Tuesday of Holy Week

From Luke 21:5-6

 5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,

6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

Excavations have indeed revealed some of the stones which were thrown down off the Temple Mount when the Romans stormed Jerusalem. It was a fascinating exercise reading (the edited highlights of) Josephus while staying in that city. Every page is marked with plot and counter-plot, violence, tyranny and oppression. As you read his account, you are struck how his few words about Jesus stand out as an oasis of calm and goodness amid so much evil and bloodshed. Yet the concern of the ruling elites was to manoeuvre and jostle for power, with ever worse consequences. In the end the Zealots led an uprising ostensibly with a divine mandate, but in reality as a bid to establish their claims over the nation. The result ended up exactly as Jesus predicted.

Yet we horribly misread the lessons of history if we simply say this was the fate the Jewish nation deserved. It seems to me the rich and the powerful are still too often making bids for power, and are deaf to the message that a carpenter from Nazareth two thousand years brought from the living God. The ruins here should all make us stop and pause and reflect as to what type of kingdom we are working towards, a kingdom of man’s invention or the Kingdom of God.

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