I was thinking about the part in the bible where Jesus foretells that not one stone will be left on top of another concerning the temple. It is written that Jesus said that the temple had been turned into a den of thieves. Also, that those (at least some) who were running the temple were sons of Satan. He also said that the way into the kingdom had been shut so that neither the sons of Satan could enter and neither could those who were earnestly seeking.
After reading all this, I have come to the conclusion (presently) that God allowed the temple to be destroyed. Perhaps he even willed it. If the temple and the ruling class of the Jews were essentially locked up by the devil, then his chosen nation was stuck. They were bound to the temple. The entire nation was oriented around service to God and the temple was the epicenter of that.
I think I see now that the destruction of temple was not as punishment for the death of Jesus. It was how God freed his people from bondage to the temple which had been hijacked by Satan. Allowing Israel to be dispersed across the world for a time was what God did. Even now there are Jews who go to the wailing wall. It has been two thousand years since the temple was standing. There is no way the Jews were ever going to leave the temple behind even if the devil had managed to turn the temple in to a den of thieves. We know Jesus does not lie. What then were they stealing from the Jews that was so important that God allowed the temple to be destroyed?
It must, of course, not be something like money. It has to be a much bigger idea. We know that Jesus said they could not enter the kingdom because there way was being blocked by the sons of Satan. So this must be what they were stealing from the Jews. Their rightful place in God’s kingdom? The manifestation of God’s promise to Abraham? Something big like that? Maybe they were just flat out stealing the religion and turning it into a business.
…basically you have combined several Scriptural passages which do address (involve) these issues.
The Temple was held as the highest place of worship and only place to offer sacrifices to God. At one particular occasion Jesus did check the irreligious and blatant abuse of both the Temple and the people as the outer courts were made into a vendor’s market (prices would be set, coins exchanged, animals and people treading about merchants and customers sought the “better deal”). Jesus sternly criticized this commercialization of the Temple grounds, which had progressed to right out opportunistic thievery (inflation of both money exchange and cost for animals, etc.):
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” (St. Matthew 21:12-13)
In St. John 8 Jesus makes various revelations and a huge charge:
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. (St. John 8:42-44)
Though from part of the narrative it may be concluded that Jesus is foremost addressing the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees (8:3), I do not believe that this is conclusive since several times throughout the chapter, and at a much later time, it seems that Jesus is addressing the Jews (the audience) in general.
…well, the Kingdom of Heaven is not limited, since Jesus is the Way, the Resurrection, and the Life; rather, I think you are recalling this passage:
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (St. Matthew 23:13)
What Jesus is actually stating is that they (the religious) not only refuse to enter into the Kingdom (Believe in Jesus) but impede, through their false teachings, entrance to the Jews.
I fully concur with:
I think I see now that the destruction of temple was not as punishment for the death of Jesus. It was how God freed his people from bondage to the temple
This is so correct!:
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (St. John 4:41-24)
…as for the Promise to Abraham, Jesus is that Promise:
5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:5)
And since Jesus is the only Way to the Father, the old Covenant (Temple) had to disappear:
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (St. Luke 19:41-44)
The “den of robbers” phrase is an allusion to Jeremiah 7.
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
"Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD.
“Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.”
…actually, no; Jesus is disclosing a prophecy. The wording of the prophecy foretells of the greatest calamity that would befall upon Israel (that which they held as their most sacred connection to Yahweh God); yet, it does not explicitly or implicitly demonstrates that Jesus Commands that the Temple be destroyed.
The problem with that premise is that God would be held accountable if not hostage to every human whim and frailty… even Satan would have full access to Heaven since all he would have to claim is something to the effect of: “Why, God, you know everything, so why did you let me sin by performing several coups? Why didn’t you stop it from ever happening or even before nursing its desires in my mind?”
My thinking is way out of the box on the destruction of the Temple. Take it or leave it:
Judaism was a phase of God’s revelation to mankind that was destined to collapse under its own weight. If Jews had been a ‘race’ of priests, a light for the world, then the ‘world’ would be following its practices today, including the pilgrimages to Jerusalem for animal sacrifice. That would be virtually impossible without international travel of modern standards, etc. (compare that to the Hajj of Islam.)
That is impossible for a world-wide religion, as God intended it to be, to the ‘ends of the earth.’ The circumstances of the Temple destruction hinged on the revolt of Jewish zealots who misunderstood the message of the Old Testament, to the extent of taking circumstances into their own hands, suicidally.
But, I don’t think the historical circumstances are anything but a footnote, regarding the passing of the Old Covenant.
What Catholics believe is that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and he comes to inaugurate a New Covenant in His Blood, for the salvation of many.
I have no comments about God committing a “crime” with respect of this, except to disagree with it. Jesus said our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and Scribes, and so even the Temple had limited and diminishing importance, and it came close to degenerating into various forms of idolatry – worship of money, power, political control, the Temple mount, etc.
Jesus came to dwell in our hearts, and less importantly in a Temple of any fashion.