As Jesus left the temple and was walking away, His disciples came up to Him to point out its buildings.
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.
I. AN INSTRUCTIVE QUESTION — "See ye not all these things?" — these goodly stones, this stately fabric, this masterpiece of architecture. The question was meant as a reproof;
And Jesus went out and departed from the temple.
(F. Godet, D. D.)
1. That they so much admired it. As if He had said, "Turn your eyes from hence, and see things of a superior nature; the beauty and excellence of the renewed soul; the gospel Church; the house which is eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God.
2. That which they admired, they imagined He must admire also. But what are earthly temples to Him who meted out the heavens with a span, who Himself dwells in unapproachable light, and before whom the seraphim cover their feet and veil their faces?
II. A SOLEMN DECLARATION — "Verily, I say unto you," etc. By this Christ may have intended to instruct His disciples —
1. That though God may bear long, yet He will not bear always, with a sinful and provoking people.
2. That the most stately structures and the most splendid edifices, through the pride of their inhabitants, shall one day fall in ruins. Only God's spiritual temple will not be burnt up, nor any of the materials of it destroyed.
3. That the time was coming when God would no longer prefer one place of worship to another.
4. That the whole frame of the Jewish economy should shortly be dissolved. The substance being come, the shadows are fled.
(B. Beddome, A. M.)for. And yet, although what He saw was so different from what met their vision, though He beheld desolation where they discerned nought save splendour, that difference was but the result of less than half a century's change. In the crowds then pressing along that city's prosperous courts, there were some who did not taste of death, till they drank the cup of a worse bitterness in the day when Christ's word was all fulfilled.
(E. E. Johnson, M. A.)
(E. E. Johnson, M. A.)Luke 21:34, 35). The bird little thinks of the snare of the fowler, nor the beast of the hunter; this fearlessly rangeth through the woods, the other merrily cuts the air: both follow their unsuspected liberty, both are lost in unprevented ruin. Against public enemies we fortify our coasts; against private thieves we bar our doors, and shall we not against the irremediable fatality of this day prepare our souls? It is favour enough that the Lord hath given us warning; the day is sudden, the warning is not sudden. The old world had the precaution of six-score years, and that (we cannot deny) was long enough; but we have had the prediction of Christ and His apostles of above fifteen hundred years' standing; besides the daily sounds of those evangelical trumpets, that tell us of that archangelical trumpet in their pulpits. When we hear the thunder, in a dark night on our beds, we fear the lightning. Our Saviour's gospel, premonishing of this day, is like thunder; if it cannot wake us from our sins, the judgment shall come upon us like lightning, to our utter destruction. But I will thank the Lord for giving me warning. The thunder first breaks the cloud, and makes way for the lightning, yet the lightning first invades our sense. All sermons, upon this argument of the last day, are thunder-claps; yet such is the security of the world, that the sons of thunder cannot waken them, till the Father of lightning consume them. The huntsman doth not threaten the deer, or terrify him; but watches him at a stand, and shoots him. But God speaks before He shoots; takes the bow in His hand and shows it us before He puts in the arrow to wound us.
(Olshausen.)I. An illustration of the instability of all earthly grandeur.
II. An instance of God's punishment of sin in the present world.
III. An example of the fulfilment of Scripture prophecy.
IV. A proof of the abolition of the Mosaic economy.
V. A cause of the dispersion of the Jews.
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