AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #34
Ask in Faith, believing
“And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:21-22
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
There are times when Jesus will use similes, metaphors, idioms and even hyperbole to make a point. Those examples are easy to spot. Then there are times when Jesus is being literal and The Truth is so profound that many who hear it do not believe. This is one of those times. Additionally, whenever Jesus uses the word ‘Truly’ He is actually saying “Amen”, in other words it is saying, “this word I am giving you is a firm and faithful statement.”
Truly or Amen, at the beginning of a discourse informs the listener (or reader) of a coming truth. If it is used at the end of a statement it means “so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled.”
It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own.
Therefore, Jesus alerts His disciples (which includes His followers today) that a profound Truth is coming!
(I am breaking Jesus statement into parts so we can see the importance of each ‘step’ and contemplate them and I am putting the Greek translation and meaning in parentheses for our understanding),
“if you have faith (Faith: conviction of, assurance; faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.)
do not doubt, (in your heart and mind, have left no room for an alternative choice)
you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but (you will singularly see and complete (poieo) and create what God has prepared ahead of time)
even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. (even though you say, and if you say, and if you say so much as; affirm over, exhort, to command, direct; to come into existence, begin to be, to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen)
In simpler words, Jesus is being literal. He is shaking the foundations of the natural world. But then, He is God Incarnate, Emanuel, God with us and He is saying to you that if you have faith and do not doubt, all things are possible for you.
You can literally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. You can put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, you can take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, you can stand firm.
Jesus is saying that you need to have no fear of any circumstance, no fear of any person. God is for you. No man can stand against you. No weapon which has been formed can prosper against you. Just, “Ask in faith”. AND HAVING DONE EVERYTHING, STAND FIRM
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW MUST YOU TEACH IT?
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: It is and always has been the responsibility of each and every Christian to follow and obey Jesus, do the works He has done and to make other disciples who will do the same.
Have we, the Church, abdicated one of the greatest commands and commissions by Jesus to the professional clergy? Have we engaged hirelings to do our work?
This is what Jesus told us we MUST BECOME what we MUST BE DOING as His Disciples.