|The countrymen of Jesus were fuming, angry at Him. Why were they angry? Because Jesus said, “Destroy this temple!” What is so special about the temple? Ganito po iyon.
There are three things that the Jews are most proud of. First, their king. Second, the land. Third, the temple. Every Jew is proud of these three things. The land. The temple. All of these put together by one king. King. Land. Temple. Why were the Jews angry when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple.”? Because at that time, the land was occupied by the Romans. Because at that time the kingdom was divided and therefore, they only had one reason for being proud – the temple. And our one reason for being proud – the temple – you are going to destroy. That made them very angry.
In fact, during the trial of Jesus. It would be one of the cases. He said “Destroy this temple!” It is was a case charged against Him. Now, what is this saying to us? Before you judge the Jews, the countrymen of Jesus, for being so unreasonable, I will ask you – What do you do when something very precious to you is removed from you? What will you do when somebody tells you about something very priceless, very dear to you and then that person says, I will destroy it, kill it, burn it, you will lose it. What do you do?
And you will understand, why the Jews were angry. Because the temple was very precious to them. The temple had their gold. The temple held their precious stones. The temple had their love. The temple had their devotion. And these will be destroyed. This precious building will be destroyed. Our pride will be destroyed.
Now my dear brothers and sisters, it is good to be reminded today that everything you love will be taken away from you. Everybody you love will be taken away from you. The Bible is clear. Spiritual literature is clear. Everything you love will be taken from you. Everything, everybody you hold dear and very precious, will be removed from you. Why? There is only one answer. Why will all these things very dear to me be removed from me? Why all these things very precious to me be removed from me? Why? For only one answer- they are not God.
They are not God. And therefore, they will be removed from us. Because at the end of it all, only God will remain with us. Because when things become too special for us. And we hold on to them, very tightly or we cling to them very tightly, they actually become our gods. That is why they need to be removed. Because they become our idols.
The temple of Jerusalem remains destroyed until now. And our own little temples, if not yet destroyed now, will soon be destroyed. The child you love so much. Your parents whom you cannot be separated from. Your parents whom you cannot imagine being without them in your life. This job. This house and lot that I worked so hard for. This car that I paying on installment basis and just recently paid off in full. My jewelry. My health that I am taking care of. My good name that I have been carefully building. We have so many things that we hold dear.
And I’ll say it again, my dear brothers and sisters, if you cling too tightly, they will become idols and that is idolatry. If you hold on too tightly, they will become your gods. More important than God with a capital G. Everything, everybody you hold precious will be destroyed. But the beautiful thing, my dear brothers and sisters, is this. Once they have been destroyed, once they have been taken away from us, they will return to us in a new form. You no longer have a toddler, you are no longer sending your children to school. That child is now married and you now have a grandchild. He came back. He was never gone and has returned to you but in a different form.
You lost your assets. You lost your good name. You lost a friend. Your spouse betrayed you. You lost your mother and father.
But they come to us. They return to us in another form. And this time, they return to our lives, brought back by God. And when God brings them, persons and things, back to us, they return to us differently because we now see them as less precious than God. Now we place these things, these persons in their rightful place.
My dear brothers and sisters, the temples you hold dear will soon be destroyed. Do not be angry. Accept. That is the truth. Everything shall be removed from us because they are not God. And when everything has been removed, only one thing shall remain. It is stronger than adobe. It is stronger than the strongest mountain. We will be standing on our bedrock, solid rock. It is the Lord. And now we understand. We have not lost anything. We have not lost anyone. It is the Lord who is with us. Destroy this temple. Destroy everything precious. Destroy everybody dear. They are not gods. But keep in mind, everything will be destroyed except the Lord. And it is the Lord who will return everything destroyed. And give us a new beginning, a new life, a new heaven, a new earth.