“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.” (Matthew 24:32-35)

When Jesus says “this generation,” the Greek word for generation here is genea. Genea refers to a particular age or time. Combined with the statement “all these things take place,” which would include all the events of the seven year Tribulation – everything that Jesus had been talking about…the birth pains (vs. 4-14)…the abomination of desolation (vs. 15)…the need to flee because of the impending dangers (vs. 16-28)…and the catastrophic chaos of the universe (vs. 29), brings us to the conclusion that the generation in existence when Israel was formed will not pass away (die) before the Second Coming.

So what does this full verse mean? It simply means that the generation that sees Israel reborn and the fig tree “put out its leaves” is the same generation that will see the completion of the Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ (Second Coming). Remember, this verse is in the imperative mood, which means it is a command for us – not just a parable to be overlooked!  And guess what? Israel, a country that had not really existed as a separate nation for nearly 2,500 years, was declared a new sovereign state by an act of the United Nations on May 14, 1948!  READ MORE