As the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem began there were mixed emotions evident among the people. Ezra 3:10-13 describes this. As the foundation was laid there was a time of praise and thanksgiving, singing to the Lord, “He is good; his love to Israel endures forever.”
As this was taking place “many of the older priest and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise.”
Reading between the lines, the older people remembered the glory days. This was better than being in exile, but it’s not what it used to be. The young weren’t there in the glory days. For them this was great. They were excited and shouted for joy.
During Jesus’ ministry many said, “This is not like the way we’ve always done it.” They were critical of almost everything Jesus did. He reminded them that there was a need for using new wine skins.
For the old timers, looking at the foundation of the new temple being built, they were convinced it would never match the glory of Solomon’s temple. For the young, this was the first temple they ever saw, and they were excited about what God was doing. The cacophony of shouting for joy and of weeping illustrates that often we are looking at the wrong thing.
From God’s perspective, this was the temple in which Jesus was going to be circumcised and minister. That’s what is important! Do you see that?