A model of the Second (Herodian) temple in Jerusalem during the time of Christ
Matthew 24:1–3 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 13:1-3; Luke 21:5-7)
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”Matthew 24:1-2
Jesus pronouncement of the destruction of the Herodian temple was stark, shocking even to these Jewish Christians. Jesus so longed to alter the mentality and the culture of the Jewish people to help them see the true purpose of the law and the promise of the Messiah, yet they would not hear. Therefore, the opulent temple built by a heathen king would topple, with nothing left to show for it. When Israel rebelled against the Roman Empire, Rome destroyed the Herodian temple. Today, an Islamic mosque sits in its place. Religious structures (physical and spiritual) not built on a foundation of Christ will topple anyway. Build you life, your church, your movement on Christ, not a king or a people or even a religious system. They can fall, but Christ will stand!
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”Matthew 24:3
Jesus’ initial declaration was apocalyptic in nature and sent the disciples into speculation concerning the timing of this end-of-age destruction. When would this cataclysm occur? The destruction of the temple occurred in 70 AD, less than 50 years after Jesus foretold it. However, it did not signal the end of the earth. It did, however, show the need for genuine faith rather than false piety. When will these things be? We do not know. However, we know that Jesus’ word is trustworthy and sure. The end will come. The destruction of man-made structures, physical and ecclesiastical, will happen. The key is to exhibit genuine faith and be ready when destruction comes.