Wednesday, April 23
Posted: Wednesday, April 23
Verse of the day:
Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. (Luke 21:29-30)
The Gospels reveal that Jesus was an astute observer of nature. His teachings often touched on the environment that surrounded him and his listeners. Jesus’ audience lived closer to nature than most of us do now, so they had no difficulty understanding the meaning of his message.
Unlike other common trees in Israel such as the olive, the cedar, and the palm, the fig tree loses its leaves with the approach of winter. And while other deciduous trees begin to show signs of life early in spring, the fig tree remains barren until the warm season arrives.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the trees begin to bud and bloom, especially after this winter! When I see green leaves begin to sprout, it creates hope and expectancy in my heart, each and every spring. And in the bible, the image of a budding fig tree is usually associated with a season of blessing (Joel 2:22). Yet so often we view the future with pessimism and fear.
Jesus does warn us in this parable to keep watch and that difficult times are coming. Christ followers have faced challenges and calamities throughout history. But greater than the struggles, we watch the signs because they point to the approaching Kingdom of God! As Paul encourages us in Romans 13, our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Jesus will rule and reign and all will be made right. Therefore as we observe the trees this spring and observe this season of history we have every reason for hope!
Pastor Jon Brooks // College/Young Adults Pastor