The Olivet Discourse got its name because the majority of it occurs on the Mount of Olives to the east of the temple. But that is not where the Olivet Discourse begins. It begins in the temple with Jesus teaching the multitudes. And he begins by pronouncing eight woes or curses upon the scribes and Pharisees (Mat 23.1-23). Those eight woes answer the eight blessings of the Beatitudes that Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount with. So the Olivet Discourse really answers the Sermon on the Mount, and both echo Deuteronomy. God instructed the people, when they entered the land, to stand on two facing mountains and pronounce back and forth the blessings and the curses of the covenant (Deut 11.29). That is a picture of what the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse do. Jesus opens the Sermon on the Mount by pronouncing blessings, and blessing is the emphasis of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus opens the Olivet Discourse by pronouncing curses, and judgment is the emphasis of the Olivet Discourse. What connects them is the theme that the blessed are those who place their trust in Jesus and keep his word—they will be blessed, even though they are going to be persecuted for Jesus sake—and the cursed are those who reject Jesus and his word, even though it may seem for a while like they are blessed. The first shall be last, and the last first. The pivot point is the closing of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus refers to two houses, one built on stone and one built on sand—one built on Jesus’ words and one built on any other word—and Jesus says that the house he is building (the church) is going to stand through a great storm, and the house that rejects his word (Christless Judaism) is going to fall.Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:14 — 42.9MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS
Click the play button to listen to 'Your House Is Left to You Desolate' by Alan Burrow.