Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Nice Afternoon on the Mount of Olives

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Here I am, sitting on the Mount of Olives, across from the temple, just like Christ and his disciples were 2,000 years ago.

Note that the teachings of both Matthew 24 and Matthew 25 both likely took place here, or somewhere very close to here.

37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

From Jerome Murphy O’Conner:

“Jesus’ familiarity with the Mount of Olives stemmed from the factthat, when in the Jerusalem area, he stayed with his friends at Bethany (Luke 10: 38; Mark 11: 11). At pilgrimage time the population of Jerusalem tripled. The cost of lodging within the city became exorbitant and the poor had to make arrangements in the surrounding villages.Thus each day he walked over the hill to the city and returned at nightfall(Luke 21: 37). The lie of the land permits only one route if the traveller wants to avoid climbing in and out of wadis: from Gethsemane straight up the hill to et-Tur and along the ridge to Bethphage (roughly the modern road), then along another ridge to Bethany. One evening,seated on the slope opposite the Temple, Jesus spoke to his disciples of the future of the city (Mark 13: 3) whose lack of faith had driven him to tears (Luke 19: 37, 41–4). At the bottom of the slope is the garden of Gethsemane where he was arrested a few days later (Mark 14: 26–52). Luke locates the Ascension on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:6–12).”

A beautiful picture inside the church:


37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

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