Demo Day for the Temple

In 1968 a book titled, Population Boom was published. It was written by a professor in the Biology Department at Standofrd University named Paul. R. Ehrlich. The thesis of the book is that the earth is overpopulated and worldwide famine and increasing death rates due to pollution are inevitable. 

One of his many failed predictions such as the United Kingdom being reduced to small islands with 70 million hungry people on them by the year 2000. Let’s just say Ehrilich is better at creating hype than predicting the future.

At the same time, a growing concern in the 1970’s was that the earth was entering into a period of global cooling. There had been a trend for some time in cooler temperatures and concerns of a coming ice age were being thrown around.

What is obvious is that humans are lousy at predicting the future.

We could point to many people who claim signs of the return of Jesus. In my own lifetime there have been widely publicized dates by deceivers who claim to predict future events including the return of Christ.

The future produces a sense of uncertainty in all of us. In fact, that’s actually a good thing to be uncertain about the future, assuming that you are certain about who knows the future.

James 4:13–15—13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

That’s the proper position of the human heart. But we are used to hearing predictions about the future. And we are also used to predictions being made that never come to fruition. But what isn’t uncertain is who controls the future and determines it. 

In fact, God is in the business of making predictions.

Isaiah 46:9–10—Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

God declares the end from the beginning. I love that. This is our sovereign God. Paul Ehrlich can’t predict the future. The meteorologist can’t predict the future. But God just declares what will happen with unequivocal authority.

Today, we are moving into a section in Mark where Jesus predicts the future. Jesus is of course God. He is the incarnate Word of God. Every word he says is true, including what he says about things that have not yet taken place. From the perspective of the disciples, Mark 13 is entirely about future events.

The study of things that haven’t taken place, or the study of last things is called eschatology. Eschaton (last) study of (ology) eschatology. Mildred Erickson points out two extremes here: eschatomania and eschotafobia… tendency to be obsessed with it, or to be afraid of it.

We are going to strive for biblical balance. 

I would say we probably tend to be less focused on it than more focused on it. But eschatology is important. A huge percentage of biblical revelation deals with things that have not yet taken place. And furthermore, God intends you to know what is going to happen and to anticipate it.

In a little while we will get into the passage, but I want to take some time to set things up for us here as we get to the passage.

Our Approach

Some of you have established views on this passage (preterist, partial preterist, futurist, some combination such as a traditional preterist-futurist or a revised preterist-futurist). Some of you have no idea what I’m even talking about right now.

Varying viewpoints on whether the issues Jesus brings up in this teaching have already taken place (preterist) or will all one day take place (futurist) or are a combination of past and future.

I want to remind you that as students of Scripture we never start with a position we want to prove. If you come to the Bible with your tradition or your favorite teacher, you will oftentimes come to an improper conclusion.

So, my approach, getting it out there in the open, is to take the text and strive to come before God with integrity to deal with the details of the text in its context. And the conclusions then might mean I have to change a view. But we can’t start with a system when we approach the text of Scripture.

In preparation for this series I began listening to one of the most famous evangelical theologians of our day lecture on Matthew 24 (the longer version of this same account in Mark 13) and it staggered me that his starting point was not the text of Scripture itself, but the questions that the intelligentsia were asking. 

His burden was that our explanation answers the questions being asked by unbelieving scholars and skeptics who refuse to believe in the Gospel or the supernatural nature of revelation. 

I didn’t even finish the series—with all due respect, I honestly could not care less what questions a scoffer wants answered from my interpretation of Scripture. When we come to Scripture it is not God that is on trial, but our own hearts. And so, this is our starting point. We are going to approach this passage with eagerness expecting that it exhibits every characteristic listed above. 

When we come to this study then it isn’t to answer critics, it isn’t to satisfy our own curiosities, it isn’t to protect our tradition or our long-held views on a passage. It is to come expectantly to hear the voice of God from the pages of Scripture. We are going to approach this passage the same way we always do and let the Scriptures unfold and speak for themselves as we study each passage in its historical context.

Eschatology reveals the differences in our hermeneutics perhaps most obviously. Week in and week out how we approach understanding Scripture we strive for consistency. Historico-grammtico method of interpretation. What did the original author say to the original hearers and that is what we are going to strive to understand and derive meaning from.

