November 30 - Luke 21:29-38

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Luke 21:29-38 – Parable of the Fig Tree

This is one of those passages that confuses people. Jesus tells his listeners that “this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Luke 21:32).

What are ‘these things’? What is ‘this generation’?

There are no easy answers because of the way language is interpreted. If ‘these things’ refers only to the destruction of the temple, it is acceptable to assume that ‘this generation’ then refers to those who are listening to him speak. However, if Jesus is speaking of the end of the world, the return of the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27) and the fact that ‘redemption is drawing near’ (Luke 21:28), we find ourselves wondering what he meant by ‘this generation.’

The thing is ‘generation’ could refer to a short span of time … or a longer span of time … maybe decades after Jesus’ lifetime. But, it can also refer to a race of people … maybe the Jews. Is Jesus telling his listeners that the Jews will continue to live until all these things have happened?

We have no way of knowing for sure. We weren’t there and were unable to ask deeper questions. He might not have answered them anyway.

The more important words of Jesus come in Luke 21:34, though. It is not up to us to try to discern exactly what he meant with regards to a time frame, but it is up to us to be prepared. Jesus tells his listeners to be careful and not allow themselves to be caught up in the concerns of life because the day will come when they least expect it. It will come upon everyone on the face of the earth, he says.

Be always on the watch and pray for that day so that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:26). Wasting time worrying about the details and the time certainly take our eyes off the prize.