Parable of the Fig Tree Insights

Parable of the Fig Tree

Many people have an interest in the “Parable of the Fig Tree”. The parable first appears in Matthew 24:32-25 (and also appears in Mark 13:28-31 and Luke 21:29-32). Here is the parable described in the Book of Matthew:

“(32) 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.” (Matthew 24:32-35)

Many believe that Israel represents the fig tree in the Parable of the Fig Tree. Some also believe we are the generation that will see the return of Christ after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. This view has led to speculation over the past few decades about when Christ will return:

  • One popular theory was that Christ would return in 1988. Proponents of this view believed a generation is 40 years.
  • Some believed Christ would return in 2007. Proponents of this theory believed that 1967 marked the start of the final generation and a generation is 40 years.
  • A current theory is that Christ will return between 2018-2028. Proponents of this theory argue that a “generation” is 70 to 80 years and the final generation started in 1948.

As you can see, some believe the Parable of the Fig Tree gives us insight about the Rapture and coming of Christ. In this article, I provide biblical insights about this important parable.

Israel and the Parable of the Fig Tree

Proponents of the idea that the Parable of the Fig Tree is about Israel believe that Israel represents the fig tree in Scripture. They cite several passages to make their case. Here are three examples that they often cite…

Jeremiah 24:1-9

The passage describes two groups of figs: those taken captive (the good figs) and those who remained in the land and lived in land of Egypt (the bad figs):

(1) The LORD shewed 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.” (Jeremiah 24:1-9)

Hosea 9:10

Hosea 9:10 compares the Israelites to the first fruits of a fig tree:

“I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.” (Hosea 9:10)

Mark 11:13-23

Mark 11:13-23 (also Matthew 21:18-22) is another often cited passage. Mark 11:13-14 mentions that Christ commanded a fig tree to never grow fruit again. Mark 11:20-21 describes the discovery of the same fig tree-now withered away:

“(13) And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. (14) And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. (15) And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; (16) And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. (17) And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (18) And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. (19) And when even was come, he went out of the city. (20) And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  (21) And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.  (22) And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (23) For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:13-23)

Some view the cursing of the fig tree as a symbolic rebuke of Israel’s poor spiritual condition at the time. Others disagree.

I will not argue for or against the idea that the fig tree represents Israel in this article. The reason is that whether Israel represents the fig tree has no bearing on my view concerning the Parable of the Fig Tree. I’ll explain my view on the Parable of the Fig Tree next.

The Parable of the Fig Tree & All Trees

The Parable of the Fig Tree does not specifically relate to Israel because the parable is not solely about the fig tree. Luke 21:29 states the parable relates to the fig tree and all the trees:

(29) 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.” (Luke 21:29-32)

The focus on the fig tree and all the trees suggests the parable is not solely about a development that relates to the fig tree. Israel may represent a fig tree, but the parable is not only about the fig tree sprouting leaves. The sprouting of every tree’s leaves, including the fig tree, is the focus of the parable as “they” are the subject of Luke 21:30.

Luke 21:29-32’s account of the parable does not conflict with Matthew 24:32-35 and Mark 13:28-31 as the Word of God is inerrant and without contradiction.

  • The difference between Luke 21:29-32 and Matthew 24:32-35 & Mark 13:28-31 is just an instance where Matthew and Mark emphasized the fig tree element of the parable (after all, the fig tree was distinguished from “all the trees” even in Luke 21:29-32).

The Parable’s Purpose

Christ tried to convey the message that people can tell that His Coming is near when they see the events He described taking place like people can tell that summer is near when they see trees sprout leaves.

  • In other words, Christ sought to alert people that the events He described are indicators that people can look at to gauge how near His Coming is as people can look at the sprouting of leaves to tell what time of year it is.

People who will endure the great tribulation may not keep a good track of time as they try to survive. Some may lose track of what day it is as they seek to survive the persecution.

The events Christ described can serve as indicators to help these people to have an idea of how close Christ’s Coming is.

