Today as Jesus and his disciples are walking out of the temple, his disciples remark how beautiful the temple building is.
(Mark 13:1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Teacher, look at these beautiful stones and wonderful buildings!" )
The temple was constructed of some large stones…forty feet long by twelve feet high by eighteen feet wide. It was made of stone and wood and covered in solid gold. From a distance the temple shone like the sun. Jesus says the temple will be destroyed and not one stone will remain in place.
(Mark 13:2 Jesus replied, "Do you see these huge buildings? They will certainly be torn down! Not one stone will be left in place.")
Within forty years the temple was destroyed completely by the Roman army and till this day has never been restored. The disciples are amazed and ask what signs will proceed this destruction.
(Mark 13:3 Later, as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. 4 They asked, "When will these things happen? What will be the sign that they are about to take place?" )
Jesus replies that first of all the disciples should not be fooled or led down the wrong path by false teachers who claim to be Jesus.
(Mark 13:5 Jesus answered: Watch out and don’t let anyone fool you! 6 Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people.)
Today are there false teachers predicting the end of the world on a particular date? Yes! Jesus says do not be led off the right path by such men. Later in verse thirty two Jesus says even He, the Son of God, does not know the date of the end of the world. Jesus now starts speaking about the end of the world when He returns in all His glory. Jesus says that earth quakes, famines, and wars will happen first.
(Mark 13:7 When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 8 Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.)
Brothers and sisters have earthquakes, famines, and wars happened since Jesus ascended into heaven? Yes! Should we be afraid? No! Not as long as we remain on the right path. If we live our lives in relationship with Jesus do we have anything to fear? No! Because Jesus is always with us and He will guide us in the right direction. We need to live in relationship with Jesus just as all people need Jesus.
Sparky Anderson the great baseball manager who won many pennants and a world championship, said,” I’m not lying when I say that this religion is so important to me. If I had one great wish, it would be that I could honestly say that I was one of God’s children. That is the one emptiness I have. I would give up all the pennants and all the honors just to know I was doing right by Him.”
We all need Jesus. Amen? Amen! We are God’s children through our trust in Jesus Christ…and no one can ever take that away from us as long as we continue to walk and live every day with Jesus. People are searching desperately for Jesus today and in many cases substitute some very foolish things for a real relationship with Jesus. They substitute money, prestige, drugs, sex, alcohol and even crystal stones for the living God.
Calvin of Calvin and Hobbs cartoon fame gets dressed in his special clothes for school. He goes to school. He sits on some bubble gum, gets beat up by a bully, fails a test at school and gets rained on the way home. At bedtime he says,” You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.”
We need Jesus to stay on the right path and to live a full life! Amen? Amen!
Charlton Heston had to learn how to drive a chariot with four horses for his part in the movie Ben Hur. After many weeks of chariot lessons he told the director, “I think I can drive the chariot all right but I’m not at all sure I can actually win the race.” The director, responded,” You just stay in the race and I’ll make sure you win.”
Brothers and sisters today Jesus asks us to stay in the race of life no matter what happens to us. And Jesus Christ promises us that as long as we are with Him …we will win the race of life. Amen!
Let us pray: Jesus we want to live daily with you. Come into our hearts and guide us down the right paths…in your holy name we pray. Amen!