The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Luke 21:29-33   And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Signs.  We’re all looking for signs.  The same was true in Jesus’ day.  The Pharisees, the Saducees, the disciples, the crowds, all looking for signs and wonders.  They wanted signs that Jesus was really the Messiah, we want signs that He’s really there.  They wanted to see miracles, we pray for riches and fortunes.

But Jesus was hesitant to gives signs to the people, even His own disciples.  Even the famed “wars and rumors of wars” warning wasn’t so much of a sign as it was Jesus making a point that they weren’t signs of the end.  This, He said, was only the beginning. He was telling them that they should always be ready for His return, at all times.

Mark 13: 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

There are some actual signs that Jesus tells of (Mark 13:24-27 for example), but He encourages His followers to learn a lesson from the fig tree.  “As soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near”(Mark 13:28).  He tells them, and us, to interpret the signs appropriately.  Do not look at the fact that this world is passing away and despair over it.  It’s a sign that the Son is returning.  Don’t lose hope because these things are happening, because they need to happen.  It’s all the more reason TO have hope!