Imagine the disciples standing outside the Temple and discussing its architectural beauty. “Wow – would ya look at those columns?” said one. The others followed his gaze and nodded. “This rock work is amazing, simply amazing,” said another. “These construction workers were masters in their field.” And so the conversation went…until Jesus entered the picture and grasped this teachable moment with His followers.
Here’s what the Scripture says about this scene: “Some of his disciples began talking about the beautiful stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, ‘The time is coming when all these things will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another'” (Luke 21:5,6).
As I travel through Eastern Europe, I see massive stone cathedrals. They’re incredible works of art, designed and built by people with creative imaginations and skill beyond my comprehension. These structures are magnificent to behold. Some are hundreds of years old. They’ve endured centuries of sun, rain, wind, and snow. Some have even suffered bombings and undergone reconstruction as a result. They’ve done well, but their days of glory are coming to an end. When Jesus returns, all manmade monuments will crumble and fall.
Herein lies a teachable moment for us. What manmade monuments might be captivating us? Money? Reputation? Our physical appearance? Earthly possessions? Ministry success? Sadly, for some churches today, a physical building becomes an object of worship rather than a tool for worship. We must be careful to remember that the tangible, and sometimes intangible, things we find so appealing now will someday perish. Jesus Himself says: “The time is coming when all these things will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another.”
Let’s be sure to keep our focus not on what’s temporal and will be demolished someday, but on what’s eternal!