Barry Newman's Blog

February 7, 2013

The Parable of the Fig Tree (part III)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus,The Parable of the Fig Tree — barrynewman @ 9:28 pm

The teaching of Jesus following upon the parable

Each of the Gospels follows the parable with Jesus solemnly stating, “This generation will not pass away until all has taken place.  Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24: 34, 35; Mark 13: 30, 31; Luke 21: 32, 33).

Matthew and Mark soberly record Jesus warning that the exact time is known only to the Father (Matthew 24: 36; Mark 13: 32).

Mark reports Jesus relating a parable that speaks of a man preparing his household for going on a journey, warning his disciples to watch, since they “do not know when the master of the house will return” (Mark 13: 33 – 37).  There is a faint echo of this parable in Matthew 25: 14 ff (the parable of the talents) and in Luke 19: 12 ff (the parable of the minas).

Matthew records Jesus referring to the days of Noah and for those who perished in the flood, its sudden appearance and follows this with enigmatic words concerning “one being taken” and “one being left” – “So watch because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24: 37 – 41 and echoed in Luke 17: 26,27, 34, 35).

Luke concludes the discourse by citing Jesus warning his disciples about being weighed down with “dissipation, drunkenness and the cares of life” and the sudden appearance of “that day”, exhorting them to watch and pray so that they might have strength to escape “all these things … and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21: 34 – 36).

Though the Gospels differ in the way they bring the discourse to a close, the overall sentiment of these concluding words is, Jesus declaring that these things will certainly occur and the utter importance of being on one’s guard.  The Son of man will come without warning.

What Jesus might have meant by his generation not passing away until all has occurred will be discussed later.

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