Being Destroyed and Being Built Up
Translated by Allan Liang
From today’s Scripture it can be seen that, as the Lord Jesus was leaving the temple, the disciples were in awe of the magnificence of the temple, exclaiming: “What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” They also asked Jesus to look at this great temple. This refers to the temple reconstructed around 20 BC following the destruction of the previous reconstructed temple constructed by Zerubbabel; Herod the Great reconstructed the temple to appease the Jews, and when Jesus began his ministry, the construction lasted already for 46 years and was still unfinished. According to the records of the Jewish historian Josephus, the entire temple was completed in AD 64. This temple was grand in construction and splendorous, the marble stones reached lengths of over ten feet and had enormous gold adornments, truly it was marvelous to behold. However, the Lord Jesus prophesied that this grand piece of construction would be destroyed, so that even not a single stone would be left on another. And this event indeed occurred in AD 70, fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy. “Do you see all these great buildings?” The Lord Jesus wanted the disciples to see what the temple contained inside, rather than only the outside. This temple appeared majestic and imposing, but what was its inner reality? Did the Lord Jesus not cleanse the temple just several days earlier? It was full of bandits on the inside, the chief priests and teachers of the law in the temple made it become a den of robbers, and not a house of prayer. The city of Jerusalem was full of hypocritical teachers of the law, Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians. The things they did were not in line with the holiness and grandeur of the temple. There is a large chance that the disciples were quite confused; the Lord Jesus did not praise the temple but prophesied that one day, “not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” To the Israelites, the temple of Jerusalem is the center of Israel’s politics, economy, culture, education and religion, is the place of God’s presence, and is the center of the Israelites’ faith. The fact that such a temple would be eventually destroyed one day, came as quite a significant blow to the disciples. Today, people view the material world as so enlightened and technology as so advanced. But brothers and sisters, as children of God who see things through the Holy Spirit, the glory of the temple does not depend on gold and silver, jewels and precious stones, but depends on the presence of God; the church as the temple of God, must place greater value on God’s presence than on external things. The external massiveness, without the inner spiritual reality, will sooner or later be destroyed; may God let us focus on the spiritual reality, more than the largeness on the outside - many people, soaring finances, tall buildings, etc. May God help us grow in our lives belonging to the Lord, so that we not only receive life through the Holy Spirit, but by trusting in the Holy Spirit, be transformed and act out our faith. Because our old self has great difficulty partnering with others and being built up together, hence if the life of our old self is not destroyed, the Lord cannot reign supreme in our heart, and there can be no true building up. Please meditate and pray: The church is God’s temple, and our bodies, the body of each believer, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, bought by God with a great price, hence each believer has the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. May we follow and have in mind the Holy Spirit, letting the Holy Spirit fill us, making the old person of the flesh weaker and weaker, and the life of Christ more and more alive and active, until the life of the Son of God is fully revealed through us.