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The two parables of the fig tree

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"He also told this parable [parabole]: A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came to look for some fruit on it, and he didn’t find any at all. So he said to the steward of the vineyard: I have come for three years looking for fruit on this fig tree, and I haven’t found any at all. Cut it down: why is it uselessly taking up ground? The steward of the vineyard answered him: Lord, leave it another year; I will dig all around it, and there I will put some dung. Perhaps in the future it will give fruit; if not you will cut it down" (Luke 13:6-9).

The fig tree is a plant that bears twice, that is to say that it carries fruit twice in the year. The first fruits are formed in the Spring on the wood of the preceding year, they are the beginnings and the second fruits are formed on the growth of the current year at the same time as the leaves, which is the main harvest. When Jesus approached a fig tree that had leaves, He was expecting to find fruit there, but this one was barren (Matthew 21:18-19). The fig tree becomes barren when it grows old and it is not looked after (cultivated).

The first parable

The fig tree represents Israel, and for three years Jesus found no anticipated fruit there, Israel was no longer being looked after (cultivated), because of the bad shepherds of whom Ezekiel 34 speaks, and it was no longer bearing fruit. The steward of the vineyard then implored God’s grace and asked for more time. But History shows us that it did not produce fruit, for the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, and Israel was cut off from its roots, that is to say dispersed (Diaspora) into the nations in 133 AD.

The second parable

"Learn from the parable [parabole] of the fig tree. As soon as its branches become tender, and the leaves begin to grow, 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).

In order to place the events in the End Times, Jesus used the parable of the fig tree to teach His disciples. God has not abandoned His plans for His People for in 1948 He replanted His Fig Tree on His Land that is called Married (Isaiah 62:4). He Himself is the Shepherd who is going to take care of His Fig Tree in order to harvest the fruit from it, for the One who cares for the fig tree shall eat its fruit (Proverbs 27:18).

The rebirth of Israel

According to the prophecy in Ezekiel about Israel, the dry bones were to come back together; the nerves and the flesh were to grow, as was the skin. Then God was to give them a spirit so that they could take on life (Ezekiel 37:4-6). Israel has taken on life, it is standing on its feet and it is a large army (Ezekiel 37:10). We know that that comes from the Lord (Ezekiel 37:14).

The beginnings

With the Messianic Jews, we have the beginnings ("I have seen your fathers as the first fruits of the fig tree" Hosea 9:10), but it is still not the time of the abundant harvest for all Israel’s children have not returned from out of the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 37:21). God’s plan is to bring together all His children on the Land called Married, and to illustrate this He uses two pieces of wood:

"And you, son of man, take a piece of wood and write on it: For Judah and the children of Israel who are associated with it. Take another piece of wood, and write on it: For Joseph, stem of Ephraim and of all the of the house of Israel who are associated with him. Bring the one near to the other to make of them a single piece, so that they will be one in your hand" (Ezekiel 37:16-17).

These two pieces of wood represent the People of God dispersed among the nations:

"And you will say to them: Thus says the Lord, the Eternal One: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have gone, I will bring them together from all parts, and bring them back into their land" (Ezekiel 37:21).

At present we have a part of the People of God established in the Land of Israel (Erets Yisrael), and the other part established in the nations. But God desires to make of them a single nation in the land (Erets Yisrael) in order that it will no longer be divided into two kingdoms (Ezekiel 37:22). There are those who have made their Aliya and who are established in the Promised Land, and there are those who, not convinced of the return to Zion, remain in the nations and consider themselves apart from Israel.

God’s plan

"I will make of them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; they will all have the same king, they will no longer form two nations, and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms" (Ezekiel 37:22).

God wants to re-establish His kingship over the land for He still considers it His Kingdom. The Jewish People belong to Him: "I will take you for My people, and I will be your God, and you will know that it is I, the Lord, your God, who delivered you from the works with which the Egyptians burdened you" (Exodus 6:7).

God wants to set His People free from the idolatrous nations in which they are living at present: "They will not defile themselves any longer with their idols, with their abominations and by all their transgressions. I will draw them out of all the places in which they have lived and where they have sinned, and I will purify them. They will be My people, and I will be their God" (Ezekiel 37:23). God desires to bring His People together to purify them from the sins of the nations in which they have settled because he desires to be their one and only God.

God desires that His People be purified in order to welcome the One for whom they have been waiting for so long: "My servant David will be their king, and they will all have the one shepherd" (Ezekiel 37:24). And so the nations will know that God is the Lord who sanctifies Israel and who establishes His sanctuary in the midst of them (Ezekiel 37:28). It will be the abundant harvest of the second parable of the fig tree.

The Lord is alive

"But they will say: The Lord lives, He who has caused the children of Israel to come up from the land of the North and from all the lands to which he had chased them! I will bring them back into their land, which I had given to their fathers. Behold, I send a multitude of fishers, says the Lord, and they will fish for them; and after that I will send a multitude of hunters, and they will chase them from all the mountains and from all of the hills, and from the clefts of the rocks" (Jeremiah 16:15-16).

God is alive and His plans are still being accomplished! Some of His People have left the land of the North (the former USSR) and a certain number from the Lands of the Est. It is the time of the fishers, when only those who so desire take the bait. God is patient, but as His word must be accomplished, He is going to use the time of the hunters to bring about an enforced Aliya.

That is the time when God will stir up the Church (through her love for God’s people) to bring back the sons and daughters of Zion to Jerusalem (Isaiah 49:22) when they are chased from the nations.

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