Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. Luke 21:29-33 (NLT)
This parable of Jesus is so simple. Yet, it is amazing how many differing interpretations people have for it. In today’s study we will keep it simple and look at the clear meaning of this parable. We will also look at some of the varieties of interpretations. But it really is quite simple. Jesus is saying that when we approach the time of the end “the signs” of His coming will be as plain as the signs of an approaching Spring. Jesus told us that no man will know the day or the hour of His return. But we can know the season.
There are many unanswered questions concerning the exact timing of our Lord’s return. Jesus taught that even He didn’t even know the exact day.
“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. Matthew 24:35-36 (NLT)
Our Lord wants us to always be ready and live in a state of expectancy. His return is always imminent.
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”” (Luke 12:35–40, NLT)