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.” Matthew 21:18-22
Recall that not long ago Jesus had cleansed the temple of money changers. The nation had devolved so much that spiritual things weren’t a priority anymore.
In the Old Testament, figs symbolized the nation of Israel (Hosea 9:10, Jeremiah 8:13). It’s apparent that Israel had become spiritually barren.
Jesus also took the opportunity to teach them more about faith and belief in prayer. He had about four more days to instill the great principles of the faith into His disciples. In the upcoming months and years their faith would be tested like no other. They had to have a solid foundation before He left the earth. He was preparing them with each lesson. These would be the lessons and stories they would need to impart to hungry souls. The disciples would be the body of Christ until more and more followers were ushered into the faith.
It’s a bit like the Christian faith, isn’t it?
If we were to get a fire hose dosage of teaching all in a month, we wouldn’t know what to do with it all. It would be too much too soon. Instead we get bits and pieces because it’s all we can process.
Many people have told me that they feel bad that they can’t even remember the preacher’s sermon from the week before. I simply ask them what they had for lunch 3 weeks ago Friday at lunch time. Obviously they don’t remember.
The point isn’t exactly what they ate on that Friday but THAT they did in fact eat.
Likewise, they were spiritually nourished by the preachers and the Word of God whether or not they remember sermons or Bible passages they’ve read.
Take heart, my friends. Keep plugging away one day at a time.
Draw close to Him.