What Jesus Did! 'Signs of the End?' — Luke 17:37

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

"Where will this happen, Lord?" the disciples asked [when Jesus was talking about his return].

Jesus replied, "Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near."

— Luke 17:37 NLT

Key Thought

There will be signs that these things (mentioned in the previous verses [1] discussing Jesus' return) are about to happen. The sign of vultures in the sky alerts the onlooker that something has died nearby. Well, what are these signs about Jesus' return? Luke 17 reveals the signs Jesus gave:
  1. Some will say he has already returned; [2]
  2. the Son of Man (Jesus) will have suffered terribly (i.e., gone to the cross); [3]
  3. people will be going about their daily lives. [4]

If those are Jesus' signs, then it sounds like just about any ordinary time after Jesus was crucified. Yes, I believe that is the point. We must be ready all the time, at any time. From the day of Pentecost, when the first people became Christians, until today, we have been in the last days. Jesus stands close to the edge of time, and when the Father says, "Now!" Jesus will visibly and undeniably step back into our world and claim his disciples and take them home to his Father in heaven. Throughout this discussion in Luke, Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples to be ready always. He said it again in this passage in a slightly different way, but with an equally clear message: "My coming is always near. Any time, even a normal-looking day, could be my time to come!"

[1] Luke 17:22-35.
[2] Luke 17:23.
[3] Luke 17:25.
[4] Luke 17:26-30.

Today's Prayer

Father, make my heart ready for the time of Jesus' return. Give me passion each day to live for you and your Kingdom as if it were my last day. Make me ready for the coming of my Lord. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:14-19
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
  • Matthew 24:36


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Illustration of Luke 17:37 NLT — "Where will this happen, Lord?"   ——   "Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.