7723 - Notice the Signs

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As we have been studying in Luke 21 we have been impressed that Jesus has shared with his disciples the signs in history and in time, which announce that the return of the Lord Jesus to earth is drawing near.

Let’s investigate Luke 21:29-33 today. They say:

He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourself and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, 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.

At this time in the life of Jesus he is in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. He has come here, along with his disciples, with full knowledge that this is the appointed time to die for the sins of mankind. He is just days away from his death.

After outlining many signs, which would precede his return, he calls attention to the life of a fig tree. Perhaps he mentions a fig tree because it often is viewed as a symbol for the nation Israel. He reminds them that any tree gives a vivid and true announcement that summer is soon to arrive. It does not take many days until the entire tree has a green hue.

This is a design of nature instilled by Jesus himself, when, as the creator, he planned and fashioned the life cycle of the tree. It hasn’t changed since the Garden of Eden.

Why is this true? Because of the character and nature of God. He is perfect in knowledge and power, so when he sets out an order for any particular affair we can be sure it is going to happen just as he commands.

This truth existed when he first prophesied that Satan’s head would be crushed in Genesis (3:15). It was true when in the counsels of heaven the plan for redemption of the fallen, sinful human race was instituted even before Adam was created

(1 Peter 1:20).

Man has not been clued in why so many centuries passed in human history before Jesus came to earth to fulfill the plan for reconciling mankind to God through himself, but it took place just as God planned and at the time chosen by God. It’s true that the prophets announced that it would happen, but only God knew the time.

So it is with the return of Jesus as the victorious king, to set up his reign on earth for a thousand years. The time chosen for this event is in God’s possession, but it will come about just as summer comes after the leafing out of the trees.

The signs given by Jesus to his disciples, and written down by Dr. Luke in chapter 21 have been unfolding throughout human history since Christ’s resurrection and return to heaven.

To many it appears that these signs have already occurred, and some have reoccurred many times. We are not told the why or when; but we can tell the season. We are in that season now and have been for several centuries. Do not despair, in God’s time the Lord shall return.

Many have puzzled over Jesus’ words, “this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Perhaps the explanation comes in the meaning of that word translated generation. This comes from the Greek word ‘genea’ which refers to both those living in a given time as well as the race or lineage; therefore, Jesus could have had in mind that the Jewish race would not pass away until these things happen. The true explanation is uncertain.

But be assured, those words of Jesus, “my words will never pass away” are true. That is a certainty. As certain as is the truth that God is eternal and unchangeable. That is why we should be so interested in understanding and obeying his word. Isn’t it great?