“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matt. 24:32-35
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Mark 13:28-28
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Luke 21:29-33
In this passage, the fig tree is used as a metaphor the Jewish nation, as the fig tree is symbolic of Israel’s spiritual condition. When “all these things will happen,” is a reference to the prophecies Messiah said would bring about the end of the Jewish kingdom. [See Also: Trees that Represent Israel]
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” Matt. 21:43
So, this fig tree, like any tree, was to put forth new growth in the spring. It is near the summer that the prophecy of His coming to usher in the Kingdom of God, will be at the very gates.
Messiah made it clear that this prophecy would take place within one generation. Biblically, a generation is defined as being no more than 40 years.
And the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was consumed. Num. 32:13
So, for a generation after the Olivet Discourse, believers would be anticipating that each new spring might require them to leave the city and the countryside in a moments notice. They would be looking to escape an advancing army that would surround Jerusalem by the summer within the 40 years following the Lords prediction given between the years of 29-33BC (depending on who’s calendar one uses).
Like all armies in the ancient world, the Roman army began campaigns in the spring. By Passover of 67-70AD (again a calendar thing) the Roman army was clearly at the very gates of Jerusalem, allowing pilgrims entrance for the Feasts of Passover. By the in of the week, General Titus had set up a siege that totally encompassed the city.
This siege would last for less then 3 months and was within the 40 years from Messiah’s prophecy. In the end the city was leveled and those within were dead, or deported to slavery throughout the Roman Empire.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but Messiah’s word will not. This is another way of affirming that His own testimony is true. When the fig tree puts out its leaves, the kingdom that would be given to another, is very near.
And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’ Luke 13:6, 7
Next Post: This Generation