Blessed… Of Faith and a Fig Tree

Early in the morning as Jesus was returning to the city, he was hungry. He saw a fig tree along the road, but when he came to it, he found nothing except leaves. Then he said to it, “You’ll never again bear fruit!” The fig tree dried up at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so fast?” they asked. Jesus responded, “I assure you that if you have faith and don’t doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree. You will even say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the lake.’ And it will happen.  If you have faith, you will receive whatever you pray for” (Matthew 21:18-22, Common English Bible).

I admit, I know very little about fig trees. I do know that there is a season, like with most plants, when they produce fruit. The remainder of the time, the plant has leaves but no fruit. The fig tree is no different.

I have always found the story that is our lesson today to be a bit curious. Why would Jesus curse a fig tree if (though perhaps t was fig season, the lesson really doesn’t say) its fruit were out of season? Why kill the tree. Instead, why not do things to encourage the tree. In Luke’s gospel Jesus tells a parable about a fig tree that didn’t bear fruit. The landowner was ready to chop it down but the gardener begged for the opportunity to work with the tree and save it.

This lesson is another of the opportunities Jesus took to share with the disciples the power of prayer. In the lesson the fig tree dies immediately after Jesus cursed it. The disciples were amazed that something like this could happen and they wanted to know how. Jesus said they could do this, and more, if they had faith and did not doubt. If they did that, not only could they command the fig tree to die, they could move mountains.

Jesus tells us again and again throughout the Gospels about the power of faith. If you only have faith, he says, this seemingly impossible task can be done, even by you.

We believe we have faith. We pray in faith. Yet often things seem like they don’t happen. Perhaps we look but fail to see where God has answered our prayer. Or, more likely, Jesus says, if you have faith and “don’t doubt” that our prayers will be answered. How often do we pray and truly have no doubt in our hearts and minds.

It seems to me that it is difficult to live life and have no doubt. It also says to me that faith can be a fragile thing because doubt can creep into us so easily. Perhaps that means we must work it and cultivate it because unlike figs, faith is always in season.

How do you work to keep doubt away from your faith?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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