"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-at the doors!"
- Matthew 24:32-33
The fig tree, in Scripture, is a symbol of the nation of Israel. On more than one occasion God compares Israel to a fig tree. In Hosea 9:10, God says, "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season."
When Jesus said, "Learn this parable from the fig tree . . . ," He was telling us that the rebirth of Israel, or the budding of the fig tree, will be a super sign of the last days.
The prophet Ezekiel told us the same thing. Ezekiel was told to stand over a valley of dry bones. Then God asked Ezekiel a question: "Son of man, can these bones live?" (Ezekiel 37:3). And as Ezekiel stood there, the bones came back together, and flesh returned to the bones. Then God interpreted it for him and said, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' Therefore prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel" ' " (verses 11–12). God is effectively saying these are His people coming back to their land again.
When Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948, the prophetic time clock started to tick. She is at the eye of the hurricane of the end times. She occupies center stage in God's drama of the ages. As my friend Joel Rosenberg says, Jerusalem is the epicenter of world events. God predicted this long ago. And we see it playing out before our very eyes.