“. . . Look, Teacher, . . .” Mark 13:1
This conversation between Jesus and one of His disciples is connected to the preceding story about the widow and her coins. There is a striking contrast between the two stories which connects them. Both Jesus and the disciple said, “look.” They said it in wonder and awe, but they were both looking at different things.
The disciple said look at the buildings and the wonder of the city. Jesus also said look, but He was looking at a poor widow whose sacrifice was far more wonderful than the magnificent temple. Jesus was interested in the quality of life, not in the quantity of materials. The temple had failed to serve people’s spiritual needs and, therefore, it would not last.
Today, “look” is a common word, but on the lips of Jesus, it’s a sharp rebuke to our preoccupation with looking for the next technological wonder and miraculous gadget. We stand in awe of big innovation of tomorrow. We look at prosperity and progress. Jesus too says “look,” but not at anything on which we’ve set our gaze. Jesus says “look” at the spiritual quality of your life, if you don’t, one stone shall not be left on another.
We should not forget these words were spoken in the temple and in judgment on a religious institution, not so much because it housed false worship, but because it symbolized the life of a whole nation who had rejected God’s plan. Jesus still brings up the issue of the quality of the state of our spiritual life.
And what do we say to Him? “Look, teacher at our wonderful church buildings, our beautiful, new family life center, look at the square footage of our lobby, complete with a coffee bar and fresh scones.”
He’s not impressed and His eyes wonder off in search of evidence of a rich, inner life and devotion to God’s kingdom. He looks for the love and sacrifice, like the widow. He looks for unsplit allegiance of lives which acknowledge one Master, Savior and Lord. He looks for hearts who are fully devoted to Him.
Are you looking at what Jesus is looking at?