“Do you see these great buildings?” asked Jesus. “Not a single stone will be left here on another, which will not be thrown down.”
illusion of control
no one thing
built on another
but falls together
all disconnected and
rock by rock
season by season
image by image
This dramatic projection of the result of the arc of oppression and resistance allows us opportunity to reflect back to the conspicuous privilege of the scribes (including the priests and Herodians) as ghosts haunting a demolished temple. We can also appreciate that not even loyal givers of all they have will protect the memorials of all they hold dear.
These stones that have been built up will be broken down. So it has ever been. What erosion doesn’t get, repurposing will. Their purpose will be stolen away.
One way to try to get our head around what seems to be a natural effect of time is to look for another framework. Sabin156returns to 2 Samuel 7 and the transition from Ark to Temple:
When God finally gives in and promises that David’s son, whose house God will establish, will “build a house for my name,” there is still the overriding implication that God remains in charge: God is agreeing to a structure that will honor his name but not to one that restricts his freedom. The biblical writer thus leaves open the door to the prophetic metaphor that God abandons the Temple when it no longer honors him.
In keeping with the tradition of the prophets and the lack of knowing what tone of voice is being used here, we might listen to this response with a sense of sadness rather than anger.
It could be argued that Chapter 12 should be extended to this point as a finale to the result of religious leaders more enraptured by their own position than the honoring of G*D in their Neghb*r. This is an issue not only for Jesus but for Mark’s time when the Temple actually was broken apart. How are they to understand this loss?