Luke 21:29-33 “Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
What does the parable of the fig tree mean for us today?
The evidence that we are living in the days as Jesus was describing to His disciples in Luke 21 is being made clearer with each passing day. It seems to me the more we recognize the signs of the times, the more we can relate to the urgency of the hour, and just maybe those who have dabbled on the outside of God’s grace will take the plunge of repentance and acceptance for Jesus as Lord of their life.
When Jesus gave a parable it is important to note that one thing stands for another thing. When an example of a tree is given, Jesus is actually describing something else, as in this case the fig tree represents the nation of Israel.
Many believe the generation that witnessed Israel becoming a nation in 1948 will not die before the Lord returns for His people. Once the rapture of the church occurs, the 1000 year reign of Christ will begin after the 7 year tribulation. So then, people ask, how long is a generation?
Psalm 90:10 “The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow”
Just like a tree bears leaves in the spring, so the time of Jesus’ return will be known to those who understand the season. Instead of only focusing on the fig tree, Jesus makes a statement regarding all the trees.
“The addition of Jesus’ statement regarding ‘all the trees’, makes the prophetic parable even clearer and more compelling”C.J. Lovik
With the break-up of the Ottoman empire in 1922, the nation states that were formed became what is commonly known today as the middle east.
Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 and is often referenced by a date palm tree. Lebanon, characterized by a cedar tree, became a sovereign nation in 1943. The palm tree, reflective of Jordan, became a sovereign kingdom in 1946. The olive tree of Syria became sovereign in 1943. Finally, Israel, characterized by a fig tree became a nation in 1948.
If the depiction of a generation is 80 years then the year 2028 would be the end of that generation.
Barren and Fruitful
On a separate occasion, Jesus came upon a Fig tree and as the story goes, Jesus being hungry looked upon the tree for food, yet found none.
Matthew 21:18,19 “Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.”
Just as Israel had no longer been unfruitful in its ability to bring glory to God, so the fig tree lacked the fruit necessary for God’s blessing when He found her.
In these last days, Israel has once again become fruitful as well as all the nations surrounding her. Today, we are witnessing the resurgence of the countries that once dominated the land thousands of years ago and their prominence is becoming more evident every day.
As the day of the Lord approaches, those who live in this season are given a warning.
Luke 21:34-36 “But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of all the earth. So keep watch at all times, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Notice the things Jesus lists as those that weigh down?
- Dissipation-also known as the squandering of money, energy, and resources. This trend is no more apparent than in western society. The waste of money is unprecedented with entertainment, hobbies, and various luxuries taking center stage. Whether it’s money poured into animals or cosmetics, the endless flow of waste would shock much of the world.
- Drunkenness-When someone is inebriated, they do not function at the same capacity as someone sober. How can someone be weighed down by drunkenness? Alcohol can grab hold of it’s victim and not let go, once the pattern of drinking has been established, the destructive nature of this tool of the enemy destroys all in it’s path.
- Worries of Life-Worry seems to be at epidemic proportions in this day and age. From worry about sickness, worry about the economy, or who is in command, the supply is endless for those who are gripped with fear.
It becomes impossible to stay focused on the day at hand or remaining effective in your testimony when everything else is taking hold of your life other than Jesus.
The entire earth is affected by things that weigh it down, staying focused on Jesus requires more than just extra effort…
- Keep Watch-Being mindful of the day keeps you on your toes for the complacency that can easily set in. Being mindful of the day is only part of what we see, it is the Holy Spirit who works in and through us that leads us on our journey but we must be looking to see Him.
- Pray-The daily, consistent, effectual prayer life of a follower of Christ becomes the power source for a believers life. By drawing near to God, He promises to draw near to us, it is through these encounters with Him that leads into our day and becomes the bookend at the close.
Without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, everything else will just be a practice in futility.
Regardless of how much of a student of prophecy you might be, if you have never reached that point of belief in Jesus Christ that manifests through a heart of repentance for sin and a choice to follow Him, everything else is just looking forward to a day of condemnation.
All have sinned…all have broken God’s laws and the devastating result of sin is death. Jesus paid the redemption price for us, He has earned our salvation by giving His life that we might live.
I encourage you to seek the Lord first, learn how to follow Him, and the love of God will fill your heart and you will experience new life in Him. Then, after you have been sealed with the Spirit of God, your watchful eyes can look forward with a joyful anticipation for Jesus your redeemer who will come for His own and not as your judge because of unbelief.
The Fig tree is in full blossom, be watchful, the time is at hand.