“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Today’s passage is prophetic about the “Son of Man” coming on the clouds of heaven. I confess the times we are living in at the moment feel very apocalyptic and scary. There are those who feel like Armageddon is upon us. I do not think anyone really knows except God. This passage does warn against seeing the “second coming” in every storm. It sounds like the coming of the Son of Man will be an unmistakable event, “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
As far as I know nobody has successfully predicted the precise location of a lightening strike. I think predicting the precise place and time of the second coming of Christ is equally challenging. Why is lightening so hard to predict? Because it is being influenced by atmospheric subtleties and forces in the clouds that we do not fully see or understand.
My impression is that the coming of the “Son of Man on the clouds” is similar. I am convinced there is a spiritual “atmosphere” all around us that we also do not fully see and understand. Humans have been searching and seeking for this undiscovered country pretty much as far back as we have evidence of human intelligence and creativity.
I watched an amazing video recently on YouTube created by a pair of men who call themselves the “Slow Mo Guys”. They created a video of a lightening storm in Thailand captured at 103,500 frames per second! It is nothing short of amazing….but I digress…back to the passage.
The water reference here is clouds, specifically “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven”. It seems like what is being described here is a spiritual collision between this land of oblivion and the undiscovered country. This collosal collision will be scary ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’. I have been reading a book recently called Krakatoa by Simon Winchester. This book describes the eruption of a volcano in the islands of Indonesia near Sumatra that erupted so catastrophically that it impacted global climate for years, some have even suggested that an eruption of this volcano in 565 AD was responsible for the dark ages.
During the coming time of calamity being described here the veil will be lifted and we will see clearly both the secular and the spiritual with equal clarity – at the same time. This type of confluence, secular and spiritual in a single person, occurred when Jesus walked the earth. Someday it will come again.
Prayer: God help us to see both the spiritual and the secular in this time of uncertainty and fear.