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Fig trees and mountains

  1. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 5 years ago

    Matthew 21:18-22

    Early in the morning, as he 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, "I tell you the truth, 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."

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    So, there are these two devout believers. Both have faith and do not doubt. One says to the mountain: Throw yourself into the sea!
    The other says: stay right where you are but turn into jelly!
    What happens to the mountain?

    1. aka-dj profile image79
      aka-djposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      A third one climbs it.
      Plants a flag on the summit.

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        OK, so the prayers of the first two didn't work?

    2. Extinct Soul profile image61
      Extinct Soulposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It depends. Everyone has their own mountains. And they can do whatever they want to do with it, and the mountain, which happens to be a non-living thing (most of the time), will be whatever it's owner would want it to be.

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Not very convincing. The fig tree instance suggests that influence over physical things is possible. The promise is that this even extends to mountains. The reality is that it doesn't.

    3. kess profile image60
      kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Belief is not determined by any other  than the ...you, the person doing the believing...

      So therefore in such a scenario  ,since the two stand in disagreement  that fact alone determines that one or both are in unbelief, for  if they both believed then they would first agree as to what the outcome be...and any believer would already understand enough to know frivolous praying, and is unlikely to pray merely to accommodate the whims and fancies of unbelieving men.
      Unbelief does not negate the work of God but actually aids it.

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        They are not in disagreement over belief. Both have faith, have no doubts, and trust Jesus's promise that prayers will be answered. The only difference is in what they ask for.
        The problem is that you are now asking me to believe your interpretation of the scripture rather than the very clear scripture itself.
        Aren't you setting yourself up as a higher authority than Matthew?

        1. kess profile image60
          kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          The basis of your question is flawed because of your interpretation of belief, which seems to lineup with christian inerpretation of belief.....and is actually unbelief which in turn give some validity to your question itself.... but as you see clearly invalidates the text....

          when you do understand belief you know that there is no disagreement in it.....for any disagreement invalidates the belief and makes it inbelief..

          as it is written elsewhere.....all who believe are ONE:....the one represent unity of all those who belief...

          Take all to also understand I have the same authority as all those who begat the text  so therefore no text stand as my authority.

          This also explain the oneness of the author and I.. if you understood this you will not be disputing the text to begin with..

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Sorry Kess, your mode of expression is impenetrable to mere mortals.

            1. kess profile image60
              kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              An again another writer quotes the same figure saying .....He who lives and believes in me shall never die.... do you believe thos?.....

              there lies the difference between thos who believe from those who pretend to believe....

              Those who dance around the text poking it and turnong it which so ever way they desire are mere shamans.....pretending to be what they are not.

              for the understand which begat the text are far removed from them because it simple does not belong to .....mere mortals.....just as the text itself says.

              the recognition of these things is the beginning of believing.......

    4. Jerami profile image78
      Jeramiposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      First thing ....   Many believers think that whatsoever Jesus spoke to his disciples also applies to them.
        I do not believe that to be true.
        This is no more true than if I say to my daughter; you look good in that pink dress, wear it to supper tonight.
        Would that also apply to my sons?

        There are a number of times that Jesus was speaking "PRIVATELY" to one or more of his disciples, and that message was to them only.

         There is another verse where Jesus said to his disciple that anything you pray for will be answered "IF" it is in the will of God.

         

         We also know that in 326 AD  a bunch of politically minded religious leaders were assembled (By the Emperor).
         They were instructed to make whatever COMPROMISES and concessions necessary in creating a doctrine that everyone could agree upon.  A “one world” church was created, which soon became more powerful that the government that created it.

        We need to remember that the bible that we read today is the product of this compromising the word of God.
        For the most part; They kept with the commonly accepted teachings of scripture (of that time)  in order to gain acceptance of the masses.         Only that part seen as detrimental to the goals of the church were left out or interpreted to mean something else.   
       
        A baker only has to change the recipe ever so slightly in order create a totally different product.

      1. Paraglider profile image87
        Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Jerami - that's a very good answer, and one that scripture could be seen to support, as some of the disciples are indeed reported to have worked miracles later. (I don't believe they did, but your logic is sound).

        1. Jerami profile image78
          Jeramiposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you.

             "IF" we are to believe what is written in the bible?
             The bible itself teaches that a false religion WILL rise up out of the sea  And then after it, another will rise up out of the earth.

             Dominion over the earth will be given to these two.

             This message was given to John while on the Isle of Patmos in 96 AD.
          Two and a half centuries later the first half of this prophesy was fulfilled.
             
             And in the sixth century the second half also.
             
             Kayos among the political aspects of a governmental type of religion was ineviadable.

             And here we are today saying,  "What the Heck is going on?"

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Again Jerami, you won't find widespread agreement that these earlier prophecies were fulfilled. Not even among professed Christians.

            1. Jerami profile image78
              Jeramiposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              A truer truth than that has never been spoken.

                I guess we can believe in Jesus and  NOT  believe all of those things that he taught ?????   For me it is an all or nothing thing.

                And if I believe ALL of those things in the bible that he is said to have said.  This is all the proof that I need to believe that he taught against much of what the organized churches stand for today.

                 We either see prophesy as having been fulfilled  OR  we don't.

                 Either they have come to pass, as it is written that it will ...
              OR   nothing that that was prophesied has come true.

                 Either prophesy is true or it is false.   Either we make sense of it or it makes no sense.
              All of this comes down to; What Does "Soon come to Pass"  mean?

  2. 0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    Maybe it's a simple question of faith and doubt. Who could honestly and wholeheartedly believe, with no doubt, that through the power of faith in the unseen they could change the form of existence.

    1. Paraglider profile image87
      Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That's OK, except, while it's good to encourage students to aim high, it's not good to ask them to aim impossible. That just leads to disillusionment at inevitable failure.

      1. 0
        Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I'm not sure anything other than ego would drive someone to attempt and change a mountain.

        I get what you're saying, but I don't know that the intent of the lesson for the modern reader would be to imply this was possible. Or even to the ancient reader. No one could believe it. Maybe it is a simple point to let people understand that total faith in the unseen is outside of our grasps.

        1. Paraglider profile image87
          Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          In that case, why kill the fig tree? That was impossible too, albeit on a smaller scale than moving mountains.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, killing the fig tree didn't make a lot of sense. I've never heard what I consider to be a good explanation. It seemed a fretful act and out of character.

            1. Paraglider profile image87
              Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Alternatively, it was a clumsily invented story by the author?

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Pretty much. I always thought it was pieced together.

                1. Paraglider profile image87
                  Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  like water into wine and walking on the sea.

  3. DoubleScorpion profile image85
    DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago

    I take this parable to mean, that if one truly believes and has faith in themselves, they can accomplish even the hardest, most seemingly impossible task.

    1. Paraglider profile image87
      Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      So, Jesus was just kidding about faith in God? It's all about faith in me?

      I picked this passage because, though superficially simple, it actually makes no sense without interpretation. Which kind of leaves the literalists high and dry.

      1. DoubleScorpion profile image85
        DoubleScorpionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Jesus says nothing about faith in God in this particular parable...Only that if you have faith (like the grain of a mustard seed)

        1. Paraglider profile image87
          Paragliderposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, that's true. Was he just an inspirational 'can do' leader then, operating on the human plain only?

 
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