September 22nd, 2021 – Matthew 24:34

Verse of the Day Devotion  Matthew 24:34  Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 

Today we will look at the Parable from the Fig Tree.  These verses deal with end time events. Here is this parable as found in Matthew’s gospel.

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:32-35.

Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when the disciples came up to Him to point out the Temple buildings.  However, Jesus answers them in a way they did not expect.  “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” Matthew 24:2. His statement probably surprised them, so they said, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3.

He then in Matthew 5-24 He answers them by listing and describing what is coming that points to the end (click verse to see it).  He now turns from this to describing how they are to conduct themselves as they await His coming. He uses a parable from the Fig Tree to help them understand. “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:32-33.

How does a fig tree example help here?  It is said that most trees in first-century Palestine kept their leaves throughout the year, except for the fig tree. It sheds its leaves in winter, but year after year something happens in the spring. The branches become tender because the sap rises causing the tree to put forth leaves. There are other ways of knowing that the winter has come to an end, but anyone who has grown trees knows how satisfying it is to see the new leaves make their appearance. This is the proof that the harsh days of winter are gone and that summer is near. The fig tree does not bring the summer, but the appearance of its new leaves is a sure and certain indication that summer is now at hand.  

And just as the return of the leaves on the fig tree denote the end of winter, so does the events Matthew 24 denotes His return, “when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:33b. The followers of Jesus are to be no less discerning than the growers of fig trees. When the things He spoke of make their appearance, they are commanded, “know that it is near” In fact, He becomes more specific when He says, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

We are already seeing many of the things mentioned in Matthew 24:5-24, such as false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, and earthquakes and various places.  Jesus tells us this is just the start. “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Matthew 24:8.  After this He speaks of the persecution we Christians will need to endure. And then will come the anti-Christ, the abomination that causes desolation. And finally, Christ will return and do away with all the evil that was perpetrated on the earth.

Jesus assured the disciples that when these signs appeared as He foretold (the abomination of desolation, followed by great tribulation, followed by signs in the heavens), His return to the earth would follow. When a fig tree buds, there is an inevitable result – summer is near and fruit is coming. In the same way, when these signs are seen, the coming of Jesus in glory with His church to this world will inevitably follow.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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