It’s Holy Week. Christians throughout history have used this week to prepare for Easter by focusing on Jesus’s life the week before his crucifixion. Stealing the idea from my friend, Kevin, over at The Undiscovered Country Project, I thought we could have ourselves our own Nerdy Holy Week here at TheChristianNerd.
Holy Monday usually focuses on one of a few stories, most notably Jesus cursing the unfruitful fig tree. Here is that story from Mark 11.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.
When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Peter was amazed at what happened to the fig tree but, if we place our faith in God, we will see far more amazing things. Jesus tells us that if we place our faith in God we will get what we pray for, things far more amazing than a withered fig tree.
The more selfish parts of me love this passage because it seems to say that I can get whatever I want, as long as I place my faith God. If I place my faith in God then I will have millions of dollars, a bunch of watches and a house in Fiji. However, asking for those things shows that my faith isn’t in God.
If I prayed for millions of dollars, then my faith wouldn’t be in God for my provision but in my money.
If I prayed for a bunch of watches, then my faith wouldn’t be in God for my value but in my accessories.
If I prayed for a house in Fiji, then my faith wouldn’t be in God to find rest but in my vacation home.
Holy Monday reminds me of an episode from The Next Generation’s first season: “Where No One Has Gone Before”. In the episode the Enterprise is flung to a different galaxy where the crews’ thoughts become reality; whatever they want or fear is materialized in front of them.
Sometimes we want God to act like that different galaxy and simply give us what we want. Having faith in God, though, doesn’t mean getting what we want but trusting that God is going to give us what we need.
The disciples wanted a conquering king but they needed a loving savior.
We may want millions of dollars but we need to trust in God for our provision.
We may want another Star Trek television series, but maybe God knows we just need Star Trek Into Darkness.
What helps you have faith that God will give you what you need but not necessarily what you want?