Promise of answered prayer and peace
|23And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Mount of Olives
The mountainous ridge called the Mount of Olives stretches totay from the Hebrew University Mount Scopus campus in the north to the Jewish cemetery and beyond, to the village of Silwan in the south. Between these two ends of the mountain are the olive trees from which the mountain takes its name. The area at the bottom of the mountain would have been the place for the olive gardens and an olive press, “Gat shemen” in Hebrew, from which the name “Gethsemane” comes.
The gospels record on more than one occasion Jesus’ sorrow for Jerusalem as he made his way down the slopes of the Mount of Olives. It was a path he would have known from childhood from His many visits to Jerusalem.
Down the road from Bethphage He came riding on a donkey colt with palm branches symbolic of Judaea strewn along the way. “Hosanna!” (“save now!”) was the cry upon the lips of the people (Matthew 21:1-9). This prayer from Psalm 118:25 was a request for salvation. Yet Jesus knew that these cries would be changed within a week to “Crucify him!” He wept again for Jerusalem, for He knew what would befall the people in less than one generation as the city would be besieged and taken.
The Upper room, or Cenacle, commemorates the place where the last Supper was eaten and Holy Communion was instituted. The Gospels tell us nothing of the location of the house, but there is good indication it would have been on the western hill where a wealthy man would have had an upper room on his house. Archaeological excavations in the Jewish quarter show that there were large houses in this area during the time of Christ.
There is a possibility that this is indeed the correct location of the Upper Room. A church was built on this site soon after the death of Jesus. It must have survived the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Bishop Epiphanius wrote of how Emperor Hadrian made an inspection tour of Jerusalem in 130 A.D. and found “everything razed except for a few houses and a certain small church of the Christians which stood on Mount Zion in the place where the disciples returned after the ascension”. This church was destroyed and rebuilt many times over the following centuries before being handed over to the Franciscans who restored the room giving it its present Gothic appearance (14th century).