Matthew 21:18-22 – Bye Bye Fig Tree

Read Matthew 21:18-22

We are getting ready for another big purge in our household. We did one when we moved to Mexico, and now it’s time to do one again. When you aren’t using something, or when something becomes useless and doesn’t work, get rid of it. Today’s reading confirmed that for me, and it may be exactly the push I need to get started. One cool thing here in Mexico is that people re-purpose things, find new ways to use, fix the broken. Our purging will be another’s blessing and not just adding to the trash pile.

Jesus let out a little of his frustration with the poor fig tree. It didn’t have the fruit he was looking for, so he cursed it. The tree withered and died. My first impression was, “Boy that was harsh!” What if it wasn’t blooming season? But then Jesus would know that. He had no patience for this tree without fruit when his hunger was telling him to eat.

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Matthew 19:16-30 – Good Life

Read Matthew 19:16-30

We are all looking for shortcuts, aren’t we? We want a diet pill to lose weight, a get rich quick scheme to make money, a drive up window to get our food faster–you get the idea. So it makes sense that this rich young man wanted to know what one “good” thing he had to do to have eternal life. He wanted to live forever and knew that was something his money couldn’t buy.

I loved Jesus’ response. Good? There is only One who is “good.” Our good Heavenly Father. Chris Tomlin has a great song called “Good Good Father” and you can listen HERE.

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Matthew 18:1-14 – Child-like Ways

Read Matthew 18:1-14

I heard something the other day. It takes us a year or two to learn to talk and another sixty years to learn how to shut up! That might be a little harsh. We have also heard that children should be seen and not heard. Rubbish in my opinion. We would miss out on so many delightful things that only children without filters can come up with. If only I had written down some of the adorable things my children have said.

Jesus was also a fan of children. One of my favorite images of Jesus is when he is sitting with a crowd of children all around him. They are hanging on to every word he says. We need to be more like that. Even Jesus thinks so.

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Matthew 16:21-28 – Become a True Follower

Read Matthew 16:21-28

In our last reading, Jesus was applauding Peter’s bold statement and gave him the keys to the kingdom. Today, Peter is being called “Satan” by an angry Jesus. Maybe “angry” is too harsh, but Jesus wasn’t pleased with Peter. Why? Peter was in denial. Peter didn’t want to hear Jesus talking about such things as torture and death. Peter couldn’t imagine a life without Jesus in it. Those thoughts were human thoughts.

I’m sure Jesus, being 100% human, was also struggling with the reality of his destiny on earth. I don’t know who in their right mind would be looking forward to being brutalized and killed, especially when they were totally innocent. Yet, Jesus knew what was coming. It was time to prepare his friends for the events to come. For Peter to be in denial was not helping Jesus at all.

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Matthew 14:22-36 – Can You Walk on Water?

Read Matthew 14:22-36

I’ve never tried to walk on water. Have you? If Peter can do it, I think we all can–if we have the right mindset and trust. But Peter started to sink, and I’m sure we would, too. I don’t know about you, but I tend to overthink everything. That’s exactly what Peter did. Jesus’ words are ringing in my head, “Why did you doubt me?”

We are all guilty of that doubt from time to time. Our faith can falter with the breeze. If we encounter a stumbling block or even a roadblock in our lives, we tend to seize up and become stuck. We were not promised a trouble-free life. We were promised to never be alone. We were promised to be loved no matter what.

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