The Fig Tree
AN AMAZING FACT: Figs are a tasty fruit common to the Middle East, but one fact about their pollination might cause some consumers to squirm with distaste. All figs must be pollinated by a fig wasp, after which the wasp dies and decomposes inside the fruit!
Throughout nature, God created mutual relationships necessary to sustain life. Pollination is one such relationship. In the case of the fig plant, pollination must occur with the help of a small wasp. Female fig wasps implant themselves inside of either the male or female (edible) fig, both of which grow on the same plant. In either case, the wasp will pollinate the fig. Inside the male fig, the wasp lays her eggs. But if she lands in a female fig, she will be unable to lay her eggs and eventually dies.
Does this mean there is a female wasp inside that fig you bought at your local grocery store? No! Figs contain an enzyme called ficin, which breaks down and essentially digests the wasp, making it a part of the fruit. While this might cause you to shiver a little as you bite into a fresh fig and feel a crunch, the crunching is only from the fig seeds, not from a dead wasp!
Jesus had another lesson for us to learn from figs in the book of Matthew. He described to His followers a familiar sight to their eyes: “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Jesus reminded His listeners that, similarly, they had knowledge of what the world would be like before His return. “Watch,” He warned them. “Be ready!” Jesus calls us to be watchful, ever ready for His soon return!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: Matthew 24:32So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Matthew 24:33