The Sign of the Fig Tree

Signs which Jesus Gave

Signs which Jesus Gave

The Lord Jesus Christ gave various signs to help us identify the days immediately preceding his return to earth.  Many are contained in what is known as the Olivet Prophecy – recorded in Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21.

Israel a Nation RebornA Nation Reborn

Probably the greatest sign that Jesus gave concerned the rebirth of the nation of Israel.  This came to pass in 1948, after almost 2,000 years during which the Jewish people were dispersed among nations all over the earth.  Jesus predicted that dispersion when he warned that Jerusalem would be overthrown by the Romans.

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near … For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled … there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.  And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations.  And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles…” (Luke 21:20–24).

The Fig Tree

Immediately after these prophetic words in the Olivet Prophecy we have these words:

The Sign of the Fig TreeThen 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” (Luke 21:29–33).

In Scripture, the fig tree is symbolic of the nation of Israel.  For example: I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness;

 I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.  But they went to Baal Peor and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved (Hosea 9:10).

 For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion.  He has laid waste My vine and ruined My fig tree; he has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white (Joel 1:6–7).

 Further, Jesus told another parable about the nation of Israel using the same metaphor of a fig tree (Luke 13:6-9) and acted out another parable to the same effect when he cursed a fig tree which had become unfruitful (Mark 11:12-14).  What Jesus was predicting was that the nation of Israel – pictured as a fig tree – would again revive and would do so at a time when many other nations were also achieving independence. That is exactly what has now happened to the nation of Israel. Read more