Today was all about walking in the footsteps of Jesus and seeing what he saw. Firstly we visited the Mount of Olives. If we think about Jesus coming up to Jerusalem three times a year from childhood it is very likely that He would have known this mountain very well.
Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples in this location. In Matthew 24 the disciples asked Jesus about the end of the age, when it would come and what the signs would be. Jesus replied “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. All these things are he beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
When Jesus was sharing these words with the disciples and helping them to understand what would come at the end he was actually referring to what the prophet Zechariah had spoken of in Chapter 14 of Zechariah. In this chapter the end is described and the return of the Lord Jesus, when His feet would stand on the Mount of Olives, which would then be split in two.
The coming of the Lord is going to be something that the entire world will experience. Standing here in Jerusalem causes us to be expectant of our Lord’s coming. All of us as believers look forward to that day when he shall return. We thank the Lord for helping us in Matthew 24 so that we would not be fooled by false messiahs.
Boldness Because of Who we Serve
From the Mount of Olives we then went to the House of Caiaphas the High Priest at St Peter at Galicantu (meaning the cock crowed). We stood on a beautiful path surrounded by poppies and other bright flowers. Rev Taylor and Pamela then recounted when Peter denied Jesus three times. Typically we would focus on Peter, however to continue our theme of women in the bible we concentrated on the maids to which he maid the denials.
It was fascinating to consider these maids and their significant role in Peter’s denial of Christ. Even though they were servants, they were bold, persistent and accusatory towards Peter. Noting his reticence, they could sense that he was unwilling to communicate his knowledge of Jesus but boldly they demanded that he confess. It was unusual for a female servant to be so brazen and particularly towards a man. However knowing that they were in Caiaphas’ camp and that Peter was on the “enemy’s” this gave them a boldness.
How much more bold should we be? We are on the Lord’s side. We are on the side of the King of heaven and earth.
In the afternoon we went to the Jaffa gate and reflected on the Passion of Christ, his innocence and faithfulness to the end. In addition we looked at the faithfulness of the women who followed Jesus all the way to the cross. Verse 55 and 56 of Matt 27 says “And many women were there afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses and the mother of Zebedee’s children”.
These women were in the background being faithful and Jesus noticed. We then asked ourselves are we always trying to be seen or are we happy to be in the background coming forward when called by Jesus? It is better that Jesus be the one to bring us forward.
We also considered the women who were following Jesus to the cross, with lamenting and mourning in Luke 23:27. They were possibly professional mourners or followers. Despite being physically exhausted and wounded, Jesus said to them “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs of those that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck..” What did these women think of this saying? Did they hear of his resurrection?
Jesus loved women and it is easy to see why they were devoted to him. Even when he was wounded and in severe pain, he wanted to make sure that his mother was taken care of and so he desired John to consider Mary as his own mother and John as her own son. Jesus showed love to the very end.
We then walked through Jerusalem moving from the Muslim quarter to the Jewish one. We visited the Temple institute where we learned about the Jewish hope and preparations for the third Temple to be built. Reader, pray that the Jewish people realise that they are the temple and that God wants to live in them.
We have one more full day in Israel so Shalom Alechem (Peace to you)