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Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 28, 2009


 

Detailed studies into the parables of Jesus

What happened between the cross and Pentecost? What changed the disciples? What impact did the parables, miracles, and life of Jesus have on them? How can their experiences lead us to a closer more dedicated walk with Jesus? This book explores the fundamentals of the new birth experienced in the lives Jesus personally touched. It is a great book to read when you want to learn to draw closer to Jesus on a new level.

KJV Matthew 24:32-33 

32. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

The first step in interpreting a parable is to list the physical aspects. In this parable we see Christ is using a fig tree to illustrate both a physical and a spiritual lesson. When the physical branch is green and tender and begins to sprout leaves, we know summer is near. To understand the spiritual lesson we first identify the key words. In most cases the key words will be nouns, people, places and things. The key words in this parable are tree, branch, leave and summer. We then locate texts which will reveal the spiritual meanings of each of these key words.

Tree
KJV Proverbs 11:30. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

KJV Isaiah 61:3. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

We can easily see trees are used as a symbol to represent people.

Tree = people

Branch 

KJV Isaiah 11:1-5 

1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

This branch is from the stem or lineage of Jesse, the father of king David. This branch will have the Spirit of the Lord and the knowledge to judge by righteousness. This branch is a spiritual representation of Christ.

KJV Jeremiah 23:5-6

5. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jeremiah makes it clear the branch represents Jesus.

KJV Proverbs 11:28

28. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

KJV Isaiah 60:21

21. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

A branch can also represent God’s people.

Branch = Jesus and God’s people.

Leaves 

The word leaves and leaf present a challenge in Bible study. There are a number of possible spiritual meanings. Some are easy to see while others are found through the application of rules established by the parables. 

KJV Revelation 22:2

2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

KJV Genesis 3:7

7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

KJV Acts 19:11-12

11. And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12. So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Revelation 22:2 is the only verse showing leaves are used for healing. No one should ever base an interpretation upon a single verse. Looking at other verses containing the word leaves reveals a very interesting link. Genesis 3:7 shows leaves have been used to sew an apron. From this text we have established a link between leaves and apron. Looking at the word apron we find Acts 19:11-12 telling us Paul was given the power to heal people when they brought their aprons to him. From these verses we have established the fact, God uses leaves to heal.

KJV Ezekiel 17:9

9. Say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.

KJV Isaiah 1:30

30. For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

KJV Isaiah 34:4

4. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

KJV Isaiah 64:6

6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

KJV Jeremiah 8:13

13. I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

People are compared to trees and fading leaves. Isaiah 34:4 contains language referring to the end of the world. Isaiah 64:6 makes it clear a fading leaves represent unrighteous people.

KJV Psalms 1:3

3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

KJV Jeremiah 17:8

8. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

KJV Ezekiel 47:12

12. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

A tree planted by water has green leaves which will not fade but aid the tree in providing fruit.

Leaves = provide fruit and heal. A faded leaf = unrighteousness.

Summer 

KJV Proverbs 30:25. The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;

KJV Proverbs 10:5. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

KJV Isaiah 16:9. Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.

KJV Jeremiah 8:20. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

Summer is a word associated with preparation and gathering. It is associated with the harvest.

KJV Psalms 32:4. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

KJV Isaiah 28:4-5

4. And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

KJV Amos 8:1-3

1. Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 2. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. 3. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

KJV Micah 7:1-2

1. Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. 2. The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

The word summer is also identified with the word fruit, which possesses its own spiritual meaning. The above texts indicate summer is a word indicating a spiritual period of time just before the harvest. Physically, summer is a time to prepare for the harvest. It is a time to enjoy the fruit of summer. Fruit spiritually represents works or a way of life. See the study of The Seed Mark 4 for a detailed explanation of the word fruit. When the war between Jesus and Satan reach a climax before the end of the earth, a time will come when decisions are made. It is a time when there is no turning back. Speaking in a spiritual sense, people will be showing their way of life, their fruit.

Summer = a preparation for the end times.

After all of the key words have been compared with other texts and the spiritual meanings have been determined, a chart of the key words may be compiled.

Tree = people

Branch = Jesus and God’s people.

Leaves = provide fruit and heal. A faded leaf = unrighteousness.

Summer = a preparation for the end times.

Now learn the parable about God’s people. When God’s people are yet tender, and begin to provide fruit you know they are preparing for the end times. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Here are a couple of Bible Study Internet resources I have been using. I have to tell you. I have been learning so much from these classes taught for free by pastor, teacher, and lecturer Dr. Lee Gugliotto. He has taught classes in biblical languages, theology, and hermeneutics at several seminaries. His book, Handbook for Bible Study, was awarded a Gold Medallion, the equivalent of an Oscar for Christian writers. Since working with Dr. Lee, my insight into God’s Word has more than tripled.

WebStudy is a virtual classroom over the Internet. It will train you to listen for God’s voice in the text so the Bible can explain itself. You will master study basics that lay the foundations for deeper personal learning.

QuikerStudy relies on the way the Holy Spirit led Bible writers to express truth God revealed to them. It equips you to use basic Bible study tools and to understand scripture guided by three simple principles––integrated into a single skill. Easy enough for children, it is the ultimate online inductive experience for the whole family.

Http://webstudythebible.org/

CuppaJ Cafe serves the most satisfying CuppaJesus in town. We brew up a fresh daily devotion, verse-by-verse from the text to bring out its full flavor. Then we share each daily devotional with those who come to the Cafe to give the group a taste of what the text has to offer, so they can have a deeper, personal learning experience with Christ later that day.

How we brew up the word:

  • First, we define words, explain the meaning of figures and symbols, and acquaint them with people, places, and things in the text
  • Then, we lead the people on a simple trip through the text
  • Pour out a Christian thought from it, and…
  • Invite everyone to interpret the text from the writer’s words
  • Finally, we challenge everyone to spend time in the text alone with Christ later in the day to pour out another and better CuppaJesus from the same brewHttp://cuppajcafe.org/

4 Responses to “Parable of the Fig Tree Matthew 24”

  1. […] case, people are transient with their theology more and more every day. Whatever happened with all the biblical analogies comparing us as trees?! If you are going to make a difference in any church, you must set your roots deep. Because lets […]

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  2. adventbiblestudy said

    I remember a parable of a vine planted by the side of a well with deep roots. I thought this was the parable you were referring to. Looking for this text I learned an important lesson. I could not find the text in the Bible. I searched, deep roots, vine and well plus a number of other words I thought were in the text. After a number of searches this is all I could find.

    KJV Ephesians 3:17-19
    17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
    18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
    19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    It may not be a text at all but a popular paraphrase. I have been confused before by sermon using paraphrases instead of actual text. This may be where the paraphrase began.

    KJV Psalms 80:8-12
    8. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
    9. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
    10. The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
    11. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
    12. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

    As I located other texts I began to see a pattern occur. Strange as it may seem, you mentioned this pattern in your comment. God gave us a gift and we misused it.

    KJV Nehemiah 9:25-26
    25. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness.
    26. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.

    I for one can see how many people have forgotten the word of God and now prefer to use paraphrases to illustrate a point.

    KJV Isaiah 5:1-2
    1. Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
    2. And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

    New wine represents the pure word of the Lord. Old wine represents the word of men mixed with the word of God. I am not sure what wild grapes represent. This is a word I have never studied.

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  3. adventbiblestudy said

    If you find the text with the deep roots let me know where it is. I can’t seem to find it.

    Like

  4. adventbiblestudy said

    Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

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