Jesus ended his requiem on the Temple, Jerusalem and the nation with these words, “Where there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather” (Matthew 24:28). What motivated Jesus to make such a prediction? Why did Jesus use such a crude and distasteful example to drive home a point?
The disciples had admired the Temple and Jesus told them that it would be destroyed. Later, He told them that Jerusalem and the nation would be annihilated. His own kingdom would suffer much at the hands of his opposition. These hardships would weaken the nation and his followers. In fact, they would be sapped of their strength so that they shall become like corpses. The enemies would act like vultures waiting for the nation to die. Vultures exist to dismember carcasses. They are a clean up crew for the mortal crimes man has and still commits against man. In Revelation 19:17-21, the birds under heaven shall feast on the worst carnage man shall commit.
Israel was no stranger to having been dismembered by Assyria and Babylon in the past and was facing another such an event by the Romans. Ezekiel 37:1-2 was shown a “Valley of Dry Bones.” These were the bones of a people that had disobeyed God and rejected His Laws. The vulture had cleaned the bones thoroughly. The rejection of Jesus and His message would bring about a similar end for the people of Jesus’ generation. A similar demise would occur for the followers of Jesus that will become disloyal and divided. Vultures do not prey on living things that still move. They are ugly but cautious birds. They do their bidding when there is no more danger.
Jesus used vultures to illustrate what strong conquerors do to their weak conquered subjects. I have lived under five different governments and the principle was the same. For instance, when the aristocracy was strong in Germany, Poland, and Russia, the vultures starved. But when these nations were weakened by economic strife, the vultures had a hayday. Under the British and the U.S.A.’s economic systems, the weak are gaining over the strong. The decline of capitalism has been an enormous feast for hungry vultures. Bigger governments and their entitlements alone can bankrupt a country. What happens when there are no more carcasses available? The vultures, then, turn on each other. It becomes a fight for survival that ends in chaos (Luke 12:49-53).
Please do not take Jesus lightly. We have lost loved ones through such carnage, less than 75 years ago. I wish I knew where the unmarked graves of my loved ones were? At 14, I was ordered to enlist and fight for some one’s right to exist, not for mine. A German officer stopped for the night, saw me packing and told my mother not to let me go. I owe my life to him. I no longer can send my children or grandchildren to some foreign country to defend my freedom so I can live high off the hog. What gives old men and old women the right to feed the vultures with our youth? Who can repair the damage and who can resurrect the dead? Ezekiel was informed that God could breathe life into the dry and dead bones (Ezekiel 37: 3-14). The Spirit of Jesus told John that with Christ at the helm, mankind could enjoy peace for a thousand years, divine years or forever (Revelation 20:1-6). I do wish that this nation could be resurrected before the vultures have their last meal.