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JESUS RETURNS TO THE TEMPLE DAILY 487AN INSTRUCTIVE INCIDENT ON THE WAY 1 487On the morrow, which, as we reckon, was Monday, the second day of Passion week, Jesus and the Twelve returned to Jerusalem and spent the greater part of the day at the temple. The start from Bethany was an early one, and Jesus hungered by the way. Looking ahead He saw a fig tree that differed from the rest of the many fig trees of the region in that it was in full leaf though the season of fruit had not yet come. 2 It is well known that the fruit-buds of a fig tree appear earlier than do the leaves, and that by the time the tree is in full foliage the figs are well advanced toward maturity. Moreover, certain species of figs are edible while yet green; indeed the unripe fruit is relished in the Orient at the present time. It would be reasonable, therefore, for one to expect to find edible figs even in early April on a tree that was already covered with leaves. When Jesus and His party reached this particular tree, which had rightly been regarded as rich in promise of fruit, they found on it nothing but leaves; it was a showy, fruitless, barren tree. It was destitute even of old figs, those of the preceding season, some of which are often found in spring on fruitful trees. Jesus pronounced upon that tree the sentence of perpetual barrenness. "No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever" He said according to Mark's account; or, as Matthew records the judgment, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever." The latter writer tells us in immediate sequence that "presently the fig tree withered away"; but the former makes it appear that the effect of the curse was not observed until the following morning, when, as Jesus and the apostles were once again on the way between Bethany and Jerusalem, they saw that the fig tree had withered and dried from the roots up. Peter called attention to the blasted tree, and, addressing Jesus, exclaimed: "Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away." 487Applying the lesson of the occasion, Jesus said, "Have faith in God"; and then He repeated some of His former assurances as to the power of faith, by which even mountains may be removed, should there be need of such miraculous accomplishment, and through which, indeed, any necessary thing may be done. The blighting of a tree was shown to be small in comparison with the greater possibilities of achievement through faith and prayer. But to so achieve one must work and pray without reservation or doubt, as the Lord thus made plain: "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Prayer must be acceptable unto God to be effective; and it follows that he who desires to accomplish any work through prayer and faith must be fit to present himself before the Lord in supplication; therefore Jesus again instructed the apostles saying: "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course REL C 211 taught by Professor Keithwilson during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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