Yeshua told a parable about the fig tree, which
we understand to represent the nation of Israel.
"Learn this parable from the fig tree; when you see its branches
growing soft and its leaves budding, know that the summer is near"
The softening of the branches can be seen as a softening of the heart
toward Yeshua, and the budding of the leaves the renewal of Messianic
faith in Israel. These things have been happening in our generation,
especially since the year 2000. In the next verses, Yeshua indicates that
this will be one of the signs of the generation of His return.
Matthew and Mark's gospels were written fairly soon after
Yeshua's resurrection, before there was an expanded movement of faith
among the Gentiles. Luke wrote his gospel after traveling with Paul and
seeing the revival movement in other nations. His version of the parable
adds a significant small phrase:
"... the fig tree and all the trees" (Luke 21:29).
The phrase "all the trees" refers to other nations outside of
Israel. God has a plan for every nation. Each nation is like a tree. Each
varies in fruit and form. Israel is the pattern nation, and what is
written about Israel in the Bible has parallel meaning in other nations.
Paul had a revelation of even more than what Luke wrote. Not only would
people in other nations receive the gospel, creating a unique tree of
faith; but they would eventually be spiritually connected, "grafted
in", to the remnant of believers within Israel. This is the olive tree
"You branches of a wild olive tree have been grafted in among
them and become partakers of the root" (Romans 11:17)
Matthew and Mark probably wrote around 35 AD; Luke and Paul around 60 AD.
John's writings seem to be the latest, around 90 AD. Matthew and Mark
emphasized Israel; Luke and Paul addressed the Gentile nations; John wrote
after the destruction of Israel in 70 AD and tended to write from a
heavenly viewpoint, less connected to nationalistic definitions. John chose
a different parable – the vine.
"I am the vine and you are the branches" (John 15:5).
This describes a personal connection of faith to Yeshua. The vine may be
seen as the spiritual Church and the fig tree as national Israel. The
other trees are other nations. The olive tree is the unity of the remnants
of Israel and the nations by faith.
Joel prophesied that the vine and the fig tree would bear fruit together in
the end times (Joel 2:22). This may be a hint of the unprecedented
cooperation we see between Israel and the Church today.
Habakkuk prophesied that even if we do not see fruit on the fig tree, the
vine or the olive tree, we should still rejoice (Habakkuk 3:17). Haggai
prophesied that on "this day", God would start to bless the fig
tree, the vine and the olive tree, even though until now they had not borne
fruit (Haggai 2:19).
What an encouragement! Let’s believe today for a breakthrough and a
new period of fruitfulness for God’s purpose in Israel, the Church
and the Messianic remnant.