|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:19-26 The disciples could not think why that fig-tree should so soon wither away; but all wither who reject Christ; it represented the state of the Jewish church. We should rest in no religion that does not make us fruitful in good works. Christ taught them from hence to pray in faith. It may be applied to that mighty faith with which all true Christians are endued, and which does wonders in spiritual things. It justifies us, and so removes mountains of guilt, never to rise up in judgment against us. It purifies the heart, and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plain before the grace of God. One great errand to the throne of grace is to pray for the pardon of our sins; and care about this ought to be our daily concern.
Verses 22, 23. - Have faith in God; literally, have the faith of God - full, perfect, effectual faith in him; faith like a grain of mustard seed. You may be staggered and perplexed at what you will see shortly; but "have faith in God." The Jews may seem for a time to flourish like that green fig tree; but they will "soon be cut down as the grass, and be withered as the green herb." What seems difficult to you is easy with God. Trust in the Divine omnipotence. The things which are impossible with men are possible with him. Our Lord then uses a metaphor frequently employed to indicate the accomplishment of things so difficult as to be apparently impossible. He employs a bold and vivid hyperbole; and, pointing probably to the Mount of Olives overhanging them, and on the shoulders of which they were then standing, he says, "With this faith you might say to this mountain, Be thou taken up and cast into the sea, and it shall come to pass."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jesus answering, saith unto them,.... To all the disciples; for what Peter said, he said in the name of them all; and according to Matthew, the disciples said, "how soon is the fig tree withered away?" To which this is an answer; though the Arabic version renders it, "to him"; as if the words were directed particularly to Peter:
have faith in God; or "the faith of God", so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; that is, exercise, and make use of that faith which has God for its author, which is the work of God, and of his operation, a free grace gift of his; and which has God for its object; and is supported by his power, and encouraged by his goodness, truth, and faithfulness: and so the Arabic version renders it, "believe in God"; not only that such things may be done, as the drying up a fig tree, but those that are much greater.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
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