Birth Pangs

The disciples were surprised by Jesus response when He didn’t join them in celebrating the beauty of the temple in Mark 13. In so many ways, the temple represented the patriotic and religious symbol of the day. Restored and rededicated in 164 BC after the defeat of Antiochus Epiphanes, the temple was annually celebrated in Israel during the Feast of Dedication. To the citizens of Rome, the temple was one of the wonders of the world. The temple was decorated with a solid gold covering over the outside causing the structure to glimmer and dazzle from a distance. Truly, this was a magnificent engineering accomplishment. As one of the disciples commented on the beauty, Jesus’ response was not what he expected. Once again, he forewarned His followers that this temple would be destroyed. The judgments of Mark 11 and following indicate that a new system is being established. The tone of Mark 13:1-13 is one of a loving shepherd warning His sheep that a new day is coming and inspiring them to stay on mission in the midst of trials to come.