Keeping watch: sure sign

Jesus-Apostles-vine-branch2The Certain Sign. 28 “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. 30 Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The image of the fig tree in blossom is a sure and certain sign of summer. Jesus is using a short proverb to assure the readings that his promises are true. So, when they see these things happening they will know. But what are “these things?” Is the reader supposed to remember the fig tree with leaves and no fruit, which Jesus cursed (11:12–14, 20–22)? If so, then alleged “signs” must be carefully scrutinized. Who is “near”? God? A Son of Man other than Jesus? Jesus as Son of Man? What are “these things”? Continue reading