Remember that He already said in verse 24 that when He’s revealed on that day, every eye will see Him. It will not be a private return. He’s coming in all of His glory.
“On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.”
Many interpret this verse to mean that the one taken is taken into heaven and the one left is the one that’s going to be judged. How can this be? In both of His examples, the stories of Noah and Lot, the Lord clearly states that the unrighteous are taken in judgment and the righteous ones are left.
The disciples wanted Jesus to clarify what He was teaching them. They asked the obvious question: Where was it that they were taken to?
“Where, Lord?” they asked.
He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
Jesus makes it clear that those taken are dead bodies. The Greek word for carcass is what the NIV translates as dead body. Also, the word Jesus used for vulture is a generic term that could be used for any carrion bird that feeds on dead bodies.
So in answer to the question “Where are they taken?” Jesus said, “Do you want to know where the carcasses are taken? Then look for the vultures.” Personally, I don’t want to be taken like that. I want to be one of the ones who are left.
What, then, have we learned in this portion of Scripture? First of all, I see a time of warning leading up to the time when Christ is revealed. We then come to a day – a literal, twenty-four hour day – during which He will reveal Himself.
Christ uses two examples, Noah and Lot, to explain His point. In both cases the day starts out with some saints. They are then somehow supernaturally protected during the events of that day. In Noah’s case he was put in the ark and in Lot’s case he was taken out of the city.
On the day that they were protected, salvation was then closed and judgment fell. After judgment had fallen, at the end of the day, the saints were left. That’s the way I read it and that’s the way I believe Christ meant it to be read.
Questions: Are you prepared for that day? How have you prepared?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013