“The Parable of the Budding Fig Tree: A Proposed Analysis, Explanation, and Understanding,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear readers, thinkers, and friends, I place before you my understanding, analysis, and offer an explanation of, the parable of the budding fig tree. This parable is found in all three synoptic gospels, Mark 13: 28-37; Matthew 24: 32-39; and Luke 21:29-33.
In this parable, Jesus says that when the branches of the fig tree become tender and put forth leave, summer is approaching. In the same way, he says, he is near at the very gates. He says that this generation will not pass away before these things take place and heaven and earth will pass away but not his words. He says of the day or the hour, no one knows, but he tells us to watch for we do not know when the time will come. In Mark, he says that it is like a man going on a journey who leaves his home puts his servants in charge and commands the doorkeeper to be on watch. He says of himself that no one knows when the master of the house will come and finds you asleep. In Matthew, he recalls the days of Noah when people were engaged in their pleasures until Noah entered the ark, and that no one knows what would happen until the flood came and swept everyone away. He says the same will be true in the coming of the Son of Man.
This parable of a warning. What Jesus says here is that there will be a time when this world and our lives and everything will end. Here Jesus says here that we do not know when he will come and call us to account for what we have done in our lives, good or bad. He says that only god the father knows when he will return and take charge and render judgment. We may think at that time that we are the important ones. We may think not only are we acceptable but we great because of our wealth our intellect or whatever else we wish to pin on ourselves to make us something to others and to ourselves.
Jesus says this world will come to a conclusion and we do not know when it will happen, when he chooses to do so, and when he will come back. He says he can come and the world be remade and restored but this can happen at any second. He tells us to watch because the second he chooses to return to this troubled world we will be called to judgment. He says here we can hide nothing from him and when he comes the x-ray and light of his judgment and his forgiveness will be directed to us and we will know who are truly were and are in our lives. He tells us to watch because we will never know the second this will occur.
What can we say of the lesson in this parable? We can only say this that every second of our lives is critical in the use we make of it. Every second of our lives we can be remade and restored as a human being in the world we are capable of being. For this reason, Jesus tells us to be careful because at the second of his return we will be fully revealed as human beings and as persons. Nothing will save us whether out wealth our intellectual ability or whatever else we set about to take pride in and whatever idols we set about to take pride in and whatever idols we set up to worship in place of the love of Christ and his undying mercy and forgiveness. He tells us to watch because there will be no escape at the very second of his return. At that second, the drama of this world will come to an end, the play will come to a conclusion. He tells us we do not know when this will happen but he warns us that we must be in a continual state of preparedness.
My dear readers, thinkers and friends, what is my last word? It is this: the stakes for all men and women are high very high. Make use of every second given to you to use your talents and time as a gift of god and Christ in the service of others and do not waste it in entertaining yourself and buying your next car and taking your next vacation.
This essay is taken from my book, “The Parables of Jesus: A Personal Commentary, pub. by Hamilton Books, 2018, pp.13-15.