Mark 13:1-2 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
The disciples were marveling at the temple buildings. Monuments and manmade buildings that were, according to them, magnificent and beautiful. They were proud of the temple buildings. Jesus, on the other hand, let them know that the buildings, while maybe great, were only temporary and would not last.
I have had the opportunity to visit many different church buildings and cathedrals in several countries. In most European countries, the cathedrals sit in the middle of the city and are the most recognizable building and a main point of interest for that city/town. Often, the church was the identity of the town. Most of these old churches are magnificent on the inside and outside.
While these old buildings are beautiful, as I walk through these churches, I always think of these two verses. I also wonder how much church is occurring in these churches. Are these monuments to God or to men? We all know the church building is not the church. But we often get caught up in thinking that buildings are what defines us as a church even if it is a church that meets in a cafetorium.
Buildings are temporary, even church buildings. While beautiful, they pale in comparison of the beauty that Jesus love provides. Jesus wants me to focus on the forever. I need to focus on my local church, not my local church building. The works of our church body defines our church. Are we reflecting Jesus’ love and his works or are we caught up in the things of this world?
Later is this chapter, Jesus warns us to be aware and on guard for deception. Jesus warns that people will come to believers to deceive and betray. These deceivers are the ones capable of destruction that matters. All man made objects will, at some point, be gone and Jesus points this out in verse 2. Jesus’ love, however, will not go away and it cannot be destroyed. Our enemies, however, are not concerned about physical things. They are intent on destroying lives and will often use physical things to distract attention and focus. Jesus, and his love, are focused on spiritual things. Since his focus is on the spiritual, my focus needs to be on the spiritual.
Focus my attention and concern on the spiritual, not the physical. Let me focus on relationships that define and reflect Jesus’ love to all that I come in contact with each day. Keep us encouraged to remain strong and diligent, even during difficult times.