These next two chapters have long been sources of great controversy within the church.  Admittedly, there are great difficulties which have given rise to various and sundry opinions, and are not easy to solve to every person’s satisfaction.  I will make no attempt to resolve the points of controversy, but only to point out what I believe to be some of the keys of interpretation, to offer my own opinion here and there (without being completely dogmatic), and by God’s grace lifting some helpful applications from the text.

The beginning scene of this act has the disciples showing off the grandeur of the temple to the Lord Jesus.  But their Master, rather than falling in with their fawning, solemnly prophesies that the time is coming when there will not be one stone of that magnificent edifice left upon another.  This was fulfilled in grim detail by the armies of Titus Vespasian, who history tells us pulled the stones of the temple apart to retrieve the melted gold which had filtered into the crevasses.