Part 2 – Understanding the Present: How Close are We?

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Week 3 of Understanding the Times

“Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

~Matthew 24:3

Pull up a chair, my friend, and let’s dig into Matthew 24. We are considering the present signs of our day and asking, “How close are we?” Jesus Himself provides the answer when He sits down with Peter, James, John and Andrew on the Mount of Olives to answer the question posed above.

Jesus spent the next 30 verses or so describing things that would occur in the last days. Then, He tells them a parable in verses 32-35:

When Jesus spoke that parable, every Jew would have immediately known exactly what Jesus was referring to. In Scripture, trees represent Israel. For example, the vine represents Israel’s spiritual privilege (to enter into a personal relationship with God); the olive tree represents Israel’s religious privilege (roots in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob); and the fig tree represents Israel’s national privilege. Israel is the fig tree referenced in that passage.

When Israel was re-born in 1948, the fig tree (Israel) put forth tender leaves. When that happens, Jesus said, summer is near…right at the door! Couple that with the passage we studied in Luke 19:41-44. Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they missed the day of their visitation. Should we fail to recognize His presence “right at the door,” would Jesus weep in the same way over our failure to recognize our visitation?

Beyond that, though, look carefully at Matthew 24:33. I see a key phrase there: “…when you see…” Do we see signs today? I believe so! We are living in the season!

Verse 35 of that passage begs a very important question. Do you see it? We have to ask, “What is a generation?”

We’ll tackle that question tomorrow, so be sure to meet us here! Meanwhile, see if you can come up with an answer that satisfies Biblical principle! I look forward to gathering at the study table with you again tomorrow!

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