Most know of the Jewish temple destroyed around 130 AD. An attempt to rebuild in 361 AD.
|The Christian church in 361 AD had a problem. The Jewish temple in Jerusalem was to be rebuilt. We do know that they prayed. Their specific concerns are not addressed by history. Knowing Christian belief, we know that the sacred place where Christ resides is within believers. Why was another temple needed?
Julian, the Apostate, was emperor at the time. The church called him Apostate, meaning one who has abandoned his religion. History suggests that he never was a Christian, like his predecessor, Constantine. He hated Christians but honored Jews. A rebuilding of the temple would mean that Christ’s prophecy of total destruction of the Temple was not valid. Many hoped for that, including Julian, the apostate.
Workers dug up the old foundations and made excavations for the new building. Was it to annoy Christians or placate the Jews? Perhaps it was both. In the process of doing this, there was a huge earthquake. An underground explosion followed this. Some postulate the escape of volatile gases from under the ground. Others suggest flammable materials were used. Workmen were burned to death. The temple has never been rebuilt, even with the temple squarely under Jewish jurisdiction today. By in large, Jews do not consider temple rebulding. Most are opposed to rebuilding the temple, bowing to prophecy, which says that God himself will rebuild the temple. Arab pressures probably influence some.
I believe that there is no need to rebuild the temple. It is said that God does not live in temples made with hands. Other places, it becomes obvious that we are God’s temple. God, I think, protected his new temple in everyday believers by blowing up the beginnings of a new man-made temple. If he would go to all that trouble, why don’t we spend more time at the personal sacred spot within us and become acquainted with the God of glory? I am not sure if we protect that place; we let life kind of run rough-shod over our holiest part of existence.
I think we look at the God of Glory and wonder, in our heart of hearts, “What have you done for me lately?” God measures time in eternity and we measure time in days. Even in the Sinai desert, where God did miracles, it took time. It took a generation for the Israelites to cross the desert when it should have taken about eleven days.
We want life resolved in a thirty-minute TV show. Life doesn’t work that way and if it did, you wouldn’t need any faith. Things would just happen and that would be all there is. There is greatness still left in the world. Most would say that it is within the hearts of men.
Maybe it is not that God doesn’t do miracles. Maybe we are not patient enough to see them happening. Evangelism, in life, changes lives and that takes a lifetime. God still has the same power. He never changes. Do we still have the same power to watch him work?