Jesus was walking along and was hungry. He saw a nice looking fig tree, and decided it would be a great snack. He got to the tree and saw that while it was pretty enough; it was not bearing any fruit. He cursed the tree, and it withered. The disciples were again amazed–after three years of watching Jesus heal the sick, feed thousands with nothing, raise the dead and so many other miracles–those events never got old. Jesus made it simple–it is a matter of faith. If you believe God, you too can do wondrous things. There is no special code. God does not require incantations or pulling rabbits out of hats, He simply requires that His people trust and follow Him.
Next, the religious elite come to trick Jesus, again. “By who’s authority do you do these things?” they asked. Jesus asked theme a question in return–“Was John’s baptism from God or not?” The leaders knew they were in a dilemma. They refused to answer–so Jesus refused to answer them. They knew Jesus was operating under God’s authority. It drove them crazy. He neither gave them the respect they felt they deserved, nor did Jesus focus on the rules and regs. All Jesus did, was go around talking about God and doing good things–what kind of message was that sending?!
In Jesus time and now, the religious elite will never get it. Since creation, God has always looked at men’s hearts and attitudes. For God, relationship is based upon where our treasures are and whom we follow–not on the tasks we complete, or the rules we can check as done. The fig tree was a great picture of Jesus frustration with the religious leaders. While they looked good, they produced no value to the kingdom of God. They had no empathy, grace or desire to show people God’s true nature–fruitless wonders! Jesus reiterated–its about faith and trust–nothing more! If you trust God, you will do amazing things, see amazing things and have an amazing life.
God Bless You
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21 Jesus replied, “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. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.