The Lesson from the Fig Tree

Text: Mark 13:28-37

Reflection and Question: In the spring of my senior year in college, when I knew I was heading toward seminary, the department of my major, Government, approved an independent study with the University Preacher to look carefully at passages in the New Testament that perplexed me. One set of those was Jesus’ lesson from the fig tree, the parallels to this teaching (Mt 24:32-33, Lk 21:29-31), and the cursing of the fig tree, which seemed so unfair (Mk 11:12-14, Mt 21:18-19). This began my serious study of Scripture and taught me humility in the face of the construction and purposes behind the text. Here the fig tree is a sign of God’s reign coming — what signs do you watch for?

Prayer: Most High God, Jesus encourages us here to stay alert, to remain awake, and promises, “This generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” Sustain our watch for the fig tree in leaf as generations rise and fall. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).