“And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2)
Saint Mark records several prophetic teachings of Jesus. We often hear these teachings in reference to end time events, things that will happen in the future. We often forget that, although some of these prophecies may have future significance, they have already been fulfilled. What Jesus prophesied concerned the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD by the Romans. What Jesus was foretelling was unbelievable, a calamitous event of epic proportions that would change the world forever. Jerusalem and God’s Holy Temple would be destroyed and the sacrificial system would cease. Many Jews would be slaughtered, while the rest would either be enslaved or dispersed throughout the world.
When the destruction actually occurred, it was as if the world ended at least for the Jews. The Holy City of God was left in ruins and the Temple which was deemed His dwelling place on earth no longer existed. How could God allow this? What had the Chosen people done that was so bad that God would punish them so severely and turn His back on them? We know that they had rejected Jesus the Son of God and crucified Him. Their rejection brought this great catastrophe down on their heads.
The Lord has promised eternal life to those who come by faith to Him. He has also promised destruction and eternal death to those who reject His offer of faith. Their sins are on their own heads and God deals with them accordingly. Yet before they slip off into eternal darkness the Lord reaches out to them, often in allowing them to endure suffering and deprivation. He uses calamity to lead people to Him to repentance and faith in Him. Some heed the call but most do not. Yet it is politically incorrect to say this let alone think it so not even most Christians will even began to admit this as a possibility. However, when Jerusalem was destroyed the Christians knew without a doubt that God’s judgment had fallen. They knew that the reason for this was because the Jews as a whole had crucified Jesus and rejected Him even after He rose from the dead. Christians, though they suffered loss and persecution under pagan rule, persevered through all their trials because they had faith in Jesus as their Savior. They believed and so heeded the promises of His prophecy. In Christ they were preserved unto eternal life.