Being the Son of God, Jesus had super powers. He once changed water into wine in a wedding feast, walked on water, mutiplied fish and bread by thousands, raised Lazarus from the dead and healed a lot of ailing people. But all these he did for the benefit of others, not for himself. You must begin to wonder if he ever used it for selfish reasons. He was not being selfish when, instead of staying dead, he resurrected himself on the third day. That was all part of the Father’s plans.
This passage tells us that instance when he did abuse his super powers. Also it reveals Jesus’ temper. You know that thing about money changers in the temple? There’s good reason to be pissed there. The people were defiling his temple by hawking their wares in his temple -which was supposed to be a of prayer. That’s tantamount to wearing your shoes when entering a mosque.
Actually, on the day before that thrashing thing, he had exhibited some violent behavior. So even before he saw the commercial activity in the temple, he was already upset about something. And what was that?
12The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. -Mark 11:12-14
It was not fig season, but apparently he is too famished to think straight. He can’t multiply the fruit like he did with the loaves of bread and fish since mutliplying zero will give you a product of zero. He knew his math. So what did he do? He cursed the tree into being barren. That’s like burning a McDonald’s because it’s not the season for Twister Fries. Couldn’t he have just magically make the fig tree bear fruits? He can defy physics by walking on water, can’t he defy biology as well?
Thorns on the head, thousands of lashes, dragging a heavy wooden cross and getting crucified he can handle. But not getting fig at a time when it’s not fig season, he can’t? He once fasted for forty days and forty nights. What’s with the guy?
Clearly he’s power tripping.
So he’s into figs, right? While fasting and meditating for forty days and forty nights, Satan tempted him with riches: treasures, castles and power on Earth, but he didn’t give in. If only Satan knew Jesus was into figs, he could have dangled a fig at the end of the stick on a cliff.
By the way, the disciples heard him curse the tree. The next day, they see the tree and they were flabbergasted that the tree has withered and died. You can imagine the disciples whispering about how powerful he was and how much of a jackass he could be when pissed.
They might have wondered if they will suffer the same fate when asked for a piece of bread next time. He lost his temper. He exhibited some villain-like tantrum when things didn’t go his way. How different is the guy from Darth Vader who when disappointed delivers an invisible chokehold on his sotrm trooper?
In a way you can say that this might affect his relationship with his disciples. He realized this and tried to do something about it. How does he recover from such vulgar display of power tripping then?
He uses that withered tree that he cursed to teach a new lesson. He uses this to imply how much doubts and how little faith they have.
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
22“Have[a] faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”[b]–Mark 11:20-25.
Peter was stating the fact that the tree Jesus cursed whithered. He wasn’t implying anything. In fact he might even be praising him for his power to make trees wither since it did not manifest on the instant he cursed it. He might be saying to the others that they should see that he indeed cursed the tree to barrenness.
How does Jesus answer? He tells them to have faith in God and goes on to talk about flinging oneself to the sea and how prayers actually work if you truly wish for it. Then he proceeeds to give Peter the power to forgive sins in this world. The Catholic Church would later interpret this verse and use it as basis for the powers of the priests to forgive sins if sinners will confess their sins to them inside a big box.
All this priestly powers because of some whithered tree Jesus cursed.
25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Then they move to Jerusalem again where he shows off his debating skills.