We get only a brief insight into Jesus’ discussion with the apostles, a synopsis of the drift of the conversation. In the vision, Jesus discussed his death with Moses and Elijah. Hence the topic of his death would have been discussed further as he and the three apostles descended the mountain.
Jesus was trying to raise their thinking to a higher level. The supplied food represented his message, his words, but even the apostles did not have a depth of understanding until Pentecost when they got the Holy Spirit, the spirit of remembrance. Then the meaning of Jesus’ words dawned on them.
Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves. Footnote 34 in The Keys of Revelation, chapter 6, provides some pertinent information. The fig tree begins to put forth tender leaf buds about the end of March. (1) At the same time, tiny figs begin to develop (with the leaves) to the size of a small cherry. Most fall off. Being immature and inferior, they are eaten only by the poor or a traveler. (These tiny figs are what Jesus was looking for.) (2) A few of these small figs continue to ripen on the tree and reach maturity in June as excellent figs. (3) In June, buds of the next crop appear higher up in the branches. These ripen and are the great crop of figs in August. Hence there are three stages of development. The second crop, the “time of [early] figs,” was the first nutritional harvest. The third crop was really the second, or general, harvest of figs. Thus Jesus cursed a fig tree that did not have even the first tiny figs, and this was prior to the two harvests.
Jesus was truly hungry. In other words, he did not premeditate the fig tree scene. When he saw leaves at Passover time, he assumed the tiny immature figs would be there too. Upon seeing no fruit, he realized there was a reason, a providence, for this situation. Of course he knew the fig tree pictured the Jewish nation.
The Garden Tomb is so situated that it can be seen from a distance. The earthquake tremors and the angel were instrumental in rolling away the stone. The same earthquake produced the cloud that darkened the atmosphere for three hours, shook the ground when Jesus died, rent the Temple veil, opened the graves of sleeping saints, and then helped to roll away the stone. In other words, one earthquake can have many tremors.
This suggests that Satan thought what Jesus was about to do might be illegitimate, that is, judging him “before the [due] time” (Matt. 8:29). Even the devils believe and tremble (fear) before God. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19). Of the 2,000 demons in the man, one (Legion) was like the prince of demons, the spokesman.
Verse 7 proves the fallen angels knew Jesus—that he was not an ordinary man. They knew of his preexistence as the Logos and of his close relationship with God. They worshipped him (verse 6) out of fear of what he might do to punish or judge them.
The people were on the shore, listening to Jesus, who spoke the parable from a boat. This great teacher was just saying things that were common sense, and the people agreed. They got the point of the importance of the soil. The same seed was sown in all four cases, so the soil it fell into was the difference. But how did Jesus conclude? “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” His words were a hint that the lesson was deeper. He was speaking loud for all to hear, but then he raised his voice even more and cried out this last statement. Jesus purposely delayed the explanation of the parable, waiting for the interested ones to ask questions.