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What Manner of Stones Are These

by Jacki McGuyer  
10/03/2006 / Christian Living

Very soon we begin to replace the buildings that were demolished in the terrorists attacks of 9/11. These great sky-scrapers will most likely be among the tallest in the worldthey will be products of our magnificent civilizationembodiments of our power and pride.

The same note of vanity is sounded in an echo that comes down to us through the centuries, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! The disciples appeal to the pride of the Master as they were leaving the Temple of Jerusalem; indeed, worthy of admiration, for it was one of the most notable buildings of antiquity of all time. While the entire grounds occupied about 19 acres, the Temple building was about 150 feet long by 90 feet wide built of white marble with a gilded roof. It stood flashing in the sunlighta mass of snow and gold. The marble columns in the porticoes were 40 feet high, some stones in its walls as long as 40 feet, 18 feet in breadth, and 12 feet thick. The Temple was certainly one of the wonders of the world, and the Romans, who appreciated great beauty, were reluctant to destroy it when Titus captured the city.

No wonder then, that the disciples, full of the spirit of national pride, believing that all things Jewish were supreme and imperishable, called upon Jesus to note and admire it. With almost childish glee they said, Master, see what manner of stones and buildings are here! Look at these great foundation stones, forty feet long, and these marble pillars forty feet high, and that gilded flashing roof! How can so massive and solid a structure ever pass away? Doubtless, they thought Jesus would share in their pride and forget his sorrow in the presence of such a sight. And why should he not have been moved by the spectacle? Was he not a Jew and a patriot with the pride of his nation coursing through his blood, and was not the Temple dear to him by every stone in it? Had he not been dedicated to God in that Temple as a child?

What did Jesus Say?

See these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

That was the judgment of Jesus Christ upon the Temple, that glorious pile of marble that was the pride of his people and excited the childish glee of his disciples. He saw only a passing shadow, an iridescent bubble that was about to burst and vanish.

When our nation was new, we gloried in our multiplying wonderworking inventions and increasing wealth. Along came railways, steamships, telegraph, telephones, mines, and manufacturing. We exploited this marvelous continent from shore to shore, causing its soil to stand thick with harvests, opening mines to pour forth their treasures and penetrating its hidden seas of oil. We have built up great cities in magnificence and splendor that are unsurpassed in all the world.

Our material wealth has blossomed out into great libraries, museums, art galleries, music halls, schools, universities, hospitals and churches.

We have constructed a powerful war machine that is viewed with the deepest concern by the strongest nations of the earth. We have flown space ships to the moon and beyond. We have televisionwe have the INTERNET.

Oh my, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here. We boast of these things with childish glee. And in fact the entire world joins with us in our judgment of these things, and wonders at these great stones.

But what would be the judgment of Christ on these things? Would we dare submit them to Him? Lets imagine for a moment one of our spread-eagle politicians expatiating on, and boasting of these things in the presence of Christwhat would He say?

See these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

No. Theres nothing wrong with all the Stones mentioned aboveas long as we dont measure our life by the possession of them. The judgment that is written on these things is that a persons life consists not in the abundance of the things which they possess. They do not in themselves build humanity, nor do they add to our spiritual stature.

When our nation was but a fledgling, werent our heros just as heroic as they are today?
Do Jet Planes and Rocket Ships make better men and women than Railway trains and Trolley cars? An elevator will lift a person seventy stories in thirty seconds, but are they any higher mentally or morally at the top, than at the bottom? Is a person any nearer to heaven on the moon than they are on earth? Is a full dinner plate a blessing if it only fills the stomach, and leaves the head empty, and the heart selfish?

No, these stones, however great, cannot feed us and make us grow, and in multiplying stones, we are not magnifying people. A people that simply build a splendid material civilization and let the moral and the spiritual virtues rot out of their lives will perish as did ancient Rome. If we build our lives out of stones, great or small, stones of wealth, or of pride or pleasure, they shall be thrown down, and not one left upon another. But if we build our lives out of Truth, and faith, out of purity and peace, out of Righteousness and reverence, out of faith and faithfulness, we are building our house out of imperishable materials. Jesus is our FoundationJesus is our Rock.

And when the rains descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon that house, it shall not fall; for it is founded upon a Rock.

With every book she writes, it is Jacqueline's ambition to grow and be faithful to her readers. She aspires to give them an entertaining story to dazzle and provide honest and thoughtful information to keep them coming back for more. Above all, she is a Christian and her faith guides her pen.

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