6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Judges 1:1–2:9
Luke 21:29–22:13
Psalms 90:1–91:16
Proverbs 13:24-25

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Luke 21:37-38 (CSB): “During the day, he was teaching in the temple, but in the evening he would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear him in the temple.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

If you have followed my blog for the past year, you know that I have posted pictures and videos periodically from my wife’s and my trip to Israel last summer. I have read many of the stories in the Bible and thought that I could imagine what it looked like. But when I actually walked in the places where some of the stories took place, I discovered that I could better visualize what it might have looked like.

So, let’s begin with what it currently looks like where our Verses for Today took place. Then, we will consider what Jesus was doing there.

Luke 21:37-38 (CSB): “During the day, he was teaching in the temple, but in the evening he would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear him in the temple.”

So, we are told in these verses that Jesus “was teaching in the temple.” I have written about the location of the 1st century temple that Jesus frequently visited when he was in Jerusalem. But, I have written that the location may have been misidentified. If you want to read my thoughts, some Bible verses, and view some pictures and videos, click here.

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This is a model of what the first century Jerusalem may have looked like. The “City of David” is the raised area in the center to bottom of the picture.

After Jesus left the temple area, He spent “the night on what is called the Mount of Olives.” If you want to read some of my reflections, as well as Bible passages, pictures, and videos that I took on our trip to the Mount of Olives, click here.

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An olive tree in the area thought to be near where Jesus visited (the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives).

So, why was Jesus on the Mount of Olives? Read our Verses for Today again.

Luke 21:37-38 (CSB): “During the day, he was teaching in the temple, but in the evening he would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives. Then all the people would come early in the morning to hear him in the temple.”

Jesus was teaching in the temple during the day and then would retire to the Mount of Olives (where the Garden of Gethsemane was located).

He didn’t simply visit the Mount of Olives. He “would go out and spend the night on what is called the Mount of Olives.” He slept there!

Two verses come to mind when I read those previous words.

First, it reminds us that Jesus often slept outside, under the stars. When He was in Galilee, there were times that He stayed at Peter’s house in Capernaum. But, I suspect he slept outside most of the time.

Luke 9:58 (CSB): “Jesus told him, ‘Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'”

Second, it reminds us that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray the night He was betrayed. But, the language that Luke uses leads us to believe that Jesus may have frequently gone to the Mount of Olives (to visit the Garden of Gethsemane) to pray.

Luke 22:39-41 (CSB): “He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he told them, ‘Pray that you may not fall into temptation.’ Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray,”

Have you ever noticed that Jesus loved praying in nature? Whether it was in the Garden of Gethsemane or on a mountain (Luke 6:12) or a deserted place (Mark 1:35), Jesus loved speaking with God when He was surrounded by nature.

I would encourage you to consider the joys to be found in following Jesus’ example by praying in God’s creation.

Psalm 19:1 (CSB): “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.”

Why not plan to go for a hike, or go to the beach, or the park, or sit outside tonight under the stars, and pray. Don’t close your eyes. Keep your eyes open and speak with your God. If you are looking into the night sky, let yourself feel utterly small and let that affect how you humbly and gratefully come into God’s presence.