In Matt 24 Jesus has told us a series of signs that will precede His coming, including the sign of His personal appearance.
The generation alive to see these signs will be the final generation. Jesus illustrates this with the parable of the fig tree.
TT- Let’s learn 3 elements of this parable.
1. The Analogy of This Parable [v. 32].
v. 32a: Jesus used parables to conceal truth when he did not explain them or to reveal truth when he explained them. He would either grant understanding or not grant understanding [Matt. -13].
This parable was meant to be understood by his disciples. How the first readers would have understood this parable? Many confuse the parable as an allegory rather than a simple analogy. Let me give you an example:
1. They say the fig tree represents
. The budding of the fig tree refers to Israel becoming a nation in 1948. Israel
The fig tree may refer to
in Joel 1:6-7; Hosea 9:10; Jer 24; and Luke:
13:6-10. In these passages it is clear. Israel
Notice Jesus says, “Learn a parable of the fig tree.”
2. The budding of the leaves represents a spiritual revival in the new state of
. The Israel of 1948 is hostile to the gospel. Israel
had an abundance of fig trees. Jesus is talking
about an illustration of a literal fig tree budding and making an analogy with
the coming of the Lord. Palestine
When the sap begins to flow into the branches, making them tender, and new leaves appear on the tree, you know that Spring was here and summer when the figs would ripen and be harvested.
Harvest represents judgment in Matthew- separating unbelievers from believers and condemnation of unbelievers.
Matt. , “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Read Matt. 24:38-41
When you see these signs, the time of his return in judgment is near.
2. The Explanation of This Parable [vv. 33-34].
v. 33a: “All these things”
“These things” refers to all the signs he has been talking about in vv.4-31. Just as the budding fig tree indicates summer and harvest time is near, these things indicate His return is near.
v. 34: “This generation will not pass.”
Generation does not refer to the disciple’s generation.Those who believe that believe the events here refer to the destruction of
To those who hold that the fig tree is
believe that this generation is the Jewish people. They will not pass
away as a people until these things take place. Israel
The simple interpretation is that the leaves of the fig tree represent the birth pains and other signs. This generation refers to people living at the end time who were not taken in the rapture and will view these signs.
3. The Duration of This Parable [v. 35].
v. 35a: Jesus says plainly that Heaven and earth will pass away. Not the third heaven but the second and first. Here Jesus says this as an analogy of the enduring Word of God.
The universe will fail, but what he just said will be fulfilled. The universe will be affected dramatically in the divine judgment a thousand years after the return of Christ.
2 Peter 3:10-13, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Rev. 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
v. 35b: The heavens and earth will pass away, but not the words of Jesus.
Luke 16:17, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”
Tittle is a small stroke distinguishing one Hebrew letter from another. Today we would call it the crossing of a “t” or dotting of an “I.”
This parable is not an allegory of
but an analogy of his coming compared to
the parable of fig tree. Israel