"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (Matthew 24:32-33).
This date, representing the longest daylight period of the year, has traditionally been designated as the official beginning of summer. As the signs of summer begin to proliferate (the days growing longer and trees putting forth leaves), every one knows that summer is near.
It is significant that Jesus used this commonly observed fact as an analogy to the signs of His imminent return from heaven to complete His great work of establishing His Kingdom on Earth, with the will of God for His terrestrial creation being done "as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). His disciples had just asked Him: "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3).
Instead of rebuking them for seeking such a prophetic sign, He proceeded to give them a number of important signs including the rise of many false prophets and also worldwide immorality and unbelief (Matthew 24:24,37). Perhaps the most challenging sign promised that when "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; . . . then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).
Note also that Christ's answer to the disciples' question included a command. "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near" (text). We cannot predict the date of His coming, of course. In fact, He immediately warned: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Matthew 24:36). Although we must not get involved in date-setting, and the term "near" is necessarily somewhat ambiguous, yet the Lord does want us to know when His coming is "near," and then to live accordingly. HMM