“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:30-35
“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty...” Psalm 90:10
Some believe that the Fig Tree Parable that Jesus gave His disciples tells us approximately when Jesus will return. There are clues within the prophecy that have merit, and it is important to be aware of them as ‘watchers’ of the signs. Quite simply, the Fig Tree is seen as a symbol for National Israel. Because Israel was re-born as a Nation in 1948, this begins the countdown to Jesus coming. It was prophesied in Ezekiel 36-37 that Israel would be re-born, and Isaiah 66:8 has been spoken of as a fulfilled promise since the nation’s founding May 14, 1948. “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons” Isaiah 66:8. Because no country has ever come back after a 2,000 year absence, this event is seen as truly miraculous.
The parable speaks of the season when fig tree twigs become tender and leaves come out as a sign that summer is near. Because this parable is in the context of the Second Coming of the Messiah, it is believed to show that the re-birth of Israel as a Nation is a sign that His coming is right around the corner. Since the Seven Years leading up to Jesus’ return in large part focus on the completion of Six Objectives for Israel, (see the post on the Seven Years Prophecy), the prophetic watcher’s attention is drawn to the probability that the End of the Age is close.
When looking at the prophecy in greater detail, it is noted that there is a connection between, seeing “all these things” and the generation that “will certainly not pass away”. In the larger context of Matthew 24-25, “all these things” is a reference to all the events that Jesus has talked about occurring before and during the Seven Years preceding His Coming. There is some research to be done when it comes to the world ‘generation’ in it’s original Greek, as well as within the greater context of the term ‘generation’ as it is used in both the Old and New Testament.
The Greek word ‘generation’ used here can have the meaning of a group of people who live for a time period, like Boomers, Millennials, or Gen Xers. Here the term also carries with it the idea of a family, relatives, a nation. Because of God’s promises that Israel would be an everlasting nation (Genesis 17, Jeremiah 31:31-34), it makes sense that Jesus would reiterate the promise, that even though the Seven Year (Tribulation) will be a deadly time, the Nation of Israel has to endure through it and see the coming of their Messiah Jesus. So those who see ‘all these things’ happening as the Seven Years commence, will also see the Second Coming.
Because 1948 also re-started the prophetic clock for Israel, and has been drawing many back to the re-established Nation within it’s borders for the past several decades, many also see a fulfillment in the timing that can be applied to the word ‘generation’ as well. Psalm 90:10 states that the life-span of a person, (what some would consider a ‘generation’), is seventy to eighty years. If we apply this to the birth of Israel in 1948, this would mean that it’s generation would be up sometime between 2018 and 2028. Because the parable says “this generation will not pass away until all these things are fulfilled”, some believe that those who were alive to see Israel’s birth, cannot all die before Jesus comes back. And if we take the farthest date of Jesus’ return to be 80 years, or 2028, and back up Seven Years for the beginning of the Tribulation, then 2021 would be it’s beginning...
In light of this possible additional twist to the interpretation of the Fig Tree prophecy, those who watch for the signs of Jesus return, aren’t really surprised to see the world beginning to unravel in 2020. Could this be the time?