"For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day." (Luke 17:24 ESV)
How much is packed into this one statement by Jesus about his return, his second coming! How many errors could be avoided by paying close attention to this passage.
- His return will be like lightning (sudden, unexpected, powerful)
- It will light up the sky (visible, glorious)
- From one side to the other (universal, global*)
- the Son of Man in his day (personal, bodily)
Jesus' second coming will be personal, visible, sudden, worldwide, and glorious!
*Jesus notes that at his return some will be sleeping, some will be working (17:34, 35). This is probably not a reference to shift work, but to the fact that for some it will be day and for others night. Hint: Jesus knew the world was round.
He goes on to say that his return will be preceded by a period of normalcy. Normal human activities -- eating, working, attending weddings. (This one reason why I believe the rapture will precede the great tribulation, which will be a period of non-normalcy.)
The big warning: "remember Lot's wife" (17:32). Don't be attached to the world that is going to be destroyed. Be ready to leave. "I wish we'd all been ready." (Larry Norman)
Lightning photo from Wikimedia Commons.