The grammar and syntax Jesus uses, makes this passage go from seeming to be confusing, to being quite simple. I can’t wait to demonstrate this if you haven’t studied this passage carefully, that you will find joy in discovering the mind of God.

It has truly been my joy these past weeks to labor in the text to the end of explaining God’s word in clarity. This is something that love here at Cornerstone Bible Church. Prophecy about end times is challenging, but it is a worthwhile endeavor because God spoke it to us.

We are convinced that God’s Word is authoritative and that when God speaks we want to listen that we might submit to it.

We are convinced that God’s Word is infallible meaning that could never be wrong. 

We are convinced that God’s Word is sufficient for life and godliness that we don’t need human wisdom, but the wisdom of God that makes us wise unto salvation. 

We are convinced that God’s Word is inerrant meaning that what you and I hold in our hands is the very Word of God reliably preserved in the original manuscripts and coming to you and me today without error.

We are convinced that power of God is contained in his Word. It was the word that created the universe as it was spoken into existence and it is the very power that provides new life. It is the instrument by which the Spirit of God makes dead sinners alive and nourishes the people of God.

We are convinced of the profitability of Scripture, that it is profitable for teaching, for correction, for reproof, for training in righteousness, that the man of God might be fully furnished for every good work. 

We are convinced that it is through God’s Word that we can come to see Jesus Christ and know Him through faith. The Gospel message is contained in the Word of God.

We are convinced that the Word of God is living and active. We don’t need some new message from God because the one he gave us is illumined by the Spirit into our hearts, doing spiritual work that cannot be done any other way.

We are convinced of the clarity of Scripture. Theologians call this the perspicuity of Scripture. The irony of using a confusing word to describe clarity. This means that when God speaks, he intends to be understood and that while all passages are not equally clear in scope and sequence, Scripture isn’t misleading, but is able to be comprehended as God intended.

Why do I start here? Well this is how we are going to approach eschatology.

Intimidating for me as we got here. Take a deep breath. Pray for the Spirit’s illuminating work to have spiritual insight into the text and a soft heart to receive what is discovered. Then roll up your exegetical sleeves and begin to get to work slowly and carefully through the details. I hope that our weekly study of Scripture together inspires you in your own study of God’s Word. 

The discovery process is a thrill to my heart. It doesn’t get old or stale. Even challenging texts such as the one we are encountering are so worthwhile to study.

Expect this study to bolster your view of Scripture, to bolster your confidence in God’s clarity and power in his truth, to bolster your confidence in his trustworthiness, and to build your anticipation for his return.

Our God declares the end from the beginning and this passage is one such example.

Studies like this inspire me to continue to devote myself to these things because the reward of the process is so rich.

So, we are going to take our time and not gloss over this truth superficially. I want you to learn it so well that you can come back to this passage and understand it for the rest of your life. We have a very simple approach… believe God. 

Believe he speaks clearly. Believe that this can be understood. And then approach it bit by bit and make sure that we can account for everything in the text without skipping over or changing the meaning or reading in our own understanding to various pieces of the text.

Mark 13

Considered to be among the most controversial chapters in the New Testament, and by far the most challenging in the Gospel of Mark. Referred to as the Olivet Discourse because it was a teaching that took place… any guesses? The Mount of Olives.

Now, this chapter is controversial. Disagreements abound as to what events Jesus is describing, who is involved, and when they take place. So basically, everything! 

Most of the interpretations on this passage take a position and then attempt to explain the handful of verses that contradict with their position in some way that completely stretches beyond the boundaries of reasonable interpretation. I was beginning to get overwhelmed.

Cannot miss the simple context. Jesus is going to leave these men in two days. Sure, he will appear, sure he will give parting instructions in his resurrected body. For all intents and purposes, this is it. We’re right there.

Critical message then in light of his departure. How they are to think. How they are to live. What they are to be prepared for in terms of expectations. This is full of warnings and commensurate comfort.

The main point of this passage is simple. Jesus wants to prepare his followers for the future. That’s the point. There are difficult days that are coming. False teachers are coming. Tribulation is coming. Persecution is coming. And eventually, Jesus himself is coming.

