Continuing the Conversation
Did you ever really consider what Jesus was demonstrating when he “spoke” to the fig tree and it withered up?
In Mark 11:13-14 they had just come from Bethany, and Jesus was hungry:
 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. [This is a puzzle because Jesus would have known that the tree was void of fruit since it was too early for the harvest. So, either this was totally a object lesson, or maybe he hoped a fig might be left from the previous year.]
 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
Now Mark’s account, unlike Matthew’s, separates the events of the cursing of the tree with other events that happened later that day, with the next day when they passed by the tree again.
Mark:20 – 24
 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
And here is Matthew’s account in chapter 21:19-22
 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Now looking at these two examples we see the recordings are in the author’s own words, and appears not to be an exact quote of Jesus words. However, the meaning and context is the point that Jesus was trying to get across and that was iimportant for us to understand.
Jesus basically demonstrated that he had power over the elements of nature by speaking a curse on the fig tree. He told it what it would do. When the disciples marveled about it, he used it as another opportunity to tell them what kind of power their faith had, even if just a little faith. He said whatever you want to happen, like moving a mountain even, just tell it what you want it to do. If you believe that what you say will happen, it will. But you must truly believe in your heart and not doubt.
The trouble with our faith and our believing is that we can’t come to terms with the idea that we have supernatural ability to make things happen out of the ordinary and in the miraculous. Jesus said we do, but we have become so conditioned (brain washed) by the fallen state of the world and human nature that we immediately reject that notion all together. There is no way you could have faith to move a mountain, let alone receive healing for yourself or another, with that kind of mindset. With that kind of attitude and thinking you can do nothing. And you will receive nothing, as James says in chapter 1,
 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
But we are to have the mind of Christ – and truly believe that nothing is impossible! As Jesus said in the other example of moving a mountain in Matthew 17:20, “nothing shall be impossible unto you”.
When they could not cast out a demon from a boy, and the boy was brought to Jesus, later the disciples came to Jesus alone and asked, “Why could not we cast him out?”
 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
And I can almost hear him say to those who say they have prayed and nothing has happened so God must want me sick or want that person to die,
“…O faithless and perverse generation, how long do I have to put up with you and your limited faith? How many times do I have to tell you? If you truly believed the power of your words, and that what you say will happen, you could even move a mountain.”
 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me, (Matthew 17:17).
And how did he do it? How did he set the boy free of the sickness and demonic hold on the boy? “He rebuked the devil and he departed out of him and he was cured that very hour.” He didn’t pray to the father, he spoke to the devil and commanded him to leave.
Looking at the word rebuke in the Greek, it comes from two words, one meaning against and the other honor, so Jesus took the devils honor away – he spoke against the devil’s honor, or in simple language he removed his authority to be in the boy or make the boy sick.