“. . . you shall have them.” Mark 11:24
Of all the teachings of Jesus on prayer, this is the most uncompromising. What does this mean? That when we pray, we are to believe and receive? The heart of this question is in the context.
After the cleansing of the temple, Jesus had gone out to Bethany and was on the road to the city the next morning when the disciples noticed the death of the fig tree. When they asked Him about it, Jesus reminded them what they had seen in Jerusalem the day before. Jesus pressed the issue to get them to see the central truth.
The old religion is dying, it bears nothing but leaves. The spiritual witness to the world will no longer be through the temple and the priesthood, instead, this little group of Galilean fishermen will be the foundation of a new and living temple. These disciples were the light-bearers of the world. What a radical distinction and assignment!
On the one side, all the splendor, paraphernalia and tradition, along with the self-created sanctity of the Pharisees, and on the other side, were a tiny band of simple fishermen – but they were the real thing, the others were a sham. The disciples would have much to suffer, but that for which they stood could never be overthrown without dethroning God Himself.
Today, listening to Jesus give us the same exhortation, might sound like this: “Have faith in God, there is a mountain of ignorance and prejudice to remove, but it can be done. Your work lies before you and you need only the spirit of God to accomplish it. What you have to do is to reveal to the world the real love of God. You will face resistance from the religious, but don’t fear. You cannot create anything on your own, I’ll supply all you need. All you have to do is let the truth of God shine through you to the world. Now I release you to go and be the church.”
This is a magnificently inspiring call. Are you listening?