Faith to move mountains!
Scripture reading for October 18th: Mark 11-13
In 1995 my son Marshal and I went on a study trip to Israel. While in Israel, we visited Bethany and walked the road over the Mt. of Olives that went to the temple. It was a walk that made this portion of scripture come alive!
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany and Jesus often stayed with them. Jesus had come to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover week. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as Zechariah had predicted. He arrived at the temple but simply looked around and left. This would have been on Sunday, the first day of the week.
He returned to Bethany and the next morning as He walked back over the Mt. of Olives. Seeing a fig tree, He went to find early fruit. He found none on the tree and spoke a curse, stating that no one would ever eat fruit from that tree again. He went on to the temple and drove out the money-changers. He went back to his friends’ house for another evening. The next morning they went by the fig tree and it had withered from the roots! (Mark 11:20-21)
Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, that 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 him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
As we walked up the mount of Olives in 1995, we could see Bethlehem and a place nearby called the “Herodium” where King Herod, in the years just before Jesus walked that path, had moved a mountain! He took one hill and put it on top of another using thousands of slave laborers. In the distance we could also see the Dead Sea glistening in the valley below. When Jesus spoke that parable, He had an object lesson for his disciples! As Herod had used thousands of slaves to move the mountain, their faith in God would empower them to move mountains with their words!