Doubt. It’s the in thing these days. Instead of ‘don’t believe everything you hear’ the new motto is ‘don’t believe much of anything.’ It almost seems that if you have lots of doubts you receive extra kudos – like an authentic badge of honor.
In our text for Sunday, Jesus makes a powerful statement to the disciples about faith and their need for it. On his way back into Jerusalem, Jesus is hungry and stops at a fig tree to grab a snack. There are no figs to be found. He curses the tree and it withers. The disciples are amazed and wonder how this could happen so fast.
“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. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Is this for real? What does Jesus mean exactly? I’ve asked God for different things, believing I’m asking in faith, and didn’t get it. So what gives? And what is the relationship between faith and doubt? Can I possess both and still be a faithful follower of Jesus?
An interesting discussion on this one. Jesus gives a little insight into the answers with three parables in succession about two Sons who responded differently to a Father’s request, some tenants who messed up in caring for an owners vineyard, and a surprised guest at a wedding getting unexpected treatment. Faith takes on many different faces.
Title for Sunday’s Sermon: Upside Down, Inside Out, Faith or Doubt from Matthew 21:18-22:14.
See you Sunday,