And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.
After dooming the temple to desolation, "Jesus went out." The action was significant (see Luke 19:44). In every case the departure of the Saviour is a solemn event. "His disciples," viz. Peter, James, John, and Andrew (see Mark 13:3), called his attention to the magnificence of the structure. Men are naturally influenced by material glories. They had especially noticed the greatness of the stones (see Mark 13:1), and were astonished when Jesus declared that these should become disjointed and overthrown. How "slow of heart" are even good men "to believe all that the prophets have spoken" (see Micah 3:12; Jeremiah 26:18)! What havoc in the material world is wrought through moral obliquity! "And as they sat" in full view of the temple and city (ver. 3), where the Shechinah had rested after leaving the temple and the city, and whence it ascended into the heavens - awful presage of the desolation of the temple and city by Nebuchadnezzar, and the captivity of the people by the Babylonians (Ezekiel 11:23): - the action of Jesus here therefore was not only the expression of a tender, sorrowful, patriotic, human sympathy, but moreover a parable and a prophecy of momentous import.
I. CHRIST WAS COMING IN HIS KINGDOM.
1. The advent of the King Messiah was the constant subject of ancient promise.
2. It was accordingly the chief expectation of the Jews.
3. But so dazzled were they with the splendour of the imagery, in which the coming of Messiah in his glory is set forth in prophecy, that they overlooked the predictions setting forth an earlier advent of Messiah in humiliation.
4. Hence, when Jesus came in that earlier advent his people were offended in him.
II. HE COMES IN SPIRIT AND POWER.
1. So he came upon the memorable Day of Pentecost. Jesus had been corporeally transiently present with his disciples as their Comforter, and he promised, after his removal from them in that capacity, to come again as their permanent or abiding Comforter in his Divine Spirit (see John 14:15-21).
2. That advent was quickly followed by the "end of the world," or, more properly, the "consummation of the age." The Levitical dispensation ended with the destruction of the temple. For the temple was the very centre of that system. "The temple was destroyed:
(1) Justly; because of the sins of the Jews.
(2) Mercifully; to take away from them the occasion of continuing in Judaism.
(3) Mysteriously; to show that the ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation introduced" (Clarke).
3. The judgment in the destruction of Jerusalem was a figure of the judgment of the great day. The scattered Jew-Christians found relief in the judgment which brought desolation to their persecutors (cf. Mark 13:13; James 5:7-9).
III. HE WILL YET COME VISIBLY, IN POWER AND GLORY.
1. He will then come "in the clouds."
(1) He will come upon a glorious throne.
(2) He will come with a myriad retinue. Clouds of angels. Clouds of spirits of just men made perfect (see Hebrews 12:1).
2. He will come to introduce the millennium.
(1) He will begin that reign with judgments upon the obstinately wicked. The antichristian nations will be overthrown.
(2) He will end that age with the final judgment upon the dead, small and great.
IV. HE COMES IN THE ARTICLE OF DEATH.
1. This is the "end of the age" to us as the term of our probation.
2. It is to us virtually the day of judgment.
3. Christ comes in person to receive to himself his own (see John 14:3).
4. Let us be admonished and prepare. - J.A.M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.