THE FIG TREE

BIBLE REFERENCE
Mt 24:32-35 Mt 24:32-35 (close)

Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 2 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mt 24:32-35,
Mk 13:28-37 Mk 13:28-37 (close)

Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near; even so you also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. Most assuredly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don't know when the time is.
Mk 13:28-37
Lk 21:29-33 Lk 21:29-33 (close)

See the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near. Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
Lk 21:29-33

Jesus is said to be referring to the signs of the end times,
much beloved by theologians in his time and by some in our own.
The full scope of these ideas are, of course spelt out in Revelations.
These ideas persist as each generation sees the horrors of the world in their time,
the depravity of its people, and thinks that they are especially bad or evil.
And they are not. It is always like that.
The early church, got it wrong, as has each subsequent generation.

Perhaps this could point to two things:
1. The words of the Bible are not inerrant,
The end of the world, as we know it, did not come in that generation, nor in any other, so far.
The simplistic ideas of medieval man paint a picture that is frankly incredible to our ears.
2. Jesus was a child of his time;
He is shown as guided by the ideas of his generation, rather than only by divine wisdom.
For there is no doubt, now, that he is wrong, or perhaps misquoted, misunderstood.

OR, perhaps, Jesus was seeing a bigger, fuller picture.
If we take the word "generation " to be something wider than the existence of a set of human lives;
to be one stage of human evolution, one giant step in the progress from the primal sludge,
through ape-like existence, through user of tools, through internet users;
to be one stage from survival, through legalism, through morality, through spirituality,
through all that to a new form of existence which matches the purposes of God in creation;
If we see "generation " in a wider context we can see that this form of existence,
this "generation ", may continue until its purpose is completed
and at that stage the present form of creation can end, must end.

Maybe then Jesus was, as is often the case, seeing far beyond what his pre-medieval disciples could perceive.
Maybe he was seeing the next stage in the development of Creation, when the present forms of life no longer apply
when God's purpose for Creation, in its present form, is fulfilled.
When the Kingdom of God is a reality and Love is king.
The world as we know it will end, but not in our time; probably.
In the meantime all we can do is follow the path of God, of goodness,
the path that Jesus called "The Way ".