“He told them this parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know summer is near. Even so, when you see these things [signs] happening you know that the kingdom of God is near.’ -Luke 21:29-31
“Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high… The arrival of summer initiates a good feeling within most of us. Thoughts of flowers blooming, summer harvest, abundance of fruit, vacation time, warm weather, sun and blue sky. It is also a season which prompts one more parable from the Lord; a season which presents another teaching moment. The arrival of spring leading into summer is noticeable to everyone; the budding of trees and the early blooms of flowers marking the passing of chilly winter while introducing the welcome of warm days.
Jesus’ parable in Luke 21 tells us to compare the obvious signs of coming summer with the signs alerting us to His return which He teaches in this chapter and also in Matthew 24, among other places. A good many exegetes claim these signs, declaring the utter destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, were fulfilled by this historical event. However, many signs the Lord speaks of here were not completely fulfilled in the first century. He must have had another time in mind – like today.
Jerusalem was surrounded by one army in 70 AD. In 2018, it is surrounded by many armies seeking Israel’s destruction. The planets and stars of the Universe have not been shaken yet, but they will be before the Lord returns. The destructive and immoral erosion of the modern-day culture is very evident to us in our day. The things of which the Lord speaks are a definite mark of today. Wars and rumors of wars; world-wide persecution of Christians, the greatest in history; the tearing apart of families with parents and children at enmity with one another, separated by belief and unbelief.
One of the mysterious verses of Luke 21 is the Lord’s prediction that this “generation will not pass away until all these signs are fulfilled. The same word for “generation is also the word for “race. The “race of which the Lord must be speaking is the “race containing every tongue, nation, and skin color who belong to Him, the “race of every believer. This race will certainly not pass away until He returns, for He comes to claim them all as His very own and gather each one still living to Himself.
The earlier historical events which appear to fulfill some prophesy are often in Scripture collated with the prophesy of future yet unfulfilled events which actually are far more intense and world-wide. Scripture is therefore applicable to every generation and especially to these last days more closely aligned with the Lord’s Second Coming.
In any case, the signs and the actual coming of summer should be a reminder to you once again of His soon return and especially His words of continuously being watchful; not distracted by the anxiety of things He has already told you to expect, but to not get entangled in the immoralities and behavior of a sinful world causing you to be pulled into its lethal trap, a trap leaving you totally unprepared for His sudden arrival. He will not fake it and then pull back, allowing you time to wake up and get prepared. No, He will come like a thief in the night; a sudden moment for which you are not necessarily ready.
Luke 21 and Matthew 24 and 25 say one very important thing to you and me, just as though Jesus is shouting the words: “BE READY! I am coming!
“See the Judge, our nature wearing, clothed in majesty divine; you who long for His appearing then shall say, ‘This God is mine!’ Gracious Savior, own me in that day as Thine.
(2nd verse of John Newton’s hymn, “Day of Judgment! Day of Wonders! 1774)
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