“Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” Luke 21.5-6
What Jesus said about the Temple had incredible significance. The Temple was the center of Jewish life. Their worship, offerings, sacrifices and business often coalesced around this sacred building. It was a building God instructed David to build which Solomon completed. Even though it was once destroyed before in 586 BC by the Babylonians, it was built again. The destruction Jesus was speaking about would happen in 70 AD by the Romans, some 40 years after his death and resurrection.
In other passages, Jesus speaks about his body as the temple which would be destroyed and in three days later raised from the dead (John 2.19-21). He does this also in the context of the Temple. But this time, it’s less about his bodily resurrection and more about the actual decline of the Temple and Jewish way of life itself. The disobedience of the Jews and rejection of Jesus as the Messiah resulted in the eventual destruction of the Temple, their captivity, and the take over of the Romans of Jerusalem.
It makes me think about how fragile life is for all of us. The buildings we see now might last a few hundred years at most. But all of them, eventually will be destroyed. One day, Jesus will return bringing with him a new heaven and a new earth. The foundation will be built upon his saving grace and redemptive love. Those “things” which make life enjoyable and possible today will all pass away. Only the souls of people and the Word of God will stand forever (Matthew 24.35, Isaiah 40.8).
So the questions for us, which should be asked of every generation, is where do we place our hope? And to whom? Do we look only to the wealth of this world, the material possessions which occupy our attention, or do we fix our eyes on what is unseen as Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 4.18? What we see will one day pass away, but what we do not see will last forever.
Place your hope in Jesus. Enjoy the moments of this life, the food we eat, clothes we wear, houses we live in, cars we drive, gifts we give, but put your hope in Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.
”O Lord God, you are good. I thank you for loving me. I thank you for sustaining me even when I am weak and frail. When I turn away and sin. When I run and hide my shame, you seek me out. I can not hide from you. I can not out distance your love. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and might. Help me be all that you have called and created me to be. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen