Thursday, 3 October 2019
Question of the day: Matthew 24:32a "Now learn the parable from the fig tree ..." What is the parable from the fig tree?
Answer: As is true with all scripture, there are many layers of meaning. The simple interpretation is given in the rest of the same verse ... Matthew 24:32b "When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near." This is simply telling us that we can know what season we're in by looking at any tree.
But Yeshua didn't give just any tree as an example. He chose the fig tree. The fig tree represents Israel. This goes back to the prophesy of Hosea. Hosea 9:10b "... Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers." Reading the context, this is not a good thing. The people are identified as rebellious.
Also, this is not the cursing of the fig tree which is symbolic of the religious (sacrificial) system of Israel. That takes place in Matthew 21:19 and Mark 11:13.
Jeremiah also compared Israel to figs through his prophesy. Jeremiah 24:5a(ff) "thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: 'Like these good figs, so will I regard the exiles of Judah ...'"
Let's get back to the meaning of Yeshua's parable of the fig tree. The next verse is Matthew 24:34 "Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen." Two questions arise from this verse. What "things" are we expecting to happen, and how long is a generation?
To answer the first question, we look into the context of the verse. The rapture is being discussed along with the return of Yeshua. Clearly, the timing is uncertain. No one, no man, no angel, not even Yeshua Himself knows when He will return. We are told simply to be ready because He is coming unexpectedly.
To "learn a parable" means to understand the fullness of the meaning. "The fig tree blossoms" is also the title of a book written in 1976 by Paul Liberman. The greatestsign of Yeshua's return is the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel. Since 1967 we are back in the land and Jerusalem is united under Jewish Israeli control.
But wait, there's more. There is still one promise not yet fulfilled. Ezekiel 36 & 37 promises (God is speaking), "I will put my Spirit in you." Read both chapters and you will see that today, with most of Israel living lives apart from Yeshua and the fulness of the Spirit available through faith in the Son, the people are not yet ready for Yeshua's return.
We also see these days how quickly things can change. With all the multi-media available, opinions change in an instant. Revelation 1:7 "Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Yes, amen!"
Israel (Jewish people everywhere) need a change of heart to receive the Messiah. Now we know how to pray. You might ask, "How important are my prayers?" God has chosento move WITH the prayers of His saints. Let's all come into alignment with His plan and pray accordingly. Any time is good, but this time is very good because we are approaching the Yom Kippur, when our people are coming together to pray.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,