Mark 11:22
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
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Mark 11:22-24. Jesus answering, saith, Have faith in God — The original expression, εχετε πιστιν θεου, is literally, Have a faith of God; that is, say some, Have a strong faith. And it is a known Hebraism, to subjoin the words, of God, to a substantive, to denote great, mighty, excellent; and to an adjective, as the sign of the superlative. In support of this interpretation, Bishop Pearce has produced a number of passages, universally explained in this manner. “I cannot help, however, upon the whole,” says Dr. Campbell, “preferring the common version. My reasons are, 1st, I find that the substantives construed with Θεου, (God,) when it signifies great or mighty, are names either of real substances, or of outward and visible effects. Of the first kind are prince, mountain, wind, cedar, city; of the second are wrestling, trembling, sleep; but nowhere, as far as I can discover, do we find any abstract quality, such as faith, hope, love, justice, truth, mercy, used in this manner. When any of these words are thus construed with God, he is confessedly the subject, or the object of the affection mentioned. 2d, The word πιστις, both in the Acts and in the epistles, is often construed with the genitive of the object, precisely in the same manner as here. Thus, Acts 3:16, πιστις του ονοματος αυτου, is, faith in his [Christ’s] name; Romans 3:22, πιστις Ιησου Χριστου, is, faith in Jesus Christ. See to the same purpose, Romans 3:26; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:22; Php 3:9; ελπις, hope, is used in the same way, 1 Thessalonians 1:3.” The evident meaning of this precept, as given to the apostles, was, Have a firm faith or confidence in the power and faithfulness of God, to enable you to effect what you believe will be for his glory, and the furtherance of the work in which you are engaged. This has been frequently termed the faith of miracles, concerning which, see note on Matthew 17:20. “It is certain,” says Dr. Doddridge, “that the attempt of performing miracles in public, was a remarkable instance of faith in the divine power and fidelity; for they were generally introduced by some solemn declaration of what was intended, which was, in effect, a prediction of immediate success: (so Peter says, Acts 3:6, In the name of Jesus Christ, Rise up and walk; Mark 9:34, Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; and again, Mark 9:40, Tabitha, arise.) And, in pronouncing this, the person speaking pawned all his credit as a messenger from God, and consequently all the honour and usefulness of his future life, on the immediate miraculous energy to attend his words, and to be visibly excited on his uttering them. And hence it is that such a firm, courageous faith, is so often urged on those to whom such miraculous powers were given. But what kind of intimation of God’s intended miraculous interposition the apostles, in such cases, felt on their minds, it is impossible for any, without having experienced it, to know. It is, therefore, an instance of their wisdom, that they never pretend to describe it, since no words could have conveyed the idea.”

This exhortation, however, is not to be considered as being exclusively given to our Lord’s apostles and first disciples: it is also given to us, and to all his true followers, to the end of the world. We are all here exhorted to have a steadfast faith in the power, love, and faithfulness of God; and to be fully persuaded that he will make good all his declarations, and fulfil all his promises, in their proper meaning, to all true believers in due season; and this, notwithstanding any difficulties or apparent improbabilities which may be in the way. And it is on this foundation that we must approach God in prayer, fully expecting, if we ask such things as we are authorized by his word to ask, and are earnest, importunate, and persevering in asking them, that we shall certainly receive what we ask, as our Lord declares in the next words; even if the granting of our petitions imply God’s doing what is really extraordinary, he having, in all ages, on certain occasions, done what was truly miraculous, in answer to the prayers of his faithful people; innumerable instances of which, especially with respect to recovery from sickness, may easily be produced. For instances, see the Arminian Magazines, vol. 5., pages 251, 312; vol. 8., page 200; vol. 9, pages 35, 36; vol. 14., pages 468, 532; vol. 16., page 146; vol. 19., page 409.

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.Have faith in God - Literally, "Have the faith of God." This may mean, have strong faith, or have confidence in God; a strong belief that he is able to accomplish things that appear most difficult with infinite ease, as the fig-tree was made to wither away by a word.22. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. See Poole on "Mark 11:20"

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.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have {e} faith in God.

(e) The faith of God is that assured faith and trust which we have in him.

Mark 11:22. ἔχετε πίστιν, have faith. The thoughts of Jesus here take a turn in a different direction to what we should have expected. We look for explanations as to the real meaning of an apparently unreasonable action, the cursing of a fig tree. Instead, He turns aside to the subject of the faith necessary to perform miraculous actions. Can it be that the tradition is at fault here, connecting genuine words of the Master about faith and prayer with a comparatively unsuitable occasion? Certainly much of what is given here is found in other connections

22. Have faith in God] as the personal source of miraculous power. (Comp. Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:6.)

Mark 11:22. Ἔχετε, have) Hold fast.—πίστιν θεοῦ, faith) Such as it is right that they should have, who have God [as their God]: faith great and sincere, which believes in God, and believes in there being no foundation save God in all the things of the natural world. So ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ in prayer of God, i.e. to God in solitude, Luke 6:12. So the kindness of God is used of the kindness, which is bestowed on the orphan [of Jonathan] from a regard to God alone, 2 Samuel 9:3, with which comp. Mark 11:1. So the cedars of God are trees not planted by human hands. The mountains [hills] of God, those which human culture does not reach.

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." Mark 11:22
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