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Summary: No matter what life may throw at us, Jesus calls us to remain faithful to the end.

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Life With the Messiah

Text: Matt. 24:1-14

Introduction

1. What do you remember about Sept. 11, 2001?

2. The things I remember most were...

a. The Shock

b. The Panic

c. The Fear

3. We were all taken completely by surprise, but should we have been?

4. Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NLT)

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.

5. Furthermore, Jesus tells us...

a. Expect the Unexpected

b. Expect the Expected

c. Expect the Kingdom

6. Let's stand together as we read Matt. 24:1-14.

Proposition: No matter what life may throw at us, Jesus calls us to remain faithful to the end.

Transition: One thing that Jesus teaches us about life is...

I. Expect the Unexpected (1-2).

A. They Will Be Completely Demolished

1. The World Trade Center was an amazing piece of architecture.

a. The original World Trade Center was a complex of seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

b. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks.

c. At the time of their completion, 1 and 2 World Trade Center were the tallest buildings in the world, surpassing the Empire State Building, also in Manhattan.

d. The cost for the construction was $400 million ($2,169,167,354 in 2011 dollars).[2]

e. The complex was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in the early 1960s using a tube-frame structural design for the twin 110-story towers.

f. The complex was located in the heart of New York City's downtown financial district and contained 13.4 million square feet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center).

g. No one could have imagined that they could be destroyed in a matter of hours.

2. I mention all of this because it helps us put into perspective how the people of Jesus day thought about the Temple. However, there was one added dimension for them; it was God's house!

3. One day, Matthew tells us, "As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings."

a. Although no one knows exactly what the Temple looked like, it must have been magnificent, for in its time it was considered one of the architectural wonders of the world.

b. The Temple was impressive, covering about one-sixth of the land area of the ancient city of Jerusalem. It was not one building, but a majestic mixture of porches, colonnades, separate small edifices, and courts surrounding the Temple proper.

c. Luke's account of this story tells us a little more.

d. Luke 21:5 (NLT)

Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls...

e. The Jews were convinced of the permanence of this magnificent structure, not only because of the stability of construction, but also because it represented God’s presence among them (Life Application New Testament Commentary).

f. Their focus is still on the Temple as the center of their spiritual life, but that is all about to change.

g. For there is significance in Jesus leaving the Temple.

h. In the original language Matthew actually uses two different verbs to describe Jesus' actions - "went out" and "going away."

i. He is drawing attention to Jesus leaving the Temple permanently and with him the glory of God (France, 887).

4. Matthew tells us that Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

a. This must have startled the disciples, because Jerusalem was the holy city and the rebuilt temple was the pride of the nation.

b. Jesus’ statement here also must have baffled the disciples, since the temple was almost completely rebuilt by this time (Wilkins, 769-796).

c. The disciples were totally blown away by Jesus statement. It was the time of the Pax Romana, a time of political peace based on Roman conquest of much of the known world.

d. To them it would have been unthinkable that the Temple would be destroyed.

e. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, its stones were white and strong, 50 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 16 feet thick.

f. It was absolutely unfathomable that they could been destroyed.

g. Even more so, it was symbol of God's presence, and it was God's dwelling place.

h. Just as in the day of Jeremiah and Ezekiel the people thought that the destruction of the Temple was both a physical and spiritual impossibility.

i. About 40 years from Jesus statement, his words of judgment would come to pass.

j. In AD 70, Titus, the Roman commander, gave orders that the Temple was not to be destroyed, however, one of his soldiers set fire to it.

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