As you tour Jerusalem, it is easy to see the fingerprints of King Herod everywhere. King Herod was a terrible man. He would stop at nothing to strengthen his political position. And, just a fleeting glance at the other members of the Herodian Dynasty shows that he taught his wicked ways well to his family. But, he was also a builder. And, not just an ordinary builder. He built structures that have literally stood the test of time. The picture at the top of this blog is of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. King Herod and the people under his oversight built this wall nearly 2000 years ago. And yet, it still stands.
But take a closer look. See those fine etchings around the borders of many of the stones? King Herod had those etchings cut as well. It wasn't enough for King Herod to just build a wall. He had to make it look nice as well. And, when you look at this, it is hard not to be impressed. Even Jesus' own apostles were impressed:
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” - Mark 13:1
But, Jesus was quick to bring them back down to earth. He responded by saying:
And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” - Mark 13:2
And, of course Jesus was right. In 70AD, the temple and most of Jerusalem was destroyed.
The apostles were so in awe of the physical structures that King Herod had built, they forgot what a terrible man he was. They forgot that King Herod had once ordered all babies of an entire city killed in hopes that one of those babies would have been the man that they were currently talking to.
I can relate to the apostles. Often, I found myself dazzled by an actor's performance in a movie, or a sportsman's performance on the field of play and I forget that they are often not very good people.
I need to always remember to keep looking at Jesus and be in awe of everything He has done.