Sunday, June 23, 2013

Parable of the Budding Fig Tree

Definition of Parable:
Parable signifies in general a comparison, or a parallel, by which one thing is used to illustrate another. It is a likeness taken from the sphere of real, or sensible, or earthly incidents, in order to convey an ideal, or spiritual, or heavenly meaning. As uttering one thing and signifying something else, it is in the nature of a riddle and has therefore a light and a dark side, it is intended to stir curiosity and calls for intelligence in the listener.   The derivation of the Hebrew is unknown.

Parable of the Budding Fig Tree
Luke 21:29-33 (Matthew 24:32 f.; Mark 13:28 f.)
And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

 What can fig trees teach us about the coming of God's kingdom?  The fig tree was a common and important source of food for the Jews. It bore fruit twice a year, in the autumn and in the early spring. The prophet Joel mentions its fruitbearing as a sign of favor from the Lord (Joel 2:22). The Talmud said that the first fruit came the day after Passover. The Jews believed that when the Messiah came he would usher in the kingdom of God at Passover time. This parable fortells the joy of God's kingdom -- the joy of new life and the promise of a new age of peace and blessing.  The signs of spring are evident for all who can see. Just so are the signs of God's kingdom.  The "budding" of God's kingdom begins first in the hearts of those who are receptive to God's word. Those who trust in God's word will bear the fruits of his kingdom.  And what are the fruits of that kingdom?  "The kingdom of God righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).  Do you pray for God's kingdom to be fully revealed?

"Lord, may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Open my eyes that I may see your glory.  Open my ears that I may understand and obey your word. And open the door of my heart that I may welcome you in as my King and Savior

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