The Lesson Of The Fig Tree

Q. Do you think that the parable of the fig tree in in Matt 24:32 is talking about the sprouting forth of the nation of Israel in these days, since Matt. 24 is Jewish and the fig tree is many times used as a symbol for Israel. I believe Matt 21 is also an example.

A. Here’s the context of the passage. The disciples had asked Jesus to list the signs of His coming. (Matt. 24:3) The fig tree was the last tree to blossom when the warm spring weather came so the Jews would say, “When the fig tree blossoms you know that summer is near.” In Matt. 24:32 Jesus used this saying to teach them that when Israel sees all the signs he had listed begin to appear they would know that His coming is getting close. Then, to underscore His point, He told them that the generation alive when the first signs appeared would still be alive when He came. (Matt. 24:34)

Since the rebirth of Israel was the first big sign, people have concluded that the fig tree example refers to Israel. The analogy fits, but I really think He was just quoting a simple old saying.

I believe that Matt 21:18-22 does refer to Israel, as do several other passages where the fig tree is used symbolically.

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