The fig tree was a common tree in Palestine and it stood out in the winter more than other evergreen trees with its bareness.  It was one of the last trees to leaf after winter, so its shoots were an indication of summer.  Jesus used an image from nature to illustrate a spiritual lesson and the point of the parable is clear.  As trees and seasons point to the future, so discernable events or signs point to the coming kingdom of God. Jesus has said that in the last days there will be certain signs to watch for. These signs include the fact that you will “hear of wars and rumors of wars” and the scripture warns us “not to be troubled,” for all these things must come to pass,” (Matthew 24:5-7).Jesus said in the same passage (Matthew 24:7), “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places.” There are many famines in Africa and starvation in other developing countries. Farmers are familiar with the locust and mice plagues that devastate their hard work. In recent times, we have heard of increasing earthquakes happening worldwide. “These are all the “beginning of sorrows” (v.8). They resemble labor pains the earth is suffering before the great and terrible Day of the Lord is birthed. The tsunamis, earthquakes, famines, diseases and viruses are all the “beginnings of sorrows”(www.biblestoriestheatre.org).
 
   
 
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