  • The events for people to watch for relate to what Christ described in the Olivet Discourse prior to the mentioning the parable. For instance, the signs in the sun and moon are events people should watch to get a sense of how close Christ’s Coming is.

Conclusion

You are welcome to believe that the Parable of the Fig Tree relates to Israel in some way, shape, or form. However, proponents of the view that the Parable of the Fig Tree relates to Israel need to account for why the parable in Luke 21:29-32 includes all trees (and not just the fig tree).

Again, the Parable of the Fig Tree is an analogy given by Christ to communicate the message to people that they can tell that His Coming is near when they see the events He described transpire. It is not a hidden message to watch out for the Rapture by a certain date after the creation of the state of Israel.

Learn the Startling the Truth about the End Times

If you liked the insights found in this article, I encourage you to check out my book: Prophecy Proof Insights of the End Times. It’s truly a comprehensive book about the end times that contains biblical insights that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

Prophecy Proof Insights of the End Times Mockups

Follow on Social Media to Stay Updated

18
Leave a Reply

avatar
12 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Mei King Hei
Guest
Mei King Hei

“If a fig tree is cursed and withered it appears dead. But if twigs get tender and leaves come out this means the fig tree revives. Meaning Israel revives. Prophesy fulfilled in 1948 when Israel regained its independence.” No. Jesus’ curse of that tree was absolute and permanent. The tree was stone dead from the roots up, and His words say nothing about the “fig tree” reviving. “And Jesus answered and said unto it, ‘No man eat fruit of thee _hereafter for ever_’. And His disciples heard it (Mark 11:14).” Apparently, those who love the heresy of Israel’s revival in… Read more »

Connie
Guest
Connie

Israel is not forever dead. I would suggest that you read Romans 11.

MEI KING HEI
Guest
MEI KING HEI

“…For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children… That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed (Romans 9:6-8).”And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29).” Only the Israel consisting of Jewish and Gentile Christians who are “children of promise,” is forever alive.

Connie
Guest
Connie

And what of Israel who goes into the millennium, but do not believe in Christ until the Second Coming when the Church has been raptured? What do you call them, if not revived Israel? It is then that the see Him whom they pierced, and mourn, and then all Israel shall be saved. Rev. 1:7, Zech 12:10, 13:1,9. Read Zechariah 12-14 for the entire story. Israel is revived as a nation and brought into the millennium to fulfill the covenant God made with them. The following clearly teaches that God will restore Israel. There is no replacement theology in the… Read more »

Mei King Hei
Guest
Mei King Hei

You’re arguing against Romans 9:6-8 and Galatians 3:29. They teach that “only the children of promise [not “of the flesh”] are counted for seed,” and that if you are “Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Again, Scripture says an Israel inhabited by Jewish and Gentile members of the Body of Christ, is forever alive.

Connie
Guest
Connie

You are confusing Spiritual Israel (which includes all the spiritual seed of Abraham) with the nation of Israel, to whom God gave a promise and covenant of their being a nation of priests, and having an earthly kingdom over which the Messiah reigns. God does not revoke His covenants. There is a nation of Israel (ethnically) that will be spiritual Israel during the millennium, but right now they are only believers in Jehovah or Yahweh, whichever you prefer, which is what allows them to make it to the end and go into the millennium. They don’t believe in Christ until… Read more »

Mei King Hei
Guest
Mei King Hei

Citations from the Old Testament cannot be used to void the straaight-up teaching of Romans 9:6-8 and Galatians 3:29, that there can be _no_ other “ethnic” nation of Israel outside the spiritual Body of Christ Jesus. Hence, Peter declares of His Body, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have… Read more »

Missy
Guest
Missy

Mat 24:3 Diciples are asking sign for his 2nd coming. Answer: Mat 24:32-34 Want to know about his 2nd coming? Learn the lesson of the fig tree when He is near, right at the door. (About judgement day-nobody knows/2nd coming: Fig tree. Bible describes 2nd coming on the clouds to gather elect Mat 24:30-31 Luke 21:27-28 and judgement day with fire to judge the world. Isa 66:15-16 2nd The 1:6-10. 2nd coming and judgement day are 2 different events and not one as people believe. Even the timing in which God works is different. Coming on the cloud says it… Read more »

