“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, at the very gates.” (Matthew 24:32-33 ESV)
Jesus is coming back very very soon. Summer is in the air. The image or symbol that Jesus uses above of Israel being the fig tree is taken from both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, during Solomon’s reign, Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man “under his own vine and fig tree” (1 Kings 4:25), an indicator of national wealth and prosperity. In the New Testament, the cursing of the fig tree in Mark and Matthew and the parallel story in Luke are thus symbolically directed against the Jews, who have not accepted Jesus as king.
This needs to be pointed out about a mature fig tree. New leaves and figs begin to develop in the Spring and come to maturity beginning around August. In Mark 11:12-25, there are some very valuable lessons. Leafless fig trees raise no expectations and cause no disappointment. But this fig tree, even though out of season (it was very early Spring) with it’s out of season showy leaves, was fruitless. It was a symbol of the showy religious leaders that were fruitless. That is why Jesus cursed it. When Jesus was talking about the mountain being thrown into the sea, He was referring to Jerusalem’s (which is on top a mountain) dead religious system. As a botanical note, if a fig tree gets too much nitrogen, it will focus it’s growing energy on producing beautiful leaves rather than fruit.
From 70 A.D. until 1948, the Jewish people had no home. They were dispersed throughout the world of what was known as the Great Diaspora. In 1948, they became a nation again after 1900 years. They did not gain control of Jerusalem until the Six Day War in 1967. Then, not until December 6, 2017 did Jerusalem become their recognized capital again.
In simple terms, the fig tree’s branches are becoming tender and it is putting out its leaves. Soon, the time of the Gentiles will end and the LORD will take His Church away in the Rapture. Then His attention will turn to the salvation of His people, the Israelites:
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:25-29 ESV)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3 ESV)
You can go onto YouTube and the Internet and hear all kinds of prophecies about the End Times. But remember this: It will soon be all about the fig tree, the LORD’S chosen nation, Israel. Hatred for the Jews and Antisemitism are spreading like a disease, especially in America. Soon only the LORD will be their only protector and lover. After Revelation chapter 3, the Church is out of the picture. Israel will then take center stage. The 144,000 witnesses from the 12 tribes will flood the Israelites with the Gospel message of Yeshua Hamashiach!