“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves some out, you know that summer is near.
Jesus warned the disciples to beware of people who claim to be the “Christ.” He also told them to watch for signs that point to His second coming: wars, famines, earthquakes, false prophets, and the increase of wickedness. Some of these events listed in Matthew 24 were fulfilled in Jesus’ time, some later, and some are to be fulfilled in the future. The Lord holds all things in His hand and promises to one day establish His kingdom on earth forever; but in the meantime, we see evidence of the “twigs getting tender.”
Jesus uses this analogy of the fig tree to demonstrate to his disciples that when these things happen (wars, famines, earthquakes, etc), they are signs of the end of the age. He then reminds them, and subsequently present-day disciples of Christ as well, that His words will never pass away: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (v.35)
As followers of Christ, we must pay attention to the signs of the end of the age. It is apparent that we have seen many of the “birth pangs” already: Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes. (v.7) It is comforting to know that Jesus Christ, the King of God’s kingdom, has warned us of what is to come, and at the end of the age, He will return. We need not fear as we see some of the signs of His return. No, indeed! We should pray for God’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done.
I am afraid when I read the words in Matthew 24 describing the end of the age. I fear that I have become so accustomed to this world that I am not ready for the consummation of Your kingdom to come. Prepare my heart to be caught up with You and not with the things of this world, knowing that one day when You return, I will finally feel right at home.
In Jesus’ name, Amen