7718 - Jerusalem's Future
(Original script will not match edited audio completely)
In our study through the book of Luke we have come to events just a few days prior to his death on the cross. In this last week of the life of Jesus he has invested many hours in teaching the people and sparing with his foes within the courts of the temple.
Perhaps these hours in the temple prompted the discussion in Luke 21:5-9 between Jesus and his disciples. Listen to this passage:
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."
"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and, `The time is near.' Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."
The temple in place during the life of Jesus was not the beautiful temple built by Solomon. Solomon’s temple was the first. It was built to replace the tabernacle which was put together in the wilderness after Israel left Egypt. Solomon’s temple had great splendor. It was destroyed in the seventh century B.C. by the Babylonians.
After the return from exile some 70 years later Ezra led in completing the second temple on the temple mount.
After Herod the Great came to power over Palestine, in 20 B.C. he took down the old temple to its foundations and put thousands of people to work building the temple which was present during the life of Jesus.
As the conversation unfolded, Jesus and his disciples were probably on the side of the Mount of Olives where they spent their nights. They could look back over the Kidron Valley and have a clear view of the temple mount.
The disciples gazed in wonder as they saw porches, colonnades, the temple proper, and marble pillars 40 feet high, each one carved from a single stone. These were within the walled city of Jerusalem.
Jesus used this opportunity to give a prophetic message about the temple. He stated that a time would come when not one stone would be left on another. They all would be pulled down, destroyed.
The disciples inquired when all these destructive acts would take place, and they asked about any signs of the time foretelling this was going to happen.
Jesus had already warned the disciples that he was going to be persecuted and killed there in Jerusalem. Perhaps there was a tone of anxiety in their voices.
Based upon their knowledge of his soon departure, he told them not to be deceived by anyone who claimed to be the returning Christ, or other deceivers who claimed it was the time for the end. Do not listen to such people. Do not follow after them in any way.
Many have claimed to be the returning Christ since these words were spoken. The truth of these warnings is still applicable. We are not to be deceived by anyone who claims to have any part in fulfillment of end time prophecy.
Furthermore, Jesus gave some long range insight also. He told them that wars and revolutions would occur, but we are not to be frightened. These things will occur on earth many times. But these events do not mean the end is near. He states that the end will not come right away. This gives the picture that his return was not to be soon after his ascension into heaven.
Friends, the Romans stormed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and completely destroyed the city and its walls. The destruction was so complete that they ran a plow from one side to another. This fulfilled the Jerusalem portion of this prophesy, but the important part about Christ’s return is yet to come.