And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;…
I. The words of Jesus Christ, the words which He spoke for our direction, for our purification, for our comfort, for our redemption, have not passed, and shall not pass away. Our human intellect accepts them with reverence, and must ever retain them. Our human passions acknowledge their salutary power, and look up to them for perpetual control and guidance. Our human fears are soothed by them, and cannot let them go. Our human hopes are informed, elevated, and sanctified by them, and constantly resort to them for refuge, and lean upon them for rest. All our human affections have borrowed from them Divine light and warmth, and must reflect that light and warmth for ever.
II. "Heaven and earth shall pass away." Giving to this sentence an individual application, we may feel that heaven and earth pass away from the sight of all of us. Fancies as brilliant as the blue vault above us, promises as fair, expectations and resolves as high, and possessions which we have deemed as firmly founded as the earth itself, have vanished, and will again vanish; and what is there left behind? The words of Christ are left, when the visions break, and the possessions disappear — words of patience, and courage, and comfort, always left for the strengthening of our hearts, if our hearts will hear and accept them. The words of Jesus arc the promises of God the Father to the souls of men. When eyes are growing dim, and the heart is ceasing to beat, and heaven and earth are passing away, as they surely will from all of us, what remains for the soul's help and reliance but the words of Jesus, which are the promises of God?
III. And let us remember that the words of Jesus, attested as they arc by the Father who sent Him, permanent as time has proved them, true, and satisfying, and lasting as the human soul has found them, are not only the promises of God for man's hope and trust, but the law of God for man's final judgment. As such they will remain, when heaven and earth, in any and every sense, have passed away. The words of Christ, essentially permanent, and surviving all change, will meet our souls in the last day, and be pronounced upon them, for acquittal or for doom. And certain and necessary it is, that the sentence which will be adjudged unto us hereafter by those words, will be in strict accordance with the observance or the neglect with which we treated them here, before our present heaven and earth had passed away.
(F. W. P. Greenwood, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;