Revelations from the Word

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The second parable of the fig tree

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Learn from the parable [parabolé] of the fig tree. As soon as the branches become tender, and the leaves are growing, you know that the summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that the Son of Man is near, at the door" (Matthew 24:32-33 Interlinear).

In order to put the events of the End Times in context, Jesus uses the parable of the fig tree asking His disciples to draw some teaching from it. The fig tree is twice-bearing, that is to say, it bears fruit twice a year. The fruits that are formed in the spring on the wood of the previous year; these are the firstfruits. The second fruits are formed at the same time as the leaves on that year's growth; these are the main harvest. When Jesus approached a fig tree that had leaves, He expected to find fruit there, but it was sterile (Matthew 21:18-19). The fig tree becomes sterile when it grows old and it has not been looked after, i.e. when it is neither pruned nor cultivated.

Jesus had already told a first parable of the fig tree, "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came to look for fruit on it, and he found absolutely none. Cut it down: why is it taking up ground to no purpose?..." (Luke 13:6-9). The fig tree represents Israel where during three years of His ministry Jesus did not find the anticipated fruit. Indeed, because of the bad shepherds who were blind (Ezekiel 34), Israel was no longer being cared for and was dispersed (diaspora) although it benefited from the time of grace requested by the owner of the vineyard (Luke 13:8). But God has not abandoned His plans for His People: In 1948 He replanted His Fig Tree on the Land to which He is married (Isaiah 62:4), and He is Himself the Shepherd who takes care of His Fig Tree in order to harvest the fruit, for the One who cares for a fig tree will eat its fruit (Proverbs 27: 18).

According to the prophecy about Israel in Ezekiel 37, the dry bones are to come back together, the nerves and the flesh grow, and the skin grow, then God is to give them a spirit so that they can take on life (Ezekiel 37:4-6). Israel has taken on life again, and is standing on its feet. It is a numerous army (Ezekiel 37:10), and we know that it comes from the Lord (Ezekiel 37:14). The Messianic Jews are the firstfruits, "I have seen your fathers as the firstfruits of a fig tree" (Hosea 9:10), but it is not the time of the abundant harvest for all the children of Israel have not yet returned home from the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 37:21). When they make up a single nation in the land of Israel, then they will all have the same King and there will no longer be any division between those who are in Israel and those who are in the nations (Ezekiel 37:22).

The time of the fishers is coming to an end, behold the time of the hunters is coming to bring all the children of Israel back (Jeremiah 16:16), before the Coming of the King, the Son of David, who will be their Shepherd (Ezekiel 37:24). But it is necessary that what holds them captive be lifted off them (Ezekiel 37:23), that is all that prevents them from leaving their nations to make their Aliyah in the Land of Israel.