Now Jesus left the temple and was going away. His disciples came to point out to him the temple buildings. He responded, “Do you see all these things? I assure that no stone will be left on another. Everything will be demolished” (Matthew 24:1-2, Common English Bible).
I always have found it interesting when following worship on a Sunday morning someone comes up to me and says something to the effect of, “Your sermon went perfectly with our lesson in Sunday school this morning.” I always assure the person telling me this it wasn’t planned that way. Their Sunday school teacher and I did not sit down and talk about this and plan it out together. Even in the Sunday school class I teach it is interesting how often my lesson and my sermon have parallels. I don’t plan it that way but the discussion carries the lesson that way.
I attend a Bible study at the church where I am the pastor I do not teach. One of the lay women in the congregation and a fellow spiritual blogger teaches this class. We are currently studying Deuteronomy 19. As a part of our discussion Monday night we talked about Jesus as a prophet. Without question, Jesus has a prophetic voice but to give him only the title of prophet limits who Jesus is in our lives and in the world.
Now two days later we are seeing Jesus’ prophetic voice in our lesson today. Jesus says, “Do you see all these things? I assure that no stone will be left on another. Everything will be demolished” Jesus is speaking of the temple. Some 40 years later, circa 70 AD, it happened. Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.
Four years earlier, in 66 AD a group of Jews rose in rebellion and pushed the Romans out of Jerusalem. In 70 AD the Emperor Titus lead Roman forces to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem. On August 30th the city fell and Jerusalem was sacked and the temple destroyed.
This seems the obvious answer for the prophecies Jesus laid out before the disciples as they left Jerusalem and the temple behind. I, however, can’t help but wonder if there is something more to this than visions of a destroyed building, no matter what building it might be.
Such things don’t seem that important to Jesus as he lives out his three-year ministry. Jesus is always far more interested in the spiritual realm than in the physical realm. Jesus is far less worried about the temporal world than what goes on inside each of us.
Without question, we see the prophecy fulfilled at least in part. I would argue, however, that the prophecy Jesus makes here is not completely fulfilled. Could it be that Jesus sees the destruction inside many of us? Truly I don’t have an answer for this. I am asking questions and seeking answers just as anyone might be apt to do.
I can’t help but think, perhaps the greatest part of this prophecy might be a call for us to look inside ourselves to investigate the condition of the temple inside of us. Perhaps we need to shore its walls before it is too late.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thanksgiving,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved