Matthew 21:22 Meaning of Believe and Receive

Matthew 21:22
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 21:22

In the teaching of an object lesson to his disciples, Jesus had cursed a fruitless fig tree. The lesson was likely obvious to his followers: we are here to bear fruit and those that don’t are useless in the kingdom (Jn 15:8). But what so amazed the disciples is how quickly the fig tree withered under his curse. Once again, they were amazed and afraid of his power. Jesus took the opportunity to teach them another lesson: If you believe, you too could pray for God to act in such a way, and he would.

The Bible gives conditions for answered prayer, and they are all intertwined. Here, Jesus has said that we must have faith, or believe in order to do something like this (or move a mountain or a tree into the sea). In another place, he says that anything they ask in his name will be done for them (Jn 14:14). In still another, he says that God will do anything they ask according to his will (Mt 18:19).

This should be taken to mean that when it is God’s will to see something done, he will give us the faith that we need to ask effectively. When we go to him to ask, we only go to him in Jesus’ name, because it is by the blood of Jesus that we can even come into his presence. It is in the ministry of Jesus, who left us here for this purpose, that we are acting and praying. Prayer is answered when these things come into alignment, which will happen more to the ones who seek the face of God, to walk by his Spirit, and to do his will.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 21:22

#1 “If you believe,”
Faith is always the main ingredient of any aspect of living out our relationship with God. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn 20:29).

#2 “you will receive…”
The Christian life is all about receiving before it is about giving. We receive the gift of eternal life by the generous Giver who died for us. We receive provision from the hand of God, and we receive the answers to our prayers. The only thing we have to give to God is ourselves and our praise.

#3 “…whatever you ask for in prayer.”
When we are in a state of belief such as Jesus is describing here, our prayers will be those that God is inspiring and infusing with faith to receive.

Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 14-28

Biblical Translations of Matthew 21:22

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Matthew 21:22 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.