Are you ready? (2)

Are you ready? (2)

Luke 17:31-37

31 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. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

Luke concludes the teaching on the return of Jesus with a warning: some will miss it and it will be too late.

I grew up in a time when the church talked a lot about the return of Jesus. Songs were sung in worship or simply listened to that highlighted the need to be ready. Songs like this popular one at the time by Larry Norman:

“There’s no time to change your mind

The son has come and you’ve been left behind

A man and wife asleep in bed

She hears a noise and turns her head he’s gone

I wish we’d all been ready

Two men walking up a hill

One disappears and ones left standing still

I wish we’d all been ready

The father spoke, the demons dined

How could you have been so blind?

There’s no time to change your mind

The son has come and you’ve been left behind.”

So what does Luke record of Jesus’ teaching?

If He comes during the day:

Don’t be like Lots wife. She valued too much what she had. She was close to safety but her longing for her home meant she became disobedient and looked back and she never made it.

Not holding on to those things now will mean on that day they won’t tempt you to go after them.

If He comes during the night:

Maybe you don’t value things more highly than the people you walk with and you are not going to turn from them. However, they may be taken from you. Two people sharing a bed or two friends working together may look like they could never be separated. They go through the night together. But by dawn they can be standing alone. The other has gone.

Some will use this for the rapture but Luke doesn’t make that clear except with the reference to Lot’s wife, the one who stays faces destruction and those who don’t turn back or are taken are saved.

Whether the day or the night time there will be no time to get ready. He will come. Being ready is for right now. Every day.

‘Where will this be?’ Is the question. It comes no doubt from the concern that we will miss it.

No one will miss it (as such) is the response.

Jesus uses an image of being able to spot a dead body because of the vultures circling in the sky. The point is that everyone will see this. It is a world event. So no-one will miss it but again many will miss Him because they are not ready for Him now. But we are ready aren’t we?

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