Vs.32-35: Fig tree. This is the first of seven “futures” of the Kingdom parables. Fig trees give clear signs of what they are doing so you know what comes next; they lose their leaves in the winter, then they start to produce fruit before the new leaves bud. At this time, the fig trees would be “in leaf.” In Mark, Jesus uses this parable to predict the destruction of the Temple (Mark 11:12-25). By knowing Scripture, not popular reasoning, we will know for sure when the events are upon us all!
· This generation normally refers to “you people,” as in race and mentality; it can also refer to who is there, and in being stubborn (Lev. 26:18-20; Judg. 2:19). This is not about time; it is about the mentality and the people, such as the race of Jews. Some have said this meant only the people then; the destruction of the Temple and the reign of Nero comprised the Tribulation (“Preterism” means fulfilled eschatology). Also, that in 70 A.D., all that Jesus spoke of in Matthew, chapter 24, was fulfilled and now we are in the age of Jesus’ reign. I guess they have not looked out a window lately! Yes, some of it was fulfilled, but not all; so, “this generation” did see some of what is to come, in fact, most or all of it except for His Second Coming!
· The Dead Sea scrolls predicted a 40 year tribulation versus the seven year one in Revelation!
· My words. These are words only God would proclaim; no O.T. Prophet would dare to say these things in this way. Their words were given to them by God; Jesus spoke as God (Jer. 31:35-37; Zech. 1:5-6). For the Jews, to whom Matthew is written, this meant the authority of the O.T. Scriptures.
· Jesus does not give us an exact timeline of when and how these events will take place; even Revelation and Daniel do not! This gives birth to needless speculation and obsession, because we fail to see His main point—being prepared, and being encouraged that things will get better after they get worse!
What can you do to make sure you are not distracted by theological trivialities that may seem fun to learn and investigate (and they are), but deter you from what Christ has called you to do?