The Temple was certainly impressive, the first temple was built by King Solomon. However this is not the temple that the disciple refers to. That temple was destroyed by the Babylonians when they conquered Israel and took the people into exile. The temple was rebuilt about a century later and we read about that in the book of Ezra. That is the temple that the disciple is referring to and that temple had been refurbished by Herod The Great about 30 years before Jesus was born. There is little left today of the Temple, or the platform on which it was built. But there is enough to still be impressed by it’s size and scale.
The Temple impressed this disciple – what impresses you? Maybe it is a wonderful building, maybe a wonder of engineering or the solution to an academic problem. It may be art or sculpture or sporting success.
Jesus’ response to this comment about the impressive nature of the temple was that it would be destroyed with not one stone left upon another. That prophecy came true in 70AD when then temple was once again destroyed by the Romans.
As I thought about that I started to think about the way that we can sometimes be taken in by the impressive nature of things in the world around us. It may be in bricks and mortar, or in the size of a bank balance or in the possessions we own. We can come to trust and rely on these things, not knowing that they can be removed in moments. If we come to trust and rely on these things we have a false hope and a false trust because all of these things can be gone in a moment.
Instead our trust our hope and our reliance is on God who can always be trusted.