Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, "The kingdom of God doesn't come by counting the days on the calendar.
Nor when someone says, 'Look here!' or, 'There it is!' And why? Because God's kingdom is already among you."
He went on to say to his disciples, "The days are coming when you are going to be desperately homesick for just a glimpse of one of the days of the Son of Man, and you won't see a thing.
And they'll say to you, 'Look over there!' or, 'Look here!' Don't fall for any of that nonsense.
The arrival of the Son of Man is not something you go out to see. He simply comes.
But first it's necessary that he suffer many things and be turned down by the people of today.
"The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah -
everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away.
"It was the same in the time of Lot - the people carrying on, having a good time, business as usual
right up to the day Lot walked out of Sodom and a firestorm swept down and burned everything to a crisp.
That's how it will be - sudden, total - when the Son of Man is revealed.
"When the Day arrives and you're out working in the yard, don't run into the house to get anything. And if you're out in the field, don't go back and get your coat.
Remember what happened to Lot's wife!
If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it, but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms.
"On that Day, two men will be in the same boat fishing - one taken, the other left.
Two women will be working in the same kitchen - one taken, the other left."
Trying to take all this in, the disciples said, "Master, where?" He told them, "Watch for the circling of the vultures. They'll spot the corpse first. The action will begin around my dead body."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)