Mike S.
Guest

CORRECTION(S) I made a mistake regarding the description of the “Thief in the night”. This is a description of HOW He is coming, NOT WHEN. The rapture is not some secrete event. EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM. His second coming and the rapture are one and the same! More so, the rapture is not some exclusive, “members only” event. To claim, even worse, to teach that many of those that love Jesus so much that they are willing to die, even sacrifice their families for His names sake are somehow excluded because of WHEN they came to Jesus is not… Read more »

Mike S.
Guest

Parable of the Fig Tree is not a parable about the “budding” of Israel as a nation, “He who hat ear to hear…”, it is a parable regarding the events previously described by Christ. I am a former believer/defender of the pre-trib rapture theory,no a proponent of the post trib belief. (Not because I want too! I am a father of 5 who in the hell would wish this upon their children!!??) I’ll give you three reasons why I am a post tribber. One: Revelation 20:4-5. (Read it yourself!) There are only two resurrections of the dead, the first is… Read more »

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

…to add to my comment below, I believe that this birthing that is being done by the rev. 12 woman, is birthing Jesus Christ again, only it’s the new creation, that the whole earth is groaning to see revealed,…..
….Blessing on the House of Faith, and on the True Israel of God, Prince Wayne, (Wagon builder or driver)…frontiersman, pioneer, on the forefront, leading the way, ie. the pioneers to the West drove wagons,…

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

I am commenting a lot here, hope you don’t mind, – Here is more food for thought, having nothing to do with trees, but,..…having to do with WHO Israel is. I believe that much of the believing community today are attached to the idea that the new testament is talking about national Israel when it talks about Israel, or the Jewish people. I disagree with this, – and to keep this point short, I use only Paul’s description of who Israel is, in his telling us that the Israel of God is the House of Faith, which includes all of… Read more »

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

More thoughts on the Fig Tree,…Wayne, I researched the fig tree, and found out that the fruit comes out before the leaves, so a tree covered with leaves is advertising that it has fruit already,  the TREE can be said to be saying,….speaking, if you will, “I am full of fruit, come and eat of me, ” Note that the text says, “Jesus answered the TREE, He spoke directly to the TREE, answering it,……..the following is a quote from what I found elsewhere,..quote ” As the verse says, the fig tree had leaves.  When a fig tree produces figs, the… Read more »

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

…To sum up, may you Enter in to Paradise, and eat to your fill of the fruit of the trees that produce there,…and may you take all of the flock following in with you there,….
“the Tree of Life Eternal,” May be Jesus, – the one that gives eternal life, or Zoe, – what do you say, to this?

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

More on the Manna…. When an eagle looks directly into the sun it’s eyes begin to produce oil. When we look into Jesus the son of God, the living word and see the parables & mysteries that are in him we begin to understand the prophetic nature of God and produce the anointing oil poured out of the mind of Christ. Christ means anointing. The mind of the anointing that sees & understands and speaks the deeper things of God. Your eyes and ears and mouth are in your head. These are the three realms that God will use to… Read more »

Patricia_72001
Guest
Patricia_72001

Hello Wayne; greetings in THE NAME!, I love what you discovered, and that you were brave enough to say so. Others finding what at first seems to be discrepancies, feel guilty if they say so. There are other similar type seeming discrepancies between the accounts of Mathew, Mark and John. Because the Word of God is infallible, it would suggest that a hidden meaning is secreted there, and if not ‘secreted’ then perhaps put there to be revealed to those students who study earnestly, to be approved.Perhaps it is the ‘hidden manna’ revealed, revelation from and by the Holy Spirit.… Read more »

Wayne
Guest

Thanks for letting me know that you agree 🙂

Melinda
Guest
Melinda

I absolutely agree with you.