Luke 17:22-37 (NKJV)
Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come 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 here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
This passage parallels a much longer description in Matthew 24:15-51. Both are cryptic but that seems intentional; the general themes are clear. They prophesy about the days of the Son of Man. They make points that the hearer must not ignore.
- No one can predict the days of the Son of Man.
- They will take everyone by surprise.
- Do not fall for false prophets making claims about the arrival of the Son of Man.
- The days of the Son of Man will be obvious when they get here.
- Be vigilant.
- Do not be cowardly.
Jesus warns against trying to figure this out too specifically. That’s why, when the disciples ask, “Where, Lord?” He gives them a, “You’ll know it when you see it,” response.
Unpredictable and cryptic things are part of being a Christian. When you turn everything over to the Lord, you never know what’s going to happen next, but it’s guaranteed not to be boring.
This is both scary and comforting. Everyone likes to have control over their own fate; that’s why many folks prefer carry-on to checked baggage. But if Jesus is who He says He is, turning things over to Him is the safer option.
Of course, this does involve a different definition of “safe.”
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