When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:20-22)
My wife always tells me that I’m a huge nerd, I tell her that’s nonsense, I just love sci-fi, fantasy, and super hero movies, what’s so nerdy about that? Ok, she might have a point…
Of all of the “nerdy” things that I’m into, I’d have to say that one of my favorites is Star Trek. Yes, I enjoy warp drives, transporters, Vulcan ears, and “techno babble” as much as anyone else. But what really draws me to the series as a whole, is its positive outlook on the future of humanity. This is especially true when you compare Star Trek to other dystopian sci-fi series like the Hunger Games.
The hope I see in Star Trek is one where humanity learns how to live life peacefully; where we can co-exist around what we have in common instead of what divides us. But for us to get to that future, we have to first be able to imagine it. The stories we tell ourselves shape the way we think and interact with the world in which we live. This is the truth that Jesus is telling his disciples in this passage; if your faith is contingent on what’s been done before, or if you can’t imagine a different world than what exists now, how are you supposed to live in the new reality that is the Kingdom of Heaven?
Going back to Matthew 5, if the people that claim to believe in and trust the ways of God and claim to follow the same Jesus that said, “blessed are the peacemakers” or “love your enemies as yourself”, then how can we expect the world to change? How can the church be different than any other social club? The truth is, being a follower of Jesus is hard! It’s not hard when Christians act like the rest of the world, but it’s hard when we act differently. When we love those that society deems unlovable, when we show compassion and mercy for those outside of power and when we actually take the words and teachings of Jesus truly seriously, we unleash the power of the Serving King!