There is nothing in this world that will last forever. This world has been doomed to decay and will pass away. Jesus showed in this scripture that even those bricks and mortar structures that seem so permanent will not last. Paul wrote also, “…for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)
As the disciples walked with Jesus in the temple, they pointed out all of the marvellous buildings and the wonderful stones from which they were made. But Jesus said to them, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.” (Verse 2)
Jesus knew full well what was to come and occur in the future, and that was exactly what happened many years later. The temple was destroyed and all the buildings and stones cast away leaving only what we now know as the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem.
But in Jesus’ statement there was another message too. He indicates that what was there at the temple site was temporary and would not last forever. So too what the temple stood for, which was the worship under the law, was not going to last either. Paul showed in Galatians 3:23-27 that we were confined under the law until righteousness by faith was revealed in Jesus. Once faith came, we were no longer confined under the law but now worship God according to the New Covenant, based upon faith in Christ Jesus.
It was shown also that the Old Covenant confinement under the law ended with the death of Jesus as the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom indicating the way was open for all mankind to enter the presence of God, not just the priests.
So all of the traditions and institutions of this world are temporary too, along with the buildings, bricks and mortar. The disciples were impressed by the buildings, but Jesus showed them that these were to pass away. However His word was permanent and would last forever. The word of God and the words of Jesus are eternal and they are the teachings of eternal life.
So do not be impressed by the wondrous buildings and churches today. Cathedrals, church buildings and all that go with them are nothing compared to the truth of the New Covenant. Focus your attention and priority rather on what is said in them and find the truth that is in Jesus. For it is in the permanent structure of the spiritual church that we are built into in Christ that is forever. Bricks and mortar crumble and return to dust.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng stock.xchng taken by Michal Zacharzewski, SXC)