And they answered and said to him, Where, Lord? And he said to them, Wherever the body is…
The twofold inquiry that always greets the prophet is Where? and When? These two questions are prompted by curiosity and self-interest. The passionate desires of human nature to know the future are testified to by the whole history of superstition and imposture. Even inspired prophecy has been treated in the spirit of this desire. Our Lord teaches us how such questions should be answered, and how such a spirit should be dealt with. He does not answer the "Where" and "When"; not even in the revelation to His beloved disciple does He do so.
I. Observe how in A VERY REAL SENSE HE DOES ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. The answer in effect is this: My judgment shall come upon the earth as come the vultures upon the dead by an unerring and terrible instinct. So truly then as there is ripeness for judgment, and wherever there is that ripeness, there shall come the judgment of the day of the Lord.
II. MARK WHAT THESE WORDS TELL US CONCERNING THE GREAT LAWS OF GOD'S JUDGMENT. These judgments are not arbitrary judgments, but are joined to the offence by a natural and necessary law. Where there is ripeness for them there is no escape from them; but they only fall where there is that ripeness. We learn also, that before the last and crowning judgment there must be many lesser and preliminary days of judgment.
III. WHERE ARE WE TO LOOK FOR SIGNS OF OUR LORD'S COMING? Not to the heavens far off, but at the dead thing which lies, it may be, at your very feet. Can we discern here and there the corpse that calls and the eagles of judgment that come at its calling. In the case of individuals it is not wise to judge; but with families, churches, nations, there is no judgment sound but a present judgment. The practical lesson is, "Judge therefore, yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged by the Lord."
Parallel VersesKJV: And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.