…and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled…
Here is another one of those texts that Rapture-Churches think about and reflect upon as they scour the newspapers for signs that this is happening. There is no doubt that some of these may have even their computation tables set up showing that the time of the Gentiles is about to end, this year, maybe next. But is this the real import of this phrase from Luke?
Catholics would look at this text and find the reference to 70 AD and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Roman armies. The more informed of them would know that the gospel writers and other NT writers have used the destruction of Jerusalem as a type of the way human securities are destroyed by God’s Judgment. St. Paul writes in one of his letters that the establishment of Christ’s reign will come in stages where one by one, the principalities and the powers of this world will be destroyed until finally death, the last enemy, is put on its knees. John sees the great nation of Babylon with all its false securities succumbing under the power of God and replaced by a new and resplendent Jerusalem “dressed as a bride.” In all these passages, “Jerusalem” is seen as the place of the Temple, the crowning achievement of human wealth, artistry and power.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said: “All that you see here — the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” (Luke 21:5)
But there is another thread of thought about Jerusalem and the Temple that needs to be sifted out in order that the full impact of Luke’s expression “Jerusalem will be trampled upon…” is understood: Jerusalem, David’s City, is the most important city in the land of Israel because it is Zion, God’s dwelling place — a piece of heaven on earth. The trampling by the Gentiles of this holy place has had precedents before 70 AD — just before the Judaic exile of the 6th c. BC and its desecration during the time of the Maccabees by one of Alexander the Great’s successors. These two events were still alive in the minds of the first century Christians and for them it means only one thing: those who are cut off from Israel’s God will have their heyday. The “time of the Gentiles” is the time of the apparent victory of godlessness over religion and true piety.
When Bishop Capalla bid good-bye to the CBCP he told his fellow bishops to stop meddling in politics and instead to work on the real enemy of religion: secularization. Secularization has been announced years ago as a life-style and a way of thinking that will characterize a humanity that sees itself differently from its predecessors. This “new” humanity will regard itself as totally different from the humanity of the past and proceed to recreate its world according to its own image. It will create a new family system, its own version of religion, … its own world. And it will do so with the gadgets it makes with its own hands. Secularization is NOT atheism, because it will have its own god. It is not an institution, not a philosophy that some professor has cooked up .. it is a ZeitGeist that characterizes the post-WorldWar I and II era. It is impersonal. It is a virus. It is the spirit of the time of the Gentiles come to trample Jerusalem underfoot.
Originally posted 2005-11-24 20:55:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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