How does Jesus summarize what He is teaching His disciples in regard to the withered fig tree? See Mat 21:22, Mar 11:24. In light of His immediately preceding statement, what is the significance of the word “all” in these two verses? Again, what does this teach us about the potential power of prayer? Are there any limits to what the power of prayer can accomplish? Why is that? Think: is there any limit to what the power of God can do? Consider Jesus’ example of prayer and its results; see Mat 14:23-25, Luk 3:21-22, 5:15-16, 6:12-13, Luk 9:28-29, Luk 22:41-43, Joh 11:41-44, Heb 5:7. Review Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:5-6, Eph 3:6 and think: In light of Jesus’ own example, as citizens of God’s kingdom who have received the adoption as sons to become heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, should we suppose that God is any less inclined to hear and answer our prayers when we seek to do His will than He was to hear and answer Christ’s prayers? Cf. Mat 7:7-11, Joh 14:12-14, 15:7,16, 16:23-24,26-27, 1Jo 5:14-15.
What was the central theme of Jesus’ ministry? See Mat 4:17,23, 5:3,10,19-20, 6:10,33, 13:24,31,33,44,45,47, Luk 8:1, 9:1-2,10-11,60,62, 10:1-2,9-11, etc… Consider how everything that Jesus did, including everything for which He prayed, was according to His calling as the Son of the great King and hence always in relation to the establishment of His Father’s kingdom. God has lifted us out of the ash heap, redeemed us from our slavery and adopted us into His family to also be called sons of the Great King: do we understand the significance of that high calling? Cf. Eph 1:18, 4:1, 2Th 1:11. Will we rise to that high calling and live as true sons of the King and also work for the establishment of His kingdom, or continue to live as paupers and slaves who have no power or authority to carry out the King’s business? Cf. 2Pe 1:10-11. What great faith is required to see past those who now dwell in the land of our promised inheritance who are taller and stronger than we are, whose cities are large and fortified to heaven, and believe that God is able to give them into our hand? See Num 13:25-14:10, Deut 1:25-31. Is the faith required to establish God’s heavenly kingdom on earth any different today than it was then? Is its object any different? What does the example of those who rebelled and would not enter in to possess the land teach us about the importance of having a faith that does not doubt but is obedient to carry out the King’s commands to enter into our promised inheritance and establish His kingdom?
We often think of our Lord’s promises regarding prayer positively in terms of salvation and deliverance; what does the preceding context of Mat 21:22 indicate is also included in the great power of prayer we have as Christ’s disciples, and how does it relate to the establishment of God’s kingdom? See 2Co 10:3-6 and cf. Mat 18:15-20, 1Co 5:1-5, Jam 5:16-18. With this understanding, what is the significance of Jesus’ statement immediately following that is recorded in Mar 11:25-26.
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- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?