Jesus wants them to remain watchful and ready. And not get duped. He is lovingly preparing them for what’s about to take place. Just consider the following:

Mark 13:5—And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.

Mark 13:9—But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.

Mark 13:23—But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

Mark 13:33—Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.

Mark 13:35—Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—

Mark 13:37—What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’

Mark 13:6—Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.

Mark 13:21—And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him;

Mark 13:22—for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

Mark 13:32—But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

As James Edwards notes:

the concluding admonitions in the chapter to “watch” (vv. 33–37), indicates that the purpose of the eschatological discourse in Mark 13 is not primarily to provide a timetable or blueprint for the future so much as to exhort readers to faithful discipleship in the present.

So, we are going attempt to place timelines here to the degree that there is clarity in the text itself about when these events will take place. It is important to identify these. At the same time, the emphasis is on the certainty of these events, and looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ in light of them. 

Jesus didn’t give alliterated sermon outlines with bullets and sub-bullets, or those weren’t preserved at least. So, we just have to work a little harder at uncovering the markers in the text that would indicate his transitions from one time period to another.

Throughout the discourse, however our focus will remain on how this truth is to be not only understood, but applied. It isn’t merely future details, but the assurance of Christ’s return and that in the end, everything will be okay.

This is a message that was very important to Jesus.

Chapter 13 is the longest block of teaching in the Gospel of Mark. It is cast in the form of a final discourse of Jesus, not unlike the farewell discourses of major biblical figures such as Jacob (Genesis 49), Moses (Deuteronomy 32–33), Joshua (Joshua 23), Samuel (1 Samuel 12), and Paul (Acts 20:17ff.).

Today we will set up our study over the next weeks as we make our way through Chapter 13.

Properly Setting Up a Long Lesson on Future Events (13:1-4) 

  1. A stunning prediction by Jesus about the temple (1-2)

  2. A subsequent question to Jesus about the future (3-4)

I’d like to begin by reading the entire chapter this morning.

1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” 

3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 6 “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many. 7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. 8 “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. 

9 “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 

14 “But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 “The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; 16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 17 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 “But pray that it may not happen in the winter. 19 “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20 “Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 21 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. 

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, 25 AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. 27 “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. 

28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 

33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”

  • Part 1—Setting the Stage (13:1-4) Rightly understanding this is essential for the remaining interpretation**

  • Part 2—Signs I’m Not Yet Returning (13:5-13)

  • Part 3—Signs I’m Now Returning (13:14-23)

  • Part 4—My Return (13:24-31)

  • Part 5—Lessons from My Return (13:32-37)

Properly Setting Up a Long Lesson on Future Events (13:1-4) 

By taking in a careful understanding of how this conversation started, and the details of what is discussed, it will aid us in our interpretation as we continue through this passage.

  1. A stunning prediction by Jesus about the temple (1-2)

Jesus schedules demo day for the temple… absolutely stunning.

(1) As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” 

This is a remarkable moment as we reach a shift to a note of finality in the growing tension between Jesus and the temple over the past week. Mark states:

(1) As He was going out of the temple, 

These are ominous words. All week the focus has been on Jesus engaging with the temple:

Mark 11:11—Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple…

This took place on Sunday night after his entry that morning on an unridden donkey where he was hailed as the promised Son of David before thousands of people as he came into Jerusalem.

The following day, Monday morning;

Mark 11:15—Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple…

Rough start to the day for those conducting business. Jesus cleared out the commerce. He shut down the business operations and indicted the people and preached a sermon. Then on Tuesday:

Mark 11:27—They came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple…

This Tuesday was an incredibly busy day as Jesus was barraged in three waves by those seeking to discredit him. 

The temple has been the physical location of controversy this week. He dealt with the Pharisees and Herodians who tried to trap him on the matter of paying taxes (12:13-17), the ignorant Sadducees attempted to discredit him on the resurrection and get him to elevate himself over Moses, and an educated scribe misses getting into the kingdom (12:18-34), at that point Jesus goes on the offensive and asks those standing near him how the Messiah could be David’s Son—it is an absolute claim to full deity (12:35-37) and then Jesus unleashes the most comprehensive public indictment of the religious leaders we have encountered (12:38-44). 

