Not Impressed with Stone
Whether it’s St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul’s in London, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, or the largest religious monument in the world, the Hindu Temple at Anghor, Cambodia, if you’re into religion, you’re into sacred buildings. And when it came to beauty, the Temple in Jerusalem in Jesus’ day could compete with them all.
The first Jewish temple was completed by King Solomon in the 10thcentury BC, but the second Temple was built by the Jews returning from exile in Babylon in 516 BC, rededicated by the Maccabees in 164 BC, and completely refurbished by Herod the Great beginning in 20 BC and finally completed in AD 64 only six years before it was destroyed by the Romans. Josephus tells us that there was so much gold on this building it was blinding when struck by the sun. This was the holy place that so impressed Jesus’ disciples, but take a look at what Jesus had to say about this grand structure.
“As Jesus was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Teacher, take a look! Look at these massive stones! What magnificent buildings!’ ‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ‘There will not be left here one stone upon another. Everyone will be torn down.’” Mark 13:1-2
A few days later in his trial, Jesus was falsely accused of threatening to destroy the glorious temple structure. This was a lie. He did predict it would come down but not by his own hand. It was the temple of his body that would be torn down and then rebuilt in three days. It’s this resurrected Jesus that we need to worship and adore not some perishable pile of stone. In AD 70 Titus’ legions didn’t leave one stone of the temple standing upon another, but Jesus became the cornerstone of the true temple, a temple made up of living stones, each of us who have believed.
LORD, in America we often judge the success of a pastor by the size and grandeur of the building he erects. Help me to think deeply about the value your Son places on material structures, and especially help a friend who leaves soon to encourage house churches in China, your church that is multiplying without any emphasis on buildings.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!