The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:20-22.

Jesus’ teaching here is similar to Matt. 17:20, but here the emphasis is on not doubting. Freedom from doubt arises from an awareness that something is truly God’s will. True faith receives what it asks for; trusting in God is submitting to His will.

This has deep biblical, Jewish and symbolic significance but Jesus’ immediate lesson is that Christians exercising faith (which can only ever be validly exercised in accordance with a desire to see God glorified and His will done) will see greater things done. Mountains can be removed and cast into the sea. Many have found that their gracious and faithful God answers prayer and has removed mountains in their lives.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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