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RT Kendall explains why Jesus cursed the fig tree

The former minister of Westminster Chapel Dr RT Kendall reflects on an unusual event in the life of Christ

One of the stranger occurrences that took place between Palm Sunday and Good Friday was Jesus cursing the fig tree.

He said to the tree, “May no one  eat fruit from you again”. The next day His disciples noted that the fig tree he cursed was withered. Jesus replied, “Have the faith of God?” (that is the literal translation from the Greek  in Mark 11:22).

But why ever did Jesus curse the fig tree in the first place? Some say, “Because He felt like it”. No doubt, but he would surely have a better reason than that; all that Jesus ever did was at the direction of his father in heaven.

So why would the Father order such a thing? I suggest five things.

First, to show that Jesus can speak directly to nature; after all, he is our Creator and made all there is.

Second, that he controls nature; God is the ultimate explanation for the fruit and vegetables that we eat. This should teach us gratitude toward him.

Third, he can give mercy or withhold it – and be perfectly just either way. This should teach us to have a proper fear of God.

Fourth, to demonstrate the possibilities that are inherent in our prayers. If we have the faith of God – which means would not doubt in our hearts, we can cast mountains into the sea. Jesus then said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”. But how can any of us believe we have received it before we ask? When we know we for sure we have prayed in his will – that’s a big “if”, we will receive it. I’m not sure this has happened to me many times. But we should never dismiss this possibility.

Finally, Jesus cursed the fig tree to get in his teaching of forgiveness. Having the faith of God is not going to emerge in us us if we have unforgiveness in our hearts. During this Holy Week, ask yourself, “Do I have unforgiveness in my heart? Have I totally forgiven those who have maligned me?”

Dr RT Kendall was speaking on Premier Christian Radio's Thought for the Day. To hear more from RT, listen in to Inspirational Breakfast every morning this week from 7am 

Click here to request a free copy of Premier Christianity magazine 

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