“And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’” (Mark 13:2 NKJV)
There was nothing more beautiful, in the minds of the Israelites in Jesus’s day, than the Temple. The Old Testament reading today talked about all that was done to make the Temple even more magnificent. The Temple gleamed with all the gold used in covering wood and stone. Herod bean a project of rebuilding the Temple that began in about 20BC and continued until AD63. The disciples pointed out the beauty to Jesus, and He shocked them when He predicted that they’d be destroyed, which they were in AD 70. Then Jesus taught them how they would spread the gospel even when the ruling authorities sought to destroy them.
There are many beautiful church buildings around the world, but they can be destroyed. Natural disasters can destroy buildings. Others fall into disrepair because the once magnificent buildings, built by people who had great dreams, are no longer used as the people have left. Buildings aren’t necessary for a great church, although they can be helpful. People are the church. When Jesus warned about coming persecutions, He reminded the disciples that the Holy Spirit would protect them. When God’s people are living, sharing, and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church will continue to grow and thrive – with or without buildings.
Lord, teach me to love Your people like You do. Help me to remember to focus on building up the Church instead of maintaining buildings.