Jesus was addressing people within the courts of the temple and he attracts their attention. They are concerned about signs that indicate that God’s kingdom is near. Jesus tells them a parable.
Jesus says, “Look at the fig tree and all the trees, for as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.” Certainly, that is truer of us living in central Florida than it is for people living north and to the west of us. “Fall” as a season when trees shed their leaves comes in December or January here and new green leaves quickly follow. We are much closer to summer (June 21) than those who experienced leaves falling in October and November and trees budding in March and April. I remember one year while living in North Carolina that we had quite a snowfall on April 1, twelve days after the vernal equinox. Making summer seem far away indeed!
Jesus adds, “When you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” We are certainly nearer the kingdom of God than we were at the time of our births or even this time last year.
This parable reminds us that we are moving towards a goal … the kingdom of God. While there are some who believe that history is cyclical and therefore repeats itself, we see history linearly. We view history according to a timeline, looking back to what has gone on before us and looking ahead to Christ’s second coming and the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. Our tasks are to be alert and watchful and to use our time wisely so that upon encountering Christ we may hear him say of us: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for alerting us to the time and encouraging us to use our time wisely. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.