We get really excited about that bit in Mark 11:22-25 which talks about having faith to move mountains. How many times have you heard it referenced in songs, prayers and sermons? We’ve seen that in context, those words relate to Jesus having just cursed the fig tree. Mark 11 is all about the authority that Jesus has and we’ve seen that this authority extends to his creation.
I think that an overflow implication here is that we as the new humanity are re-commissioned to the original task of ruling creation, filling it and subduing it. The point is also that if we have faith, then our trust in God also means that our will is aligned with his. We can confidently speak his word into the world around us, trusting it to come true.
However, not much attention is given to these words.
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too
The danger at this point in Mark is that we, with the disciples could get so caught up in amazement at the spectacular power involved in the miracle that we miss the message at the heart of the miracle. Jesus has pronounced judgement on the tree. This should remind us that the biggest need in the world right now is forgiveness. The biggest need in our communities is forgiveness. It means that people need to know God’s forgiveness to be reconciled to him. It means that there needs to be forgiveness between people in order to bring healing to communities and families.
The Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel shows us that we primarily fulfil that original creation mandate not by displays of brute force and power but by bringing the good news of the Gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation into people’s lives.