“Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (Matthew 24:28) What a strange verse this is but not one that should cause us difficulty in understanding. What is Jesus doing? He is telling about the “the sign of [his] coming and of the end of the age” (v.3). In the midst of this information he interjects this note about the vultures. So what does he mean?
Most of you know that Janet and I recently made a trip to Africa to see our son, Arthur. One of the delights of this trip was to spend 3 days in a national park and go on game drives each day. One of the things we learned from the guide was to watch for vultures, either circling above or sitting in groups in trees. Why? Because, as we all know, the presence of vultures means there’s something dead nearby. And if there is something dead, then there might be the possibility of seeing what killed it, like a lion or cheetah. So we watched for vultures.
That’s what Jesus is telling us. Just as vultures gathering means a corpse near, so do these signs that he is telling about mean that his second coming is near. All one has to do is watch for the signs. Meanwhile, live to the glory of God while you are watching. I think Jesus was saying that the signs will be evident, like vultures, so you don’t need to get bogged down in sign-watching. Word-doing is more important than sign-watching.
Prayer: Father, thank you for telling us what the signs will be when the Lord Jesus returns. Help us to be discerning and not over-reactive. Help us to be about the business of living to your glory while we watch for the signs and not to spend all our efforts and energies only on sign-watching.