Barry Newman's Blog

February 14, 2013

The Parable of the Fig Tree (part VII)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus,The Parable of the Fig Tree — barrynewman @ 9:49 pm

The oddities of the parable?

I am not sure that there are any oddities in the parable itself. The fig tree in the “story” that Jesus told behaves exactly in the same way that fig trees behaved in his real world.  What may be considered a little peculiar however is the reference to a welcome homely event – the coming of the fig season, being allied to the awesome future that is in store for many and for disciples especially.  This sharp contrast, generally ignored by the commentators, may well have had a sobering and long lasting effect on the disciples.  One should not ignore the possibility that this was a purposeful ploy by the master educator – referring to an ordinary and well known development in the life of tree, with its pleasant outcome to bespeak of awesome and unexpected events, yet to come, most unpleasant for many.

What we should learn from the parable and the teaching of Jesus accompanying it.

What Jesus said to his disciples, he has also said to us.  We must not see the peaceable circumstances of western Christianity that exist at this present time as normal.  The world and what happens to believers in this world is by and large tortuous.  And we can be easily led astray.  We must be on our guard against false teachers and false messiahs and we must understand that persecution when it comes is what Jesus promised.  We should further realise that the plans of God do not focus on a temple, Jerusalem or national Israel.  They relate to the proclamation of the gospel worldwide and the bringing in of the kingdom in its finality with the coming of the Son of man.

In the words of Jesus: “Listen carefully. Watch. For you do not know the time when these things will occur. The situation  is like a man who going away and leaving his house, puts his slaves in charge and assigns to them their work, commanding the one in charge, the door-keeper, to be watchful. Likewise you must watch. For you do not know when the master of the house will come.  It could be in the evening, at midnight, when the cock crows or in the morning and not during daylight hours. If you do not keep watch, he could come without warning and find you asleep. What I say to you disciples, I say to all.  Watch”.

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