By: Sarah Bishop

Posted: July 13, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

Matthew 24:28

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

There is not much beauty or even pleasant scent to vultures. It’s almost as if Jesus is quoting a well-known saying of the day. Even today, when one is seeing vultures circling in the sky, like Western movies, they are omens of death, so also in Biblical times. Vultures are one of the few creatures that arrive after death and subsisted their living on that creature. We all find it just a little distasteful. Yet, we may be too hasty in denoting that truth as therefore evil or bad from Biblical writings.

As I began to delve deeper into this saying and the presence of vultures in scriptures, Biblical scholars began to wrestle with the lives of these birds and how the ancient world saw them, not just the Jewish people. Vulture imageries were used to depict great kingdoms and gods in Assyria, Egypt and Persia. It was not until Alexander the Great that eagles rose to be a symbol of royalty. The high flying, king of the birds was first the griffon vulture. This vulture could have wingspans of over eight feet and fly over 10,000 feet high in the sky. The inspiring song lyrics based on Isaiah reads a little differently if we take into account this new understanding, “And I will raise you up on vulture’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand.”


Ever patient Lord, in meeting your created creature, the vulture, we wish to see it as you and maybe squint to see the beauty. Yet, you care for them and assign them important work in caring for your creation, may we be humble in being a part of your plan as well. May we accept such love and relationship as your children, in Christ’ holy name, we pray. Amen