Learn A Parable Of The Fig Tree

Jesus told us to learn a parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Christ made this statement after explaining to the Disciples numerous signs and events that would befall mankind. Signs that would mark the End Times and Jesus Return.

Christianity commonly believes the parable of the fig tree concerns the re-establishment of Israel that took place in 1948. They explain, this event fulfilled Bible prophecy starting a counter to the end of the age, but is that really what Jesus was explaining?

Before we start our Bible study, let us ask our Father for wisdom and understanding of His Word, in Jesus Name amen.

The Disciples will set the stage for us by asking Jesus some very important questions.

Turn your Bible with me to,

Matthew 24:3
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The Disciples were so curious about the Return of Jesus, they wanted to understand what signs would precede His Appearance. Due to that, Christ provided the Disciples with numerous signs that would transpire before His Return, from verse 4 through 31.

The Parable Of The Fig Tree

Let us pick up our reading with verse 32, Jesus has now provided the Disciples with all of the signs.

Matthew 24:32
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.

The common interpretation of this verse states, the fig tree is symbolic of ancient Israel, while the putting forth leaves on the fig tree branch is symbolic of the re-establishment of Israel that transpired in 1948. This belief then ties in verse 34 explaining, the generation who witnessed the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 initiated a generational countdown for the end of the age, and the Return of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, this doctrine has led many good Christians into setting dates for the Return of Christ which have all come and gone. Jesus never intended for us to set dates, and we are going to learn, this whole concept and interpretation is a church tradition and not of God.

Now before we move forward, it is certainly true. The fig tree and even figs are tied to the 12 Tribes of Israel. Further, nations are sometimes referred to as trees in the Bible, so trees can certainly be symbolic of nations, (Amos 2:9).

However, by comparing Matthew 24:32, Mark 13:28, and Luke 21:29, we will learn the common interpretation concerning the parable of the fig tree is simply not Biblical.

The Disciples Were To Understand Parables

I want you to remember, Jesus was providing the Disciples with signs they could understand since they asked Him,

“What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

If the common interpretation of the parable of the fig tree were true, the Disciples would have never understood the parable. It would have meant, the Israel they knew would cease to exist, and then reappear as a nation some 2,000 years into the future.

This means, the Disciples would not be able to recognize the meaning of this parable.

Remember, Jesus spoke in parables so only the Disciples and you would understand them.

Matthew 13:10-11
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

The parables Christ provided were meant to be understood by the Disciples. The parables were given so they and Christians like you could understand them. They were only meant to be hidden from the non-believing world.

When You See “All These Things”

Listen to Jesus as He continues talking with the Disciples in the verse that follows the parable of the fig tree.

Matthew 24:33
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Jesus makes it extremely clear for us. When we see “all these things”, all of the signs from verses 4 through 31, then we would understand His Return is at the doors. It would be just as obvious as a blooming fig tree which indicates Summer is near.

This Generation Shall Not Pass

Matthew 24:34
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Jesus said, “all these things”, two times for emphasis. Nowhere do we find Jesus stating one single sign would become our marker.

When “all these things be fulfilled”. When we witness all the signs Jesus provided in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, then we would know we are the final generation that “shall not pass” until we see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and Christ's Return.

That will be the generation when “all these things be fulfilled”.

Unfortunately, the common interpretation ties this verse into verse 32 and states the generation who witnesses Israel's re-established is the generation that will not pass away, but those were not Christ's Words.

This common belief removes the emphasis Jesus placed on “all these things”, and even invalidates Scripture by contradicting it as we will discover in the next verse.

To say, the founding of a single non-Christian nation is Bible prophecy and the final marker for the countdown of the age is simply not true. We can all become excited at times for Christ's Return, but we always have to ground ourselves and seek out the Scriptures to ensure what we have been taught is true and accurate.

Behold The Fig Tree And All The Trees

Please turn your Bible and listen to the words of Jesus Christ.

