It may be difficult to imagine the Savior of the World being a mischievous tease, but there may be evidence of this in these very strange words. The disciples have asked a perfectly good question about what would later be referred to as the “rapture”. When some are taken, where will they be taken? His answer: “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” A bizarre non sequitur. A weird thought.
Commentaries struggle to make sense of this, offering a range of not very convincing interpretations. I think it’s possible that Jesus was being intentionally obscure, even mischievous or playful. We don’t know for sure what these words mean–which may be the point. We may need to be comfortable with some level of obscurity in religion—and be wary of religion that is too tidy, too wrapped in neat packages, too sensible, too domesticated, too useful.