“And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down’” (Mark 13:2).
The disciples thought Jesus would set up His kingdom on earth. Since the temple was the pinnacle of God’s glory on earth from the time of its building, they chose to press Jesus by pointing to the beautiful buildings and stones that comprised it. It is not surprising that they felt Jesus would or should set up His kingdom on earth, because that is what God did through Solomon to set His glory on earth. They were thinking from eyesight rather than seeing through God’s plan. They weren’t up to the mark yet. They thought that nothing could be more glorious than Jesus setting up His kingdom on earth with all power, wisdom and might. But Jesus’ answer was very different. They must’ve been totally stunned.
The temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. At this time the disciples that were still living might have certainly looked back and belittled their naivety. That Jesus was predicting the temple’s destruction alone through His statement is certainly not true. Obviously He knew this would take place. But He was speaking more than it. He was speaking of where those who followed Him should place their mind on, i.e. not on the beautiful things that can be seen. Such things never comprise God’s kingdom but are now being coveted by the churches. They too are pressing Him in the name of building His kingdom ignoring the heavenly vision. If those structures were to be torn down, what message is Christ giving us? And, are we assimilating it? Things that can be destroyed or torn down cannot make the kingdom of God. No man is allowed to build God’s kingdom with the things that can be destroyed. We must work for the heavenly purpose by only partially utilizing the things of the earth. With a single statement Jesus’ extinguished the fleshly desire lingering in the disciples. As the disciples removed that desire from them, they knew how not to make full use of the earthly things and went on to build the true building.