.
I don’t know what your mountain is, but God does!
So what is it that you need to take before Him and trust Him for?
Dear friend, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him guide you in His righteousness. Then see what fruit He bears in your life and in others because of it!
He alone can break the chains of sin that bind us. He alone can deliver new life where there once was death. And He alone can clear the pathway and move the mountain of difficulty in your life right now! But you must trust Him and have faith that He knows what He is doing and what He is doing is best.
He is in the business of making a way where there seems to be no way. Of moving mountains and bringing new life where there once was death and bearing fruit where there seemed to be no fruit!
For it is in Him alone that we find true faith and righteousness through which we can be fruitful. Otherwise, like the fig tree, we too will wither up and die.