Great and Gracious Lord, You created the earth yet made me for eternity. It is only in You I find my purpose.
Read MATTHEW 24:15-28
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
At the start of Matthew 24, Jesus tells his disciples that the temple will be destroyed. Shortly afterward, sitting on the Mount of Olives overlooking the temple, the disciples quiz Jesus about this and “the end of the age” (3). Perhaps the disciples were expecting something to anticipate with pleasure. Jesus, however, graphically warns them about terrible events that will take place. Alluding to Daniel 9:27, he speaks of the horrific circumstances which will surround the destruction of the temple. His prediction is later fulfilled when the Romans sack the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD after a long siege during which its inhabitants suffered greatly.
After warning his disciples to flee swiftly from the misfortune that will envelop Judea (in the years 67-70 AD), Jesus speaks about those who will afterward seek to deceive his followers into believing that he has returned. They will claim that Jesus has returned to a remote location or has come secretly. Jesus explains, however, that when he comes, there will be no need to go into the wilderness or an inner room to encounter him. His coming will be seen from east to west. There will be nothing secretive about it. Everyone will be fully aware of this momentous event.
While from our perspective the destruction of the Jerusalem temple is ancient history, as Christians we should be wary of seeing the future purposes of God as intimately linked to the modern city of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple. Jesus expected the Jerusalem temple to be replaced by a very different temple. It would be constructed of people, “living stones” to use the terminology of Peter (1 Pet. 2:5). Filled with the Holy Spirit, the Church is now God’s earthly residence until Christ’s return.
Ponder what it means that God is present by his Holy Spirit when you gather with other believers to worship—and what it means that you are his temple, too!
“Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me, Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.”
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