The passers-by railed at him, shaking their heads, as they said, “Ah! You who would destroy the Temple and build one in three days,
Rumors have a way of continuing regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Old scams come around regularly on the internet. It is difficult to get rid of lies. They take on a life of their own. They band together to deepen the lie. Lie’s name is one we ran across back in chapter 5—“Legion”.
The return of this reference to the Temple allows a Reader to wonder about what a place of prayer, instead of commerce, might look like. If this pain and dishonor are what the consequence of prayer looks like, we’ll probably stay with a sacrificial system that places the responsibility upon G*D and we do what we can to direct G*D’s attention and bargain for our pittance of consideration.
In seeing passing people choose the “winning” side that measures everything in terms of the short-term, we again see Jesus standing before the accusations of the Sanhedrin and Pilate. Jesus does not shake his head, “No”, in response to their head wagging and loose talk. Silence continues to be the primary response to Gethsemane prayers and charges leveled by the powerful and violent.
Mark has woven the destruction of the Temple throughout Jesus’ last days. This is a critical part of his telling. As it corresponds with the nearly contemporaneous Roman destruction of Jerusalem (either easily projectable or recently completed), this is an important factor in the development of early Historical Jesus communities. The destruction of the Temple is as much a sign to Jesus’ followers that he was “right” as the people’s judgment that the Chief Priest and Pilate were “right” (for, like Peter, they have no comprehension that a Messiah would suffer and die).
Even though this charge is presented as false, in the first place, and mocking, in the second, the loss of the Temple plays an important role in the development of Rabbinic Judaism and Gentile Christianity—and their separation.