“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Matthew 11:22-24
I have a couple of favorite spots at the beach that I like to visit as often as possible. There is one in particular that is a great place to watch the sunset and to watch people watch the sunset. There is a strange communion even among strangers when you watch God do the same awesome thing together.
Today as I watched the sun splash orange and pink across the sky and the ocean and the Channel Islands raced to see who could change shades of blue the fastest, I had a funny thought.
“Wouldn’t it be funny,” I thought, “if those mountains sitting on the horizon are there because someone told them to go throw themselves into the sea?”
I know. I make myself laugh with my own wacky thoughts sometimes. Still, it made me think. What was Jesus talking about?
It all started with the fig tree. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it had leaves but no fruit. It was symbolic of the religious leaders who were plotting to kill Him. He was making a statement that there would come a day when those people who look like they have it all together but are actually deceiving people with their outward appearance will be exposed as having no real fruit and be seen for what they really are.
The disciples marveled at this withered fig tree. Jesus basically said, “That’s nothing! If you have faith you can cause mountains to be thrown into the sea!”
Huh?! What was He talking about? Cursing trees and throwing mountains? It doesn’t sound very environmentally friendly. Jesus is like that though. He loves word games; puns, paradoxes and riddles.
He is not talking about rearranging the natural furniture. The fig tree was about people. Mountains represent governments. In this case, the spiritual authorities of the kingdom of darkness. He was letting the disciples know that once He went back to the Father, and the Holy Spirit came, we, His disciples, would have authority even over the biggest and most daunting leaders in the kingdom of darkness.
He was making it clear that the rulers of darkness would not murder Him but that He had all authority and would willingly lay down His life so that we too could overcome all evil!
Jesus was saying that if we have faith, we can tell the enemy to go jump into the sea!