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 that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
It felt like that summer might actually last forever. It seemed to start early, with spring going straight from cold to hot without any moderately warm weather. There we were, breaking out our shorts by the start of April, and that was not normal. Then, the summer came quickly and hot. It did not matter what the calendar said, summer was here. That lasted into October, but nature by then had given us some sure signs that autum had arrived. We were still in our shorts, but the trees knew that the season had changed. Regardless of how warm and sunny it was, those leaves began to turn and fall. No one could convince them to stay on their branches.
There is the way that things seem, and there is the way that things really are. Waiting for Jesus Christ to return is one of those things that can really mess with the mind. We know that He is coming, and we have that great hope in his return, but we just keep waiting. Things seem to get worse, then they look like they are getting better, but then they get worse again. We look for clues and signs to indicate exactly how close He is, because we are dying for him to arrive. For those who study the word, the signs are there. Jesus himself told us what the natural progression toward the second coming will look like, and we see those events happening in our lifetime. The time is at hand.
The persecution of God’s people has been happening for so long now. Whether we are speaking of the persecution of the Jews or the persecution of those who believe in Jesus as Messiah, both are rampant throughout history. Turmoil near and in Jerusalem is nothing new, either. The world is groaning, and we see the changes in nature to indicate it. From crazy weather patterns to what seems like an increase in the frequency of natural disasters, the signs are all pointing in one direction. If we believe what He says, let us raise our figurative heads toward the heavens and keep watch because our redemption is drawing near. Father, give us wisdom to see the signs of which the Son spoke, that we would be confident in his return.