Q. In Matt. 24:34 when Jesus says that this generation shall not pass away what generation he is talking about, the one that sees Israel come back as a nation? How long is a gen.? In biblical times was it 40 yrs.? Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem on Matt. 23:36 and that was around 30AD, and as we know the city was destroyed in 70 AD fulfilling his words to the maximum. Now in our time on what critical prophecy that was fulfilled would make the start to the countdown for this gen.? Is the fig tree parable the one? Some people now are saying that a gen. in our times is 50 years. What is your opinion on this please help me understand this.
A. Matt. 24:34 says that the generation being born when the end times signs begin will still be alive when all signs are fulfilled. This doesn’t mean that all the signs will be fulfilled within the span of one generation, nominally 40 years. It says that the people being born when the signs begin will still be alive at the end. So the signs will be fulfilled within their lifetimes. According to Psalms 90:10 a Biblical lifespan is 70-80 years. Most scholars agree that the first of the end times signs was the re-birth of Israel in 1948, so people being born around 1948 can expect to see everything fulfilled before they die.
While the fig tree is often a symbol of Israel, I don’t believe it’s being used that way here. Since the fig tree is the last to get its leaves in the spring, the Israelites knew when they saw its leaves that summer was very near. This parable means that when we see the first of the End Times signs, we’ll know that His return is very near.