BEWARE OF FALSE CONFIDENCE
1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Mark 13:1-2
There is significance in the preamble that prompted the two sets of brothers to ask Jesus about the future. As they walked away from the temple, they were overwhelmed with the grandeur and seemingly indestructible permanence of the structure. They had a feeling of pride as they drew Jesus’ attention to what impressed them so deeply. Great stones fitted together with such precision that they didn’t even need mortar to hold them in place. Surely a magnificent work of such excellence was as permanent as the earth itself. And, to cap it all, it was the work of man. Their hearts swelled with pride at the thought that it was their temple.
But there was something that they had completely forgotten. The people in Jeremiah’s day had exactly the same attitude,,,
Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 Jeremiah 7:4
They thought that, as long as they had the temple, they had the security of God’s presence in their land. They thought that their temple was indestructible and ignored the prophet’s warning of coming disaster because of their disobedience. The prophet warned them that the presence of the temple was no guarantee that God’s judgment would not fall on them because of their sin.
Although the temple represented the presence of God among His people in Jesus’ day, it was no guarantee of protection against disaster if they failed to respond to what God was revealing about Himself. Jesus Himself was God’s last word to Israel. If they refused to listen, as they had done in the past, the same calamity would come on them as had happened in Jeremiah’s day. This seemingly indestructible structure would be torn down and reduced to rubble. In what, then would they put their confidence?
The disciples were appalled at His warning. If the temple was not permanent, what was? They must have pondered His words and puzzled over their significance because it was still in their minds when Peter, and Andrew, James and John drew Him aside and questioned Him about the future.