Mark 13:1-8 – The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
We are coming into the part of the Gospel of Mark that Sojourner Truth’s quote is quite appropriate – its always darkest before the dawn. The next several chapters go into the most difficult parts of the story – predictions of dark times coming, betrayals and denials, Jesus’ trial and execution…The darkness before the dawn. But it starts here with the stones – the huge stones that were used to build the temple and the surrounding buildings – even those stones will not be able to withstand what is coming. Underneath this is the message that there is nothing that God cannot overcome, even (or especially) the human made creations that we are so proud of.