Jesus curses a fig tree and teaches the disciples that with faith, they can move mountains (Matthew 21:18 – 21:22).

After spending the night in Bethany, Jesus and the disciples travelled back to Jerusalem. Jesus was hungry. He saw a fig tree by the road and went up to it but found nothing except for leaves. He said to the tree, “May you never bear fruit again.” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. They asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” Jesus replied, “If you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” What the story means to us today The

New poll shows churches have successfully shifted to online services during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, respondents say their faith has grown even stronger.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted April 20 - 26 shows 81.2% say their Church has successfully shifted to broadcasting services online. Even more promising, many Christians who viewed the services online say their faith has grown. 42.4% of those polled said their faith has brown stronger. The survey also eased fears that online services would create a disadvantage for older or economically disadvantaged church goers. Sources: Religion News Service

God brings a plague of livestock upon Egypt – Pharaoh begins to recognize God’s immense power (Exodus 9:1 – 9:7).

After the plague of gnats, Pharaoh went back on his word and would not release the Israelites from bondage. God told Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of God will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field – on your horses, donkeys, camels, sheep, and goats. But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’” God set a time, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” The next

Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy when the disciples lacked enough faith (Matthew 17:14 – 17:23).

When Jesus and the three disciples came to the crowd (presumably returning from atop the mountain where the disciples witnessed the transfiguration), a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus said to the disciples, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy and he was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we

The yeast of the Pharisees – Jesus warns the disciples to be wary of Pharisees’ teachings (Matthew 16:5 – 16:12).

When Jesus and the disciples went across the Sea of Galilee, they forgot to take bread with them. Jesus told them, “Be careful. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” The disciples discussed this among themselves. They assumed Jesus told them this because they had forgotten to bring bread on their trip. Aware of the discussion, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many basketfuls you gathered afterward? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many basketfuls you gathered afterward? How is it that you don’t understand that I wasn’t talking to you about

Exactly what is Christian faith?

People believe their parents are their birth parents, that their flight will reach its destination, and that they will survive the day. This trust that something will occur or is true, without any hard evidence to support it, is called faith. Christian faith works in a comparable manner. Faith is believing or trust. It’s not irrational - if it has basis. Christian faith is based on evidence presented in the Bible. Faith is necessary because, as Hebrews 11:6 tells us: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists.” Christian faith is believing that God will act on his promises, not just that he can, but that he will. Our faith allows us to obey His commandments, even if

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden god and are thrown into a fiery furnace because of their rebellion (Daniel 3:1 – 3:30)

King Nebuchadnezzar created a massive golden image that was 90-feet high and 9-feet wide. He placed the gold image in the plains of Dura in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all other officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. The officials arrived and stood before the monument. The herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do. As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up in the plains of Dura. Whoever does not fall down and worship the

Jesus walks on water – Peter’s faith is tested (Matthew 14:22 – 14:33)

After feeding the 5,000, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he dismissed the crowd. After dismissing the crowd, Jesus went up onto a mountainside by himself and prayed. Later that night, Jesus was on the mountainside alone and the boat was already a considerable distance from the shore being pounded by waves because the wind had grown fierce. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they cried out in fear. Bur Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter was skeptical. “Lord,” he said, “if it is really

Jesus feeds the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13 – 14:21)

When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been killed, he boarded a boat to travel to a solitary place. People heard that Jesus was leaving so they followed him on foot, around the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus arrived on shore, he saw a large crowd. He had compassion for them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples went to Jesus and said, “This is a remote place and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the towns and buy themselves food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. Give them something to eat.” “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered “Bring the food to me,” Jesus said. Jesus directed the people to

Despite great success teaching in Capernaum, Jesus’ home town take offense at his message and rejects him (Matthew 13:53 – 13:58)

After teaching the people using parables, Jesus left Capernaum and returned to his hometown. He began teaching people in their synagogue. The people were amazed. They asked, “Where did this man get his wisdom and miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother Mary? Aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters living here with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" The people took offense at Jesus. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and his own home.” Jesus did not do many miracles in his hometown because of the people’s lack of faith. What the story means to us today Don’t condemn God when things don’t go your way – blame lack of