Destroy this temple (lusate ton naon touton). First aorist active imperative of luw, to loosen or destroy. It is the permissive imperative, not a command to do it. Note also nao, not ieron, the sanctuary, symbol of God's nao, in our hearts ( 1 Corinthians 3:16 ). There is much confusion about this language since Jesus added: "And in three days I will raise it up" (kai en trisin hmerai egerw auton). Those who heard Jesus, including the disciples till after the resurrection (verse 1 Corinthians 22 ), understood the reference to be to Herod's temple. Certainly that is the obvious way to take it. But Jesus often spoke in parables and even in enigmas. He may have spoken of the literal temple as a parable for his own body which of course they would not understand, least of all the resurrection in three days.