Mat 24:32-35 "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! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."
In order to understand this parable, our Lord told us that we must first understand the parables of the fig tree.
Jer 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
What are parables?
Mat 13:10-11 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."
The secrets of God and the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are hidden in the parables. Our Lord revealed them to His disciples then, and He will also reveal them to us if we diligently seek for them.
Mat 13:34-35 All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
What are the mysteries hidden in the parables of the fig tree?
Mat 21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.
(Read also Mat 21:20,21; Mark 11:12-14, 20-22 where our Lord told His disciples to have 'Faith in God')
This fig tree was without any fruit but with leaves only
John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."
In order to bear much fruit, we must abide in Him i.e. walking by faith (in Jesus and His words) and not by sight.
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
God will cut Christians off (remove or kill them) if they do not bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit or repentance
Mat 3:8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.'
He will deal with Christians as individuals, just as He had dealt with Israel as a nation in the OT. Whenever Israel (His people) walked in disobedience, idolatry and abominations, which are acts of Unbelief in God, He allowed the enemies to conquer them. In the end, God allowed the Babylonians to ransack Jerusalem and left Israel desolate.
When Israel (fig tree) walked in Unbelief (leaves only and without any fruit), God allowed the enemies to conquer them (cut off).
From these scriptures, we understand that:-
Fig tree represents Israel
Bearing much fruit - Faith in God
Leaves without fruit - Unbelief