Luke 21:29
And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees.

You should notice a major difference between Matthew 24:32, Mark 13:28, and Luke 21:29. While they all mention the fig tree, this verse adds “and all the trees”. This verse is commonly left out of the Israel fig tree establishment scenario, as it destroys the concept.

If we are to believe the fig tree mentioned here is symbolic of the ancient nation of Israel, then “all the trees” must be symbolic for other nations.

Further, if the budding of the fig tree branch is symbolic for the re-establishment of Israel in 1948, then “all the trees” would be symbolic for “all the nations” being established in 1948 as well.

Obviously, that is not true.

Friends, the Bible does not contradict itself, so that means the establishment of the nation named Israel in 1948 is not symbolic of the budding fig tree branch.

Unfortunately, this is a misinterpretation of the Scripture which has sweep many of us away in our excitement for the Return of Jesus Christ.

Understand The Parable Of The Fig Tree

Now remember, Jesus was certainly explaining a parable to us, not just of a fig tree, but “all the trees”, and what do we know about deciduous trees which lose their leaves?

They obtain them yearly in Spring.

Luke 21:30
When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

What is “they”?

“The fig tree, and all the trees” as Jesus explained in the prior verse. When the fig tree and all trees begin to bud and bring forward leaves, then we know Spring is here, and Summer is very close, even at the doors.

I want you to understand, Jesus provided the parable of “the fig tree, and all the trees” so we understand how the signs of Matthew 24 would unfold.

The signs would appear slowly, like buds on a dormant tree. However, the signs would rapidly increase, just as buds on a tree begin to bloom in Spring. The increase in signs, like the increase in leaves on the tree indicates Summer is near, and harvest is “even at the doors”.

The Harvest

This becomes all the more interesting when we understand the Return of Jesus Christ is the great end time Harvest.

Upon Jesus Return, He will send His Angels (symbolic of reapers) to earth. They will gather and destroy the children of the “wicked one” (symbolic of tares), while placing the children of God (symbolic of wheat) into Jesus' symbolic Barn, (Matthew 13:36-43, 1 John 3:8-10).

This ties right into the parable of the wheat and tares.

While no one knows the day or hour of Jesus Return, not even Himself, Christ certainly knows the season in which He will appear on earth, (Mark 13:32).

In Matthew 13:39 Christ states, “the harvest is the end of the world” and we know harvest takes place at the end of Summer.

  • The season Jesus emphasized in the parable of the fig tree.
  • The time Jesus told us, “the fig tree, and all the trees” would be in full bloom.

This would signify the signs of Matthew 24 are rapidly unfolding which point to His imminent Return.

Jesus was even gracious enough to let us know when He will not return.

Matthew 24:20
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.

This ties right into the parable of the fig tree.

Christ told us not to be harvested in the winter or on the sabbath day. I do not believe this is a figure of speech, but a further indicator as to the season when His Return and Harvest would transpire. We were to remain focused on Summer and the time of harvest.

We should note, it is quite certain the sabbath day mentioned here is the highest sabbath of all, Passover Day. The Day Jesus became our Passover Lamb, when He was crucified for our sins. This occurs in Spring when “the fig tree, and all the trees” begin to bud and bring forward leaves.

The False Harvest

There is still more we can learn from Christ's parable and budding trees. Specifically, a fig tree since Jesus mentioned this tree exclusively in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

This is critical to understand, before a fig tree puts forward leaves in Spring, it produces a small crop of figs called Breba Figs. It is known as the Breba Crop with few and small figs that pale in comparison to the true fig harvest that occurs at the end of Summer.

I want you to realize, there are two separate fig harvests.

Jesus warned us not to be harvested out of season, certainly not in Spring when the trees are only beginning to bloom, but to wait until Summer.


  • The Breba Figs are symbolic of the “untimely figs” of Revelation 6:13 which are Satan and his angels.
  • The Breba Fig Harvest is symbolic for Satan and his angels appearing on earth and claiming to be God and His Kingdom, (Revelation 12:9).

