Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulpher rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
Comment The Jews were expecting a kingdom on earth, free from Roman rule and with Jewish supremacy. Their question showed this misunderstanding. They were talking to the King and His kingdom was surrounding them. We must see this passage in that light. Now His kingdom is in the hearts of people, later it will be much more!
Jesus addresses a number of issues, some of which are now in the past and some of which are still to come at the end when He ultimately gets the enemy out of the equation.
- Initially He talks about the future kingdom which on His return will be totally right. They, He says, will not see it because they are rejecting Him. When He returns for this event it will be quite clear for all to see. Deceivers are going to come but don’t be fooled by them.
- Now, however, He is going to go to the Cross and be killed. One of His favourite names for Himself was the Son of Man.
- Life is going to go on much as it always was even before the flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- Catastrophic judgement is coming when He returns.
- Some will disappear from the troubled world; some will experience the time of harsh judgement.
“Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” seems to probably have been a saying similar to our ‘where there is smoke there is fire’. Maybe we could render it ‘keep your eyes open and you will see it coming.
Prayer: If you come again in my life time, Jesus, I want to be in those ‘taken up.’