|| Mark 11:12-14, 20-24
MT21:18 Early in the morning when they were returning to Jerusalem Jesus felt hungry. MT21:19 When he saw a fig tree he went to pick some figs but he found only leaves. Jesus spoke to the fig tree, saying, “No longer will you bear any fruitage to the eon.” And the fig tree withered instantly. MT21:20 Now when the disciples saw this they wondered, asking, “How did the fig tree whither instantly?” MT21:21 But Jesus answered them: “I tell you this truth: If you [disciples] have faith and never doubt, you not only can do the same to a fig tree, but also you could tell this mountain, ‘Rise and plunge into the sea!’ – and it will occur. MT21:22 Indeed, everything, anything you request in a prayer of faith – you [disciples] will receive it.”
 Jesus felt hungry: Something God cannot feel for then He would lack and depend on something else. Though this is the motive given for what follows we suspect something deeper: an object lesson for his disciples. We wonder the reason Matthew includes this and omits the resurrection of Lazarus.
 He found only leaves: Mark 11:13 adds, “… for it was not the season of figs.” It is early spring (Passover). We might wonder if Jesus were God he would not have to approach the tree to see if there were figs. A larger lesson is going on.
 No longer will you bear any fruitage: Or, RIEU: may you be barren; NEB: you will never bear fruit any more.
 To the eon: The Greek is EIS TON AIONA and though some translate this “forever” it would seem Jesus meant for the rest of the life of the tree. See NEB.
 If you [disciples]: The Greek is plural and so this is directed to the apostles.
 Have faith and never doubt: See the notes on Matthew 17:20. The lesson is faith. We note Jesus does not perform a miracle to produce figs so ease his hunger.
 Everything, anything you request: We do not suspect the apostles thought this was a frivolous request but something like a “mountain” related to their commission from their Lord. From a historical retrospective the idea that an unknown carpenter from Nazareth could create such an affect upon mankind would be much larger than any mountain. Throughout his ministry one of the Nazarene’s goals must have been the building of faith among his disciples. They would need a world-changing faith to accomplish the work before them and endure centuries of Holocaust.