Jesus has been decrying this week, judgment on Israel (11:12-19; 12:1-12).

Matthew’s account, (Matthew who spends more time detailing the words of Jesus than Mark) devotes an entire chapter to the scathing remarks made by Jesus as he publicly shouted, “woe to you scribes and Pharisees who…”

It was a grace.

But it’s not an accident that as Mark tells the story, the emphasis has been on Jesus entering the temple, not leaving the temple. Mark has noted when Jesus and the disciples left the city for the evening (Mark 11:11; 19), but not the temple.

There’s a note of finality here. And as we will see when we look at his words closely, this isn’t a warning passage in the truest sense, it is a prediction passage.

The timer is already up. The day of reckoning is here. The judgement has been made, it’s just waiting to be executed.

As Jesus is going out of the temple today, it is symbolic of the pronouncement of judgment that’s coming from God on this place. It is a sober moment. Here were his parting words as recorded by Matthew just a matter of hours or even just minutes before what Mark is writing here:

Matthew 23:37–39—37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ ”

Great example of Jesus foretelling what is going to happen. From now on, doesn’t mean this second. They are going to see him later this week. But the public ministry is completely over.

It’s been a long and difficult day at the temple. Things wind down and the men are on their way out of the city of Jerusalem. We know that they are staying in Bethany each night (Mark 11:12). This is Passover week, so the city has swelled with travelers descending on the city. And as they left, Mark records:

one of His disciples said to Him,

This is an unnamed disciple. If we were to make an educated guess it may have been Judas since he will be referred to as the one in the very next chapter (Mark 14:18). But we don’t know because it isn’t germane to our interpretation of the passage. So you have thirteen men, and one of them looks up and exclaims:

“Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 

Rabbi, look! Teacher, behold. It would seem the men are on their way out of town in the evening, and one of them looks back and sees the sunset reflecting off the temple and wants to get Jesus’ attention so he can enjoy the sight as well.

This temple was magnificent and beautiful and breathtaking. And it was white and overlaid with gold and when the sun hit it, the building would gleam.

As we mentioned before this is a massive complex.

The clan would have left on the east of the city and gone down the Kidron Valley. You go out of the city down and then back up to the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is 150’ in elevation above the temple complex.

So, you can imagine you are on top of this hill, and from that viewpoint you can see the entire area from one end to the next from a bird’s eye view.

Remarkable sunset gleaming off the stones of the building. The setting is beautiful. The building itself is beautiful. This was a replacement temple of the one that was destroyed and rebuilt under Zerubbabel in the Old Testament.

We are 46 years into construction right now. This temple was grand because it was built by Herod the Great, before Jesus was born. Herod liked name recognition. We have towers named after people… the SEARS, TRUMP, HILTON, MARRIOTT. These are all buildings with names of the founders on them. 

Herod wanted to construct a magnificent edifice to his greatness and selected the Jewish temple to be a testament to his splendor. Obviously that was a good deal for the Jews. And the temple rose to prominence. Priests would build it, but Herod would help fund the project with heavy taxation.

Jews from around the world dispersed abroad contributed to the project as well. And as the project continued, there was a golden vine that kept getting longer and longer as more and more money would pour in. It was opulent.

And not only was it beautiful, but it was an architectural wonder. This temple was considered to rival the wonders of the ancient world. For one thing, the base of the temple was constructed using white stones that were over 40 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 11 feet tall. These stones weighed an estimated 600 tons, which is over 1,000,000 pounds.

What did they think of the temple? What was their expectation concerning the temple? How and why was it so prized by the Jews. William Lane writes:

The rabbis had little respect for Herod and his successors, but they said, “he who has not seen Jerusalem in her splendor has never seen a desirable city in his life. He who has not seen the Temple in its full construction has never seen a glorious building in his life.” 

For all of the architectural beauty that we are accustomed to, this would have been a magnificent sight. All more in the first century. And so that’s what Jesus is pointing to when he asks:

(2) And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? 

It’s plural because it is referring to the entire complex. Twelve football fields from corner to corner.

Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” 

The whole thing is going to get demolished. Utterly terrifying—it isn’t a warning, it is a prediction. There is no if you don’t repent. There’s no if you don’t turn back to me. It’s coming.

