Mark 13 has often been used to teach about the second coming of Jesus. It may surprise you to know that ¾’s of this chapter is Jesus teaching about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
The temple in Jerusalem in Jesus’ day was a wonder. Theologically it represented the very presence of God and throne-room throne of God. Architecturally it was awesome. Josephus, a Jewish historian at the time, wrote that some of the individually fashioned stones used to build the temple were 13m in length, 4m in height and 6m wide! These stones were probably fashioned out of white marble and overlaid in gold. One commentator writes: “This complex of stone was one of the most impressive sights in the ancient world, and was regarded as an architectural wonder”. Aesthetically it was unrivalled. Religiously is symbolised Israel’s special relationship with God. It was at the temple that you met with God, prayed, offered sacrifices and atoned for your sins. In contrast, the disciples were mostly poor, blue-collared fishermen who lived in insignificant houses in small villages and they were hugely impressed with this great building. That’s why they said in v1, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” I speculate, but perhaps part of their sentiment was to comfort Jesus: “Never mind how bad things get, we still have the Temple!”