Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33
- 1. Synopsis
- 2. Parable Given in Response to
- 3. Symbolism Chart
- 4. The Parable in Luke
- 5. Symbolic Interpretations
- 5.1. The Fig Tree is Jesus
- 5.2. The Shooting Forth are Signs of the Coming of the Kingdom of God
- 5.3. Summer is the Kingdom of God
- 5.4. This Generation is Jesus's Contemporary Generation
- 6. Conclusion
- 7. The Parable in Matthew
- 8. The Parable in Mark
Synopsis of Parable:
There is a fig tree, and as summer approaches, tender leaves and branches appear on the tree. Just as your see the branches coming, so to do you know the kingdom of God approaches.
Parable Given in Response to:
In all three accounts, Jesus gave this parable in the middle of a some prophecies regarding the destruction of the temple during he siege of Jerusalem and the second coming of the Son of Man.
|↓Fig Tree||Jesus||Luke 21:29|
|↓Shooting Forth||Signs of the Coming of the Kingdom||Luke 21:30|
|↓Summer||The Kingdom of God||Luke 21:30|
|↓This Generation||Jesus's Contemporary Generation||Luke 21:32|
The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
As presented in the King James Version of Luke 21:29-33
Luke 21:29And he spake to them a parable;
Explanation of the Interpretation of Symbols
The Fig Tree is Jesus Back to Top ↑
The fig tree is Jesus, and those that shoot forth from Jesus, who echo from his root, are like branches that come from the trunk of the tree. The other symbols affirm this interpretation.
Many people, seeing that this parable is given in the middle of Jesus's prophecies regarding the siege of Jerusalem and his second coming, believe that the fig tree instead represents the Jewish nation.
This is not so. This belief shows that they do not listen to Jesus. Jesus said,
Furthermore, Jesus also said,
Well, God wanted to give Israel his kingdom, but he ended up deciding not to. Jesus said,
The Shooting Forth are Signs of the Coming of the Kingdom Back to Top ↑
What is it that shoot forth? Well, Mark teaches Matthew in writing,
So, when we see these branches shooting forth, tender and soft, we know that summer is near. So what are these branches?
Well, they're people believing in Jesus. And this happened in Jesus's time. We know that for a fact because Jesus prayed to God, saying,
Thus, Jesus was saying, "When you see people believe in me, know that the coming of the kingdom of God is nigh." And what happened soon after Jesus finished the speech this parable was in? He was crucified, and brought forth the kingdom of God. The branches were left to grow on their own, just like the disciples.
Summer is the Kingdom of God Back to Top ↑
This is a simple interpretation. To reach this, we have to ask ourselves the question, "What symbolic things are coming to pass?" Well, Jesus says,
Do you see how carefully Luke was to to rephrase
So, why do so many people not understand this? We posit three reasons.
1. Most people do even think to interpret summer as a symbol.
The idea that parables are to be taken symbolically is obvious. Actually committing to it and assigning each symbol in a parable to an idea is not. It requires a very firm understanding of Jesus's saying divested of those sayings from other people. It requires a firm understanding of the will of God. And it requires a firm belief that when Jesus prayed to God,
2. Most people do not want to understand that kingdom of God as Jesus explained it.
Taken to the common extreme, we find that people completely ignore Jesus and listen to the bloody talk given from the self proclaimed apostle. They do not want to open their eyes, or listen with their ears. Of these people, Jesus echos Isaiah, saying,
And God allows this. He even gave us a timeframe of how long this will last.
People do not want to understand the kingdom of God. God doesn't necessarily want them to. We go over the reasons why in our Logical Argument for God, so check out that article if you're interested.
But when people take other people's words as the words of God, then they result in a confused mess. This is what happened with the Pharisees, as they constantly misunderstood God. Here is one example,
The Pharisees were confused regarding the important things of God and the things that were introduced by Moses and others,See Matthew 19:8. a similar problem that we have with the self proclaimed apostle Paul and others today. In Jesus's day, he had to deal with the Pharisees and scribes caring about sacrifices so much. He said,
Today, we still deal with this issue of sacrifice. People say that Jesus was a sacrifice,Ephesians 5:2 but Jesus never said he was himself. But he did say,
3. Most people do not want to toss aside their own prior beliefs about this parable.
Most people, seeing that the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree is placed smack dab in the middle of the Olivet and Temple Discourses, want to interpret summer being the second coming of Jesus. For this, they refer to the renditions of this parable in Matthew and MarkWhere it is placed in the Olivet Discourses instead of the version in Luke,Which takes place in front of the Temple, Luke 21:5 which identifies the kingdom of God as summer. Matthew and Mark do not, so people simply do not refer to Luke when they want to use the Parable of the Budding Fig Tree to refer to Jesus's second coming. This is a mistake, and sadly, it could cost them dearly.
Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower,
Usually, we do not have to go so deeply into why a symbol does not represent other things. But the whole of Christianity has failed here. Either they teach that the kingdom of God is not here, or they say that summer represents some other thing, usually the "millennial reign of Christ" as given in the Revelation of John.
Summer is the kingdom of God, and therefore this parable is about the kingdom of God. That it is in the middle of a speech about the siege of Jerusalem and Jesus's second coming is immaterial. Jesus said in this parable,
We can see this when Jesus was speaking with a scribe, who said to him,
This Generation is Jesus's Contemporary Generation Back to Top ↑
The generation that Jesus referred to is the generation of people that Jesus was speaking to, 2,000 years ago.
And we know this, because the parable was about the kingdom of God. Jesus often said some variation of,
Furthermore, if the kingdom of God was not on Earth right now, then how was it on Earth 2,000 years ago when Jesus said,
With such a firm stance from Jesus, we know that if the kingdom of God is not here today, then it was not nigh in Jesus's time and it did not come in the generation that Jesus was talking to. That would make Jesus a liar. And being a liar, he would be a false prophet and not worth of any respect. He even went so far to say,
In Conclusion Back to Top ↑
The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree is an incredibly simple parable. It's more of a metaphor than a parable. Yet, most people simply do not want to believe in Jesus, and so they misinterpret this parable as much as humanly possible. Even worse, they do not even know that they render Jesus a false prophet in doing so.
We suppose that the placement of this parable within the prophecies of the destruction of the temple and the second coming of Jesus caused most of this confusion. People ask, "why would Jesus talk about the kingdom of God in this section if it isn't about his second coming?" The answer is simple. These verses are a reminder of who the elect are. The verse preceding this parable in Matthew is,
Matthew's Account of The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
As presented in the King James Version of Matthew 24:32-35
Mark's Account of The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
As presented in the King James Version of Mark 13:28-31