The temple isn’t going to fall over, but it is going to be destroyed, and this destruction is inevitable and widespread. If the temple is going to be destroyed then it means Jerusalem is going to be essentially besieged.  

Complete undoing of what was done:

Haggai 2:15—But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the LORD,

Jesus has spoken about the future many times before. The disciples are used to hearing about what is coming next.

Matthew 24:1–2—1 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

At this point they aren’t staggered anymore, they’ve heard this before. But it would seem that now it is really sinking in. What else has happened this week that is contributing to this moment? Was this the week that Jesus said he would destroy the temple and rebuild it?

My friends, do not miss the sober reality of this moment. It’s been three days since Luke 19…

Luke 19:41–46—41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” 

The son of God is weeping. Here is your God as he reflects on the judgment that his creatures are going to face for rejecting him. Our God takes no delight in the death of the wicked.

Ezekiel 33:11—Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

He’d prefer to see repentance. Jesus isn’t merely getting misty-eyed here in Luke 19. This is the weeping over losing a loved one. The same weeping of Mary when her brother Lazarus suddenly died. The same weeping Peter did when he as he uttered a final expletive denial of his association he heard the rooster crow the third time and his eyes met his Savior who had been abandoned and rejected by all. Collective weeping was heard in Bethlehem from the mothers of toddlers and infants as they experienced Romans guards ripping nursing little ones from their arms and slaying them in a Satanic attempt to kill the baby Jesus, the Messiah.

When my heart struggles with the thought of loved ones going to Hell, I know that Jesus understands. He weeps. And yet his compassionate does not compromise his righteousness. He loves the Father and the Father’s glory. He can’t just say, “too bad, so sad, let’s sweep it under the rug.” No there is Divine accountability for rejecting Jesus. And we see that right here in the text on the heels of the weeping.

Mark 11:17—And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

Jesus loves the temple, but he loves his father even more. And so, when it comes to the place that his people are dishonoring his Father, to that degree he is ready to remove the temple from them. God comes near to his people, but he doesn’t contend with hypocrisy.

Churches in Revelation, what’s the warning? You’ll lose your lampstand. I’ll take away your influence. Oh, you’ll still be meeting and gathering, but I won’t be there anymore. It’ll look like a church, but it might as well be a bar a brothel or a bingo club. This is the sequel to what Jesus preached in 11:17

Jesus is shutting down the temple. He has publicly judged it. He is promising that the adjudication is complete, the sentence has been issued, and it will be enforced in a future date.

What’s the point of all of this.

Israel had rejected God. Israel was losing the place that God came to meet with his people. Now God was coming to his people personally… Jesus the Son of God brings access.

Signs of outward success. People swarming. Hasn’t looked so good in 50 years. God is good to Israel would be the refrain. Business is thriving. A church is growing. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus is pleased with it.

External prominence and magnificence was a cover up. It wasn’t a testament to the living God but a 

1 Kings 9:6–8—But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’

Micah 3:12—Therefore, on account of you Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.

This all had to take place. The temple had to be destroyed because it was going to be replaced with something much better…

Hebrews 10:19–22—19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Free access to God. Never dependent upon a human or a human mediator or a geographical or physical location. True worshippers now worship in Spirit and in truth. 

Properly Setting Up a Long Lesson on Future Events (13:1-4)

  1. A stunning prediction by Jesus about the temple (1-2)

  2. A subsequent question to Jesus about the future (3-4)

Jesus didn’t need to give any indication of what was going to happen in the future. He was under no compulsion to explain what was coming. He could have just said, “yeah some amazing craftsmanship, huh?” Why tell his disciples what to expect?

Can you imagine the alternative? Anxiety that maybe He isn’t coming. Deception (like what happened to the Thessalonians). 

  • Comforts me that we are right on track according to God’s plan and timing. Don’t get overly wound up right now about politics, etc. things are going to get worse for a while.

  • Builds a sense of anticipation to see the kingdom come about.

  • Reminds me how much Jesus hates evil and the judgment is coming.

  • Jesus’ love for them and us to prepare us for the future.

  • He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about the end! He wants us to understand.

  • Election on Tuesday.

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