The Withered Fig Tree – Mark 11:20-26
Name something you have received, even though you have yet to receive it?
20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.
24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
26 “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Food for Thought
1. Why do people hold grudges?
2. When have you ever expressed “righteous” anger?
3. What amazing answer to prayer can you remember receiving?
4. Why was Peter so surprised on seeing the fig tree? (11:21)
5. On what do answers to prayer depend? (11:22-25)
6. What truth did Jesus illustrate with the withered fig tree? (11:23-24)
7. What elements did Jesus single out of this object lesson regarding a strong prayer life? (11:23-25)
8. What promise did Jesus offer about receiving answers to prayers? (11:24)
9. How can a person be sure God has forgiven his or her sins? (11:24)
10. What can stand in the way of God’s forgiveness? (11:25)
11. How can holding a grudge affect the way God answers prayer? (11:25)
12. How is some unanswered prayer accounted for? (11:25)
14. What did the disciples think would happen when Jesus cursed the fig tree?
15. Who or what is the withered fig tree?
16. How many fig trees have you cursed?
17. Why does Jesus tie God’s forgiveness of us with our forgiveness of others?
18. What does this passage say about the relationship between faith and forgiveness?
19. What should we be willing to do to resolve conflicts between ourselves and others?
20. Why is it necessary to forgive others for what they have done?
21. When is it difficult for you to forgive others?
22. Why is it so important that a believer should not doubt God?
23. Name something you have confidently trusted God for, without a shadow of doubt?
24. Name something you have received, even though you have yet to receive it?
25. When do you experience frustrations or doubts in your prayer life?
26. How can God be both sovereign and bound to grant every prayer request we bring before him?
27. For what other reasons besides grudges do our prayers go unanswered?
28. What practical ways can we use to ensure that our prayers are always answered?
29. What does this passage tell us about God’s relationship with a believer?
30. What is one specific request you want to commit yourself to pray for regularly this week?
31. What can you do today to let go of a grudge or feeling of offence?