Jesus Leaves the Temple


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH RC SPROUL

Jesus Leaves the Temple
=======================
Matthew 24:1–2 “He answered them, ‘You see
all these, do you not? Truly, I say
to you, there will not be left here one
stone upon another that will not be
thrown down’” (v. 2).

We have two
concluding comments on Matthew 23:37–39 before we study chapter
24. First,
verse 38 is in the present tense in the original Greek, which is a
way
biblical authors often make statements of certainty. The desolation
of
Jerusalem’s house — the temple — is sure to come. Secondly, verse 39
might
indicate that this event is not God’s final word on the nation that
has
rejected His Son. On the one hand, Jesus’ promise that the city will not
see
Him again until it says, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the
Lord” may
mean that the Jews who have rejected Him will bow to Him as King of
kings when
He returns, just like every other person who has denied Him (Phil.
2:5–11). Of
course, only those who have received Him before His return will
be saved, Jew
and Gentile alike. On the other hand, the “Blessed is he” of
Matthew 23:39
could be Jerusalem’s future confession of faith in Jesus. This
would imply
that a great many Jews will trust Christ right before His return
in glory (see
Rom. 11).

Matthew 23 ends with our Lord’s lament over
Jerusalem due to the judgment it
will soon feel. Chapter 24 depicts this
judgment, beginning with a description
of Jesus’ travels. Jesus has been
teaching in the temple (21:23–23:39), when
He then heads for the Mount of
Olives (24:1–3). This is significant because
the prophet Ezekiel saw the
glory of God leave the temple and go east to a
mountain — the Mount of Olives
(11:22–12:28) — right before the Babylonians
decimated Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
Yahweh’s glory, John MacArthur writes, took
“exactly the same route Christ
follows” in Matthew 24:1–3 (The MacArthur Bible
Commentary, p. 1,170). Before
Babylon destroyed the first Jewish temple, God’s
glory left. Now Jesus, the
glory of God (James 2:1), leaves the second Jewish
temple, revealing to those
with eyes to see that its grandeur will soon end.

The disciples again
prove that even they do not understand all that Jesus has
said and done,
pointing out the beauty and size of the temple to our Lord
(Matt. 24:1). But
this physical structure will soon be replaced by Christ as
the center of true
religion (Rev. 21:22), a fact He brings to light when He
predicts the end of
the temple (Matt. 24:2), something unthinkable to the Jews
of His
day.

Coram deo: Living before the face of
God
========================================
It is a terrible thing to
think that the Lord can become so fed up with those
who claim to be His
servants that He departs from their presence. God
sometimes seems absent to
us because we have grieved Him (Zech. 1:3). If you
feel as if the Lord is far
from you this day, consider whether there is
unconfessed sin in your life. If
we feel as though God is absent, this does
not necessarily mean we are being
disciplined, but it is a possibility we
should consider.

For further
study:

Psalm 51:11

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