(this preaching originally appeared on theWord on 1 June 2007)
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, â€œMay no one ever eat fruit from you again.â€ And his disciples heard it.
Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, â€œIs it not written,
â€˜My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nationsâ€™?
But you have made it a den of robbers.â€
And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, â€œRabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.â€ Jesus answered them, â€œHave faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, â€˜Be taken up and thrown into the sea,â€™ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
â€œWhenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.â€
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.