“Have faith in God?” Said Jesus to his disciples after cursing the fig tree and in response to his disciples’ reaction to what have become of the fig tree, because for us to accomplish the things God call on us to do in the authority of his son Jesus Christ, there is a need for us to have faith in his son. Because to have faith in Jesus, is not just to say we believe in God and his son, it is to accomplish the things Jesus said we are to accomplish, and after spending some time with his disciples, Jesus was about to expose and reveal the type of relationship his disciples were having with him because of their reluctance to do what he requires of them.
Jesus knew; although his disciples have spent the last three years of their lives with him, they had not yet come to the place where they were able to trust in him with all their heart, and because this was the case, Jesus said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” Because he knew; although they were his friends by his choosing, they did not believe in him the way he had desired.
In the eyes of his disciples, Jesus was like the prophets of old, he was just a man passing through; therefore, when Jesus said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” Jesus was making the statement that if his disciples believed in him or trust him when he said he was God, they will do the things he asks them to do. Because after spending the last three years of his life with his disciples proving he was the Messiah there was an expectation on the part of Jesus his disciples would believe in him the way they should.
Jesus brought this conversation to light because he knew his disciples did not believe in him as he would like, he knew although they saw the miracles he did, raising the dead and healing the sick among the people, they had not come to the place where they believed he was the Messiah. Therefore, they were reluctant to do what he instructed them to do.
The value they placed on Jesus was the same as they would place on the prophets before him, he was human in nature, he said he was God’s son, but what was Jesus talking about. Yes, he performed great miracles, he raised the dead proving God was with him, but to say he was God’s son was a bit much for the disciples to digest and because it was, their relationship with Jesus was shallow.
Making the statement he was God’s son, and that he was life eternal, many of his disciples chose not to walk with Jesus openly. Many turned back at the saying of Jesus Christ. Jesus told them in parables, “Whosoever eats my flesh, and drink my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drink my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so, he that eats me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live forever.”
But it was too much for his disciples to digest, and upon hearing these things, and being with Jesus for some three years, his disciples did not believe he was God’s divine son. In other words, they did not believe he was God in human flesh. They were with him, they saw all the things she had done but the faith they were to have placed in him was lacking and because it was, Jesus wanted to expose their hearts in an effort to help them understand who he was, and who they were to him. John 6:54-58.
For that reason, and to expose their shallow faith in him, Jesus challenged his disciples with the question, “Who do men say that I am?” To which they answered, “One of the prophets,” But after hearing their response, Jesus asked his disciples the direct question “Who do you say that I am?” To which Peter answered, “The Son of the living God.”
Upon hearing Peters’ response, Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven.” Because for anyone to believe in Jesus, it will take the power of the Father through the Holy Spirit for anyone to believe. And upon that revelation, Jesus said to Peter, “Upon this rock, I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Because knowing Jesus was God in human flesh and not just another prophet was the key to overcoming the kingdom of darkness. Matthew 16:18.
The gates of hell will not prevail against the knowledge of who Jesus is and knowing who Jesus is and trusting in the person of Jesus who is God, we will work to fulfill the things He instructs us to accomplish. As his disciples, we will do what he asks us to do because we know whatever God commands will be done. Therefore, if we are a friend of Jesus, we will put aside our doubts and will in every way perform the things he asks us to do. And, we will do what he asks, for we know who Jesus is by revelation, and because we know who Jesus is, we will develop the type of relationship that will allow us to place our complete trust in him.
The question Jesus asked, “You are my friend if you do whatever I ask you?” Was necessary, because if we believe in Jesus, and if Jesus is our friend, we will trust him with all our hearts, and when we trust someone with our whole heart, we will do whatever they ask without question. But if we are a friend who is viewing Jesus as one of the prophets and not God in person, our faith will be lacking leaving us reluctant to obey God through his son Jesus Christ inviting hells’ gates to stand at our doors because we are reluctant to obey God leaving us powerless to face down the enemy. But if we come to realize who Jesus is, when we approach the enemy, he will flee because of the authority we know we have in Jesus Christ.