This ties into numerous other Scriptures that indicate the false messiah appears before Jesus, (see: Who Is The Antichrist?).

We should now understand, the Breba Fig harvest is symbolic of the false harvest, by the false shepherd, the false messiah who is Satan which occurs in Spring at the time of Passover, (see: The Timing Of Satan’s Appearance). While the True Harvest by Jesus Christ does not take place until the end of Summer.

The Signs Of The End Times

The key signs that Jesus described in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 have essentially all come to pass, and they continue with intensity. We simply wait for “the abomination of desolation” to be revealed, (Matthew 24:15).

In Matthew 24, Jesus told us “nation shall rise against nation” which seems to have always existed, (Matthew 24:7). However, that certainly escalated with the advent of World War 1 in 1914, and World War 2 in 1939.

This led to two global unions, the League of Nations in 1920 that later transformed into the United Nations in 1945. This ties right into the 6th kingdom spoken of in Revelation 13 and 17, (see: The Scarlet Beast With Seven Heads And Ten Horns).

Christ said these signs, among others, were only “the beginning of sorrows” which means “birth pains”, and so they were, (Matthew 24:8).

  • Since then, the gospel has been preached in all nations. A key indicator that Jesus Return was near, (Matthew 24:14).
  • Many have become “offended” which means, “enticed to sin”, certainly in the days we now find ourselves in, (Matthew 24:10).
  • Many “false prophets” which means, “religious impostors” have risen and scattered the flock of Christ by making excuses for sin, (Matthew 24:11).

Due to this “iniquity”, the love of people, their care and concern for others have vanished, (Matthew 24:12). Yet another clear sign Jesus told us to watch out for.

We can glean other indicators that Jesus Return is nearing.

In 2 Peter 3:3-4 we are told, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” Saying,

“Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

Clearly mocking God's existence, mainstream science unknowingly promotes the last phrase through their theory of “uniformitarianism”.

In 2 Timothy 3:1 we are told, “In the last days perilous times shall come”. Men would be,

Lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.

2 Timothy 3:2-4

All of these signs have come to pass.

Listen to Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:33
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

When we witness “all these things”, all the signs of Matthew 24, it indicates the Return of Jesus Christ is at “the doors”, and about to break open.

Matthew 24:34
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

That means, we may very well be the final generation.

Now what is a “generation”, and which ‘generation will not pass away’?

What Generation Will Not Pass Away?

The Bible mentions several different spans of time for a “generation”; 40 years (Numbers 32:13), 70 years (Psalms 90:10), and 120 years (Genesis 6:3) are typically cited.

More importantly, the word “generation” in Matthew 24:34 means,

An age (the period or the persons): - age, generation, nation, time.

In fact, the root word for “generation” means, “kin”. In the Old Testament, “generation” can even mean “posterity”. Further, out of the 107 times “generation” appears in the KJV Bible, it is nearly always used in the context of “the persons” who belong to a specific time period, not a specific time frame.

Therefore, Jesus simply stated, the “generation” that will not pass away is “the persons” who witness all the signs He provided in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. To take this any further would be setting dates, and playing guessing games which never helped any of us.

Friends, we have all the signs in front of us, everything Jesus and the prophets warned us of has come to pass within our lifetimes...

When ye shall see these things come to pass... Ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand... Even at the doors.

Matthew 24:33, Luke 21:30, Mark 13:29


Jesus provided the parable of “the fig tree, and all the trees” after explaining the signs that would precede His Return. Christ was using the course of nature which we observe every day to help us understand how the signs of Matthew 24 would come to pass.

In Spring, we observe as buds on the trees begin to bloom. They slowly transform into leaves with the tree producing fruit by the end of Summer. That is how the signs Jesus described would come to pass. The signs will mature day by day, until they bring forward fruit, being, the Return of Jesus Christ.

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