Ver. 32-35. Mark hath the very same, Mar_13:28-31. So hath Luke, Luk_21:29-33, only he saith, the fig tree, and all the trees, when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily, &c. By this similitude of the fig tree (called therefore by Luke a parable) our Saviour doth not only design to inform them that these things which he had told them should be as certain signs of the approaching of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the coming of his kingdom, as the fig trees and other trees putting forth of leaves is a sign of the approaching summer, as Son_2:13; but that as the frosts, and snow, and cold of the winter, doth not hinder the trees from bringing forth fruit in the summer, so these tribulations and troubles should be so far from hindering and destroying Christ’s kingdom, that they should prepare the world for it, and promote it: so that as they might know from these tribulations in Judea that the kingdom of grace was at hand, and began; so from the following tribulations upon the world they might know that his kingdom of glory was also hastening.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. There are several notions men have of that term, this generation, some by it understanding mankind; others, the generation of Christians; others, the whole generation of the Jews: but doubtless our Saviour mean’s the set of men that were at that time in the world: those who were at that time living should not all die until all these things shall be fulfilled, all that he had spoken with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem; and indeed the most of those signs which our Saviour gave, were signs common both to the destruction of Jerusalem and the last judgment, abating only Christ’s personal coming in the clouds with power and glory. So that, considering that the destruction of Jerusalem was within less than forty years after our Saviour’s speaking these words, so many as lived to the expiration of that number of years must see the far greater part of these things actually fulfilled, as signs of the destruction of Jerusalem; and fulfilling, as signs of the end of the world.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. By this expression our Saviour confirmeth the truth of what he had said, assuring those to whom he spake, that although there should be a change of the heavens and the earth, 2Pe_3:10,12,13, which then commonly look upon as the most stable and abiding things, yet the truth of what he had said should not fail.