WATCHING THE GREAT THINGS GO
1 As he exited the temple area, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what enormous stones and what enormous buildings!” 2 Then Jesus responded by asking him, “Do you see these big buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; everything will be demolished.” 3 Later, when he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple area, Peter, James, John, and Andrew requested privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these events that you predicted happen, and what will be the sign showing that all these predicted events are about to be occur?”
I can remember the weird feeling I had when I first flew over New York City and did not see the twin towers below. It was surreal. Those great buildings were such a part of my expectation and understanding of the place. It was hard to get my head around the fact that they were gone – taken down by terrorism and hate.
Jesus had just let his knowledge of the future slip out for his disciples to ponder. Herod’s magnificent temple area was a series of amazing structures surrounded by great walls – a city itself in one corner of Jerusalem. They had problems imagining a Jerusalem – even a world without it. Everyone who had ever seen it was naturally impressed by its greatness.
True greatness cannot be demolished. Jesus had shown his apostles that the greatest servant would be like a little child, and slave of all. He was reminding them here that great things do not last. He invites us all to watch as the things we are impressed with are eventually demolished.
LORD, loosen our attachment to the great things that will not last. Tighten our grip on your kingdom, which will last.