In the Bible, the fig tree is a representation of Israel. The olive tree also represents Israel, but Jesus specifically speaks of the change in the fig tree in Matthew 24 as a sign of the end-times.
Why does Jesus talk about a fig tree in Matthew 24?
A fig tree has a regular pattern that it follows for budding and producing a harvest. It reveals a sign that the seasons are changing to all those who are around and pay attention. The branches become tender and shoot forth leaves. This is the sign that summer is near.
The fig tree is the last of the trees to bud; therefore, when it starts to change, we can expect a rapid shift in the atmosphere.
Summer is the precursor to the harvest season of autumn. Summer is a time when idols can often impact our worship and time with the Lord. We frequently get “out of routine,” and our focus drifts elsewhere.
As a result, when harvest season approaches, there can be a lack of “good crops.”
Here is the problem. When we fail to open our eyes to what the fig tree is doing, we can miss out on the patterns God wants to reveal to us so we can see His timeline.
This is why it’s so important to watch the fig tree!
Matthew 24 | The Parable of the Fig Tree
“‘Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.’”—Matthew 24:32-35
The Parable of the Fig Tree and Israel
The Bible often uses the fig tree to describe the abundance of the land in Israel. The Lord showed the prophet Jeremiah that the “good figs” would be brought back to their land and He would plant them there for good, never to be pulled up again.
- “The Lord showed me, and there were two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord… One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then the Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’
“And I said, ‘Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, which cannot be eaten, they are so bad.’
“Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.”’”—Jeremiah 24:1, 2-6
- “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.”—Hosea 9:10
When you look at these two passages through the lens of Matthew 24, you begin to see how God is preparing the land of Israel for a physical and spiritual harvest.
The Parable of the Fig Tree and World Events
There’s something else about the parable of the fig tree that helps us gain insight and knowledge when it comes to world events.
The fig tree reveals what is happening in regard to the change in seasons. It naturally responds to God’s patterns on His calendar. The same can be said for Israel as the fig tree and how it responds to the prophetic and political seasons. When you see the “branches become tender and put forth leaves,” it is a picture of preparation, restoration, and abundance.
If you want to understand the events of the world and God’s timeline for restoration, then look at Israel.
Just as Jesus said, “… you will know it is near—at the doors!”
How Is God Restoring Israel?
God is restoring Israel and fulfilling biblical prophecy in many ways…
- Israel’s statehood on May 14, 1948
- Trump’s opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018
- The ongoing transformation of the once barren land into a blooming dessert, according to Isaiah 35:1
These events beg the question: What is next?
Though we do not know the details, we can rest in the fact that God has Israel’s destiny written in the books of Heaven.
When we understand God’s Word and see how He is faithful in fulfilling all of His promises, it stirs our spirits to get involved.
When we understand the importance of Israel, seeing her as the “fig tree” and a sign that summer is near, we have a choice to put roots in the same soil that is creating an abundant crop in her.
When we do, we get to take part in God’s prophetic restoration that leads to the return of the King!
What Blinds Us from Seeing the Prophetic Significance of the Parable of the Fig Tree?
That which can blind us from seeing the tender branch and budding leaves is when we become consumed with our own affairs and fail to see God’s bigger picture as it relates to the nations. Once we start to look for His signs and seasons, we will “see all these things.”
What Should We Do When We See the Leaves of the Fig Tree?
We should prepare, but we should also rejoice in the coming restoration of all things. We prepare by sowing seeds into Israel and by giving our faith tangible roots in the Holy Land.
We have nothing to fear. We can look forward in expectation to be blessed as we bless Israel. Let us surrender and follow God’s plan of restoration.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’”—Revelation 21:1-2, 5
Learn more about ways to invest in Israel’s restoration by downloading our FREE guide—3 Reasons to Invest in Israel.