On His way from Bethany with the disciples, Jesus felt hungry, and seeing a fig tree in the distance, he went to see if he could find a fruit on it. Since it was not in season, he found nothing but leaves. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. Arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he taught them, saying, “Is it not written, `My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of thieves.” The chief priests and the scribes heard about it and sought a way to kill him; for they feared him, because the entire multitude was astonished at his teaching. The next day, passing by the fig tree, they saw it withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to Him, “Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered.” And Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Just think for a moment. Jesus was never afraid of His enemies. On the contrary, it was they who feared Him, because He stood for the truth and the multitudes followed Him. He always knew that we must act on what is right in the appropriate place. The Apostles watched him with genuine concern, often utter confusion and frustration. He taught them to have faith, because it is in one’s total trust in God where true power lies.
He taught them (and us) that it is in constant communication with the Father in prayer that we can develop our faith. And communication with Him will always be clear and invigorating if we bear no ill will against anyone, sustained by a forgiving heart. His message was: it would be better for a man not to exist at all if he was not fruitful and had nothing to offer in his life. In the same way, one must be willing to give up his life to fight for the truth and the principle of his faith.
Grant me, dear God, a heart full of faith in Your love; with courage to drive out of my life what is evil and unjust; with enthusiasm to be fruitful in spreading the Good News of Christ; and forgiveness, to be worthy of His great sacrifice. Amen
Daily Devotional: “Live Fruitful, Fearless, And Forgiving” was originally published on praisecleveland.com