The Things We Build
“. . . behold . . . what wonderful buildings!” Mark 13:1
One day, as Jesus and the disciples were leaving the temple, one of them admired the splendor of the temple. The temple was magnificent, it was a dominating presence. For forty-six years, builders had worked diligently to construct a temple of beauty. Centuries of religious history and affection rested on that spot. The temple itself was a rare gem of architecture, a symbol of strength and beauty. Just approaching the temple caused every devout Jew to swell with pride. They were overcome with the sense that it would last forever. Some of Jesus’ disciples were caught up in admiration of the glory of the temple.
Jesus never said whether He was impressed or not. He did say, in effect, “soak it in, cause it won’t be here long.” He told them there would one day be a tearing down of all with which they were personally impressed. All the beautiful things will one day crumble into ruins. We should let Jesus’ word resonate into our time and place. This should give us pause to examine the tasks with which we are occupied.
The passage forces us to consider whether or not we have spent our time just building stuff, that which will not last, rather than investing in the things that will. Getting caught up with building our own little temples and kingdoms can create a false sense of security. Being surrounded only by personal accomplishments can do that to a person.
The things we build remind us of how smart and creative we are. They are a sign of what we can do when we focus all our energy and resources. The danger is we start to believe we can build a life apart from God. We can easily go about building our life on our own passion and drive.
The stark truth, spoken by Jesus to us His disciples, is meant to jolt us into an eternal reality. Anything and everything built by us will one day be torn down. However, anything and everything built by God, will remain. The Psalmist declares “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain.”
Are you spending your time building stuff?