Lessons From a Fig Tree

Jesus told 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” (Luke 21:29-31).

The newspapers report a lot of bad news: war, robbery, murder, corruption, domestic abuse, even the abandoning of little babies. Life just seems to be one bad thing after another. Will there ever be an end to all this?

“Yes,” Jesus says. In a short story that speaks volumes about life, Jesus teaches us about his coming on the Last Day.

Our loving God has put a schedule in place for this earth. Only God knows exactly when these things will take place. In his divine wisdom, though, God sometimes lets us know when things are about to change. Jesus said when trees sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, Jesus tells us when we see things such as wars, talks about wars, and earthquakes, we know his kingdom is near.

We can’t just ignore the bad news, and we shouldn’t. God doesn’t want us to be afraid of these sad events. Rather, he wants us to look past them and see that they are signs that tell us Jesus is coming again. Just as the trees welcome the summer months, so believers will welcome their time with Jesus in heaven.

The second coming of Jesus will bring an end to all that is wrong with the world. It will be a day of final judgment. For those who reject Jesus, there will not be another chance to believe. There will be no escape. Christ is coming back once more and that will be the Last Day.

Those who trust in Jesus don’t fear that day. Believers know that Jesus has forgiven them and promised them eternal life. They simply wait for him to come and take them to the paradise he has promised. They wait patiently and put up with the world’s troubles, knowing that Jesus will change things forever someday.

The lessons from a fig tree tell us that Jesus is coming again and that life will be far better. Come and learn about all the wonderful things waiting for those who believe in Jesus.

Time To Grow

“Jesus said, ‘Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times'” (Mark 4:3-8).

Songwriters have used it. Thinkers have used it. Investors have used it. You probably have used it yourself. Even Jesus Christ used it. Used what? They used the picture of planting seeds to make a point. Jesus told a story about planting seeds. Recorded for us in Mark 4:3-8, this simple story speaks volumes for our lives.

Jesus teaches us that seeds are being planted in hearts at worship services each Sunday. That’s also what is happening in a children’s Sunday school lesson – seeds are being planted in their hearts. That’s what is happening when you learn what the Bible teaches – seeds are being planted in your own heart. They are being planted by God through his Word.

Seeds need time to grow. In springtime when gardens are first planted, there’s not much to see. Yet, as every gardener knows, when it comes to seeds, it takes time. As sunlight warms the moist earth where seeds are imbedded, seeds take time to sprout and grow.

Sometimes a person checks out a church one Sunday and decides not to go back. But that’s not much time to let the seeds sown that Sunday grow, is it? Sometimes people are glad to attend a particular Bible class or workshop at a church. But when it is done, they lose interest. In a way, they are like a child who excitedly plants a seed in a foam cup and waters it regularly. But a couple of days later the child forgets about it, and the seed dries up. Sometimes a person goes to worship regularly so that the seeds of God’s Word start to grow, but then he lets the cares of life grow up like thorns. They crowd out time for the Word, and so the planting of faith in his soul gets the life choked out of it.

But sometimes an amazing thing happens. The person keeps coming back to hear the Word. And the seeds grow. And keep growing. The plant of faith is made strong by God’s complete forgiveness won by Jesus. It flourishes under God’s unconditional love given in Jesus and is made resilient by heaven’s guarantee paid for by Jesus.

Maybe that person is you.