The Fig Tree
Matt. 24:32-35 - Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Mark 13:28-31 - Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 21:29-33 - And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
I. This parable is given by Christ in answer to the disciples question in Matt. 24:3. (Give a verse by verse commentary on this chapter to show that in the parable of the Fig tree, Christ is answering their question about the signs of the last days.)
A. The disciples ask three question, which appear to be one question.
1. When shall the temple be destroyed?
2. What shall be the sign of thy coming?
3. What is the sign of the end of the world?
B. Answers to the questions.
1. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus.
2. The coming of the Lord for the Jews is given in Matt. 24:29-31.
3. The end of the world will occur after the rapture (Matt. 24:14) and after Christ comes in victory and gathers all his saints together, after he has established His earthly kingdom through the Jewish nation.
C. The coming of the Lord at the rapture is seen in Matt. 24:14.
1. The abomination of desolation is the beginning of the bad part of the tribulation for the Jews. (Compare the latter part of verse 14 to the beginning of verse 15 and verse 15-28)
2. The abomination of desolation is described in Daniel 9:27 and 12:11.
3. This is a sacrifice that is offered in the temple of God at the middle of the tribulation when the Anti-Christ breaks his seven year treaty with Israel.
4. This sacrifice is similar to the abomination offered by Titus as described by Josephus.
II. The parable of the fig tree also reflects the condition of Israel.
A. Jer 24:1-10 - The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. 2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. 3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. 8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: 9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. 10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
B. Good figs reveal that God is blessing Israel.
1. Haggai 2:19 - Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
2. Deuteronomy 8:8 - A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey
3. I Kings 4:25 - And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
4. Micah 4:4 - But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
C. Bad figs reveal that God is judging Israel.
1. Hosea 2:12 - And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
2. Joel 1:12 - The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
3. Joel 2:22 - Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
4. Amos 4:9 - I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
5. Jeremiah 8:13 - I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.
6. Jeremiah 5:17 - And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.
7. Psalms 105:33 - He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
8. Habakkuk 3:17 - Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
9. Jeremiah 29:17 - Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
10. Nahum 3:12 - All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater