In the First Century BC, Herod the Great expanded the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to the size that it is today. He moved thousands of cubic meters of dirt and surrounded the area with walls consisting of huge stones. Once the Temple Mount was complete, he renovated the temple itself so that it dominated the skyline of the city. From nearly anywhere in the city of Jerusalem, you can look up and see the temple. At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, they have a fantastic model of Jerusalem from the Second Temple period. This model is rather large and takes a few minutes just to walk around it. Of course, we don't know exactly what everything looked like, but we have a pretty good idea based on archaeology and the writings of the time. I have included a picture of the Temple Mount area from the model. As you can tell, the majesty of the temple, especially in relation to the rest of the city, could not be denied.
In Mark 13, Jesus and the apostles were in Jerusalem and were discussing the grandeur of the city.
Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” - Mark 13:1,2
The second picture is a picture that I took last September. It is of a First Century street that ran north to south, just below the southwest corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Between the street and the wall, you will notice huge piles of boulders. These boulders are the stones that were thrown off by the Romans when they destroyed the temple in 70AD.
Jesus used the stones which made up the temple as a reminder to the disciples not to be swept up and founded in the things of this world. Interestingly, 2000 years later, I use these same stones to remind myself that the promises of Jesus come true.