Signs-Mark 13:28-32

Mark 13:28-32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Marco 13:28-32 « Ora imparate dal fico questa similitudine: quando i suoi rami si fanno teneri e mettono le foglie, voi sapete che l’estate è vicina. 29 Così anche voi, quando vedrete accadere queste cose, sappiate che egli è vicino, alle porte. 30 In verità vi dico che questa generazione non passerà prima che tutte queste cose siano avvenute. 31 Il cielo e la terra passeranno, ma le mie parole non passeranno. 32 Quanto a quel giorno o a quell’ora, nessuno li sa, neppure gli angeli del cielo, neppure il Figlio, ma solo il Padre.
     This portion of Scripture helps clarify the answers to questions posed in v. 4 Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Jesus responds to these by saying there will be false prophets, persecution, internal discord, political chaos and abnormal patterns in the earth’s atmosphere. Following that prophecy, He then gives a practical illustration that they can clearly understand: a parable of the fig tree. Fig trees lose their leaves in the winter but bloom in late spring, not late summer. It is when these signs are seen that the impending time for judgment is near.
     Jesus proceeds to emphasize the point by making three bold reminders that are both prophetic for the disciples and future generations. First, the present generation will witness these things happening. Second, the words of this prophecy are eternal. And third, so these disciples won’t spend their energy speculating on times and dates, Jesus says no one knows the time except the Father. The signs are all they needed to know. 
     Like many prophecies, there is a narrow and broad meaning implied. Certainly that generation of disciples would see evidence of the signs but Jesus also implied a broader and more complete fulfilling of these prophecies. We know this because of His words in the two verses prior to this parable: “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”  The disciples in this narrative lived and died remembering the words of Jesus. In His presence, they wait for the rest of the prophecy to be fulfilled.
Pray with me: Lord, once more I am challenged that You are coming again for “his elect”. Help me to recognize the obvious signs and be ready because that time is near.

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