By the time of Jesus' last visit to the temple, the work begun on its superstructure by Herod the Great was largely complete. It was an impressive edifice. Its massive stones, ornate facades and gold overlays were calculated to evoke awe and admiration in visitors from all parts of the Roman Empire. The disciples, like most of the Jews at the time no doubt felt that 'their' magnificent temple was a fitting symbol of their religion. It often happens, that we who ought to be worshiping God, want him to pay attention to the things we have wrought in his honor. When we do this, our institutions have no legitimate purpose. Christ proclaims them desolate, and walks away from them.
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