Matthew 21:18-22 NIV
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 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. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. 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. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
I really love that this little passage is included in Scripture. Why? If Scripture includes such difficult and confusing passages like this, where Jesus appears petulant, it gives an authenticity to the rest. Why? It would have been easy to 'airbrush' out of Scripture difficult passages for those who chose what to include. If the author includes this, which might confuse, we can trust the other good stuff which encourages us, we can trust the truth of Scripture.
Now, onto Jesus's words about faith. ' If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.' We know it does not always feel like that. Is that a critique of our faith. I don't think so, it asks me to plea for more faith. Because we all know that prayer works, that faith sustains us, that God hears us. Always hears us.
O Lord, please increase my faith. Amen.