Summary: The warning of Christ gives us a warrant to be skeptical about all prophetic schemes of men. It gives us the authority to question and probe into the foundations and premises of all men's teachings, including our own.

Jesus loved Israel, for the Jews were God's people. He was their King, and He was as patriotic as

any of Israel's leaders or kings. We cannot doubt that Jesus loved the Jews more than either Moses

or Paul, both of whom were ready to perish for the sake of Israel. Nevertheless, Jesus did not try and

deceive Himself or His disciples. Love, devotion, and patriotism could not alter the truth that

judgment was ahead because Judaism was dead. The prophets highest loyalty is to truth, and to God

who is the author of truth. The prophets loved their people and nation, yet they denounced the evils

of Israel, and warned of judgment. The false prophets were silent, or spoke soft words of false

comfort. It is good for us to keep this Biblical role of the prophets in mind as we evaluate men and

attitudes in our own day. The critic of the evil's of our nation is the true lover of America, if his

motive is to bring us to a change for the better. The man who cries out against the evils and

corruption is more likely to be the spokesman for God than the man who seeks to whitewash over

the evils.

Just as it is the parent who most opposes the folly of their children who love them most, so it is

the critics of national evil who are the nations best friends. In this context Jesus was sure of the

judgment ahead, and, therefore, was not warning in the hope of diverting the judgment. He had

already failed and knew that He was to be crucified. This kind of certainty is not known about the

future of any other nation. We do not know if we will proceed into inevitable judgment, or repent as

a nation and be restored to a place of even greater leadership in world evangelization. All we know

for sure from Christ's attitude in this passage is that the church must escape from the rut that is

leading us to the same dead institutionalism that characterized Judaism. We as Christians must

escape from the influence of materialism that makes us think of the church in terms of buildings and

rituals. By His teaching and action Jesus made it clear that the essence of man's relationship to God is

personal and spiritual, and not material. Jesus made no plans for a super structure in which to

worship, for each believer was to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave the power of the Holy

Spirit to the common people, and it was that people-empowered body that replaced the huge stones

of the temple of Judaism. People with God's power: That is the church, and no matter how much

marble, wood, steel, and stained glass you have put together, without people with God's power you

don't have a church. Man is constantly trying to rebuild the temple that God destroyed thinking that

is the secret of spiritual success. It's the age old spirit of those who built the tower of Babel.

William Barclay wrote,

Pride of man and earthly glory

Sword and crown betray his trust;

With what care and toil he buildeth,

Tower and temple, fall to dust.

But God's power,

Hour by hour,

Is my temple and my tower.

A return to a personal encounter and dependence upon God rather than the impersonal,

mechanical, and materialistic forms of worship is essential if the church is to escape the fate of the

temple of Judaism. The power to witness, and the power to live a Christlike life, will not come

through ceremony, but through surrender; not through ritual, but through revival of a dynamic

personal response of believers to a living God. This is a clear conclusion that can be drawn from the

very attitude that Christ reveals in this chapter. Men must learn from the destruction of the temple

that aesthetics, and the beauty of art and architecture can never be a substitute for the beauty of

holiness. The disciples came to this conclusion as time went on, but now they were interested when

this event of the destruction of the temple would be.

Jesus had just wetted their appetite. He made this boldly shocking statement about the ruin of the

temple, and then walked off to the Mt. of Olives. He, no doubt, expected them to follow Him with

curiosity churning in their minds, and He was right, for when He sat down verse 3 tells us He was

approached by the inner circle for a private conference on this matter. Andrew is for the first time

included, and so we have two sets of brothers, and the first four that Jesus called to be His disciples.

They, like most everyone, were interested in the future, and prophecy fascinated them. They were

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