May 15, 2012

Luke 17.22->

And he said to his disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of this son of Adam, and you will not see it.

"And they will say to you, 'Lo, there!' or 'Lo, here!'

"Do not go; do not follow them.

"For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other,  so will this son of Adam be in his day.

"But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the day of this son of Adam. They ate; they drank; they married; they were given in marriage-- until the day when Noah entered the ark; and the flood came to destroy them all.

"Likewise it was in the days of Lot. They ate; they drank; they bought; they sold; they planted; they built. But on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from Heaven and destroyed them all.

"So it will be on the day when this son of Adam is revealed.

"On that day, let him who is in on the housetop, with his goods in the house-- not turn back to take them away. And likewise, let him who is in the field not turn back! Remember Lot's wife.

"Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life will preserve 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 grain together; one will be taken and the other left."

And they said to him, "Where, Lord?"

He said to them, "Where the body is, there the eagles will gather together."


At 9:34 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

What Wright says about this: that the people Jesus was addressing could expect life to go on quite normally-- but that they were living in a time under impending Judgment. Only those who fled would be saved. "Jesus did not want his disciples to be caught in the coming destruction. They were not to stay for sentimental or nostalgic reasons, or out of a mistaken sense of national or familial solidarity or loyalty. To do so would be to run the risk of being taken by the judgment.

"While they were waiting for the moment to arrive, however, there would be many voices urging that Israel's vindication was to be found in this or that new movement." Their longing would leave them vulnerable "to invitations to look at this or that conspiracy or uprising as the way towards vindication. But when it happened there would be no mistaking it."

What we are evidently talking about is the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy of coming national disaster. This may sound like "the end of the space-time" universe," but as Wright says, fleeing would not be much help in that eventuality. Rome's eagles (or 'vultures') were going to be drawn to their natural prey: a city and nation in revolt, ripe for looting & enslavement. For those who remained in the land, no place could be counted on to be safe.

If our own time and place seems on the edge of Judgment, this passage sounds all too relevant. But options for fleeing, in our own time, seem much more limited. We aren't ourselves being told to flee Israel or the Temple in Jerusalem... but what would these places represent to us? If we can't flee physically to a safe geographical location, how can we flee, toward what?-- What are the things we've been counting on for safety, but need to escape?


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