Lord, I am Your student. I want to learn from You and walk in step with You.
Read: Matthew 21:18-27
 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.  Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”  Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.  John’s baptism-where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human origin’-we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”  So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said,”Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Reflect: What does it mean to speak with authority?
When spring arrives, some trees will blossom and look as if they will produce fruit early. The fig tree here looked so vigorous that it should have had fruit (19), but it was too early in the season for figs to be ready. This is the only example of Jesus’ miracles which is not good and life-giving.
The fig tree is a symbol for the health of the Temple. The Temple looked as though it was flourishing and bearing fruit in people’s lives. In reality, Jesus was saying, the Temple was sterile, godless and deserved to wither.
The disciples notice Jesus’ power (20). Can they do such miracles, too? Jesus invites them to pray boldly, confidently and with trust (21,22). Like Jesus, the disciples must ask in tune with God’s will. How, then, should we pray?
The first conflict occurs between Jesus and the Temple authorities (23,27). Their questioning of Jesus’ authority (23) ends up with them tied in knots (25,26) and resorting to a feeble, “We don’t know” (27). Jesus demonstrates powerfully that as God’s Son he has authority over the Temple and its leaders (19,23-27) and the authority to answer prayer (22).
As you come to God in prayer, seek his will rather than simply telling him what you want.
Lord, I know I can bring all my cares to You. Yet, I want to learn to pray according to Your will and in Your authority.