As he returned to the city early in the morning, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it, “May there never be fruit from you again!” Immediately the fig tree withered away. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” Jesus answered them, “Amen I tell you: If you have faith, and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree but even if you told this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it would be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer, as you believe, you will receive.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for giving us this living parable. Was this meant to be a living parable for the religious leaders who thought they had achieved salvation on their own—at the same time, they hated you? Or was this a warning for us also? When you cursed the fig tree, you demonstrated how a person seems to have a vibrant faith with great words of praise for you. Still, when you examine them closely, they are nothing but a hallow, fruitless being. There is no change in their hearts. They are full of exquisite prayers and like to tell everyone what they pray for. Somewhere in your word, you mention standing on a corner bragging about your prayers. You instructed your disciples to go into an inner room and pray quietly by themselves. These figgy people’s prayers are like the wind and try to live by their outward appearances. You also cursed that fruitless tree, and it withered up and died on the spot. Lord, help me never turn into a figgy person. Instead, give me a faith that changes my heart, which naturally bears the fruit of love for everyone that flows spontaneously; I never want to be cursed by you. Never let me be overconfident in my own abilities but always lean entirely on you. When I pray, give me the confidence knowing you hear my words and answer them according to what is best for everyone, not just me. Lord help me to endure my crosses that I must carry, knowing you will be there to help me lift them. Let all my prayers be out of love for others and for you. Amen.
Vicar Roger Emmons
God gives the faith to move mountains; thanks be to Jesus, he lifted the mountain of sin we were buried under.