My co-leader led the bible study this A.M. He put a slightly different spin on the passage than I would have, but he added a couple of things that got my attention.
John 18:1 GNB After Jesus had said this prayer, he left with his disciples and went across Kidron Brook. There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and his disciples went in. John 18:2 CEV Jesus had often met there with his disciples, and Judas knew where the place was.
2Samuel 15:30And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went.
David, the man after God’s own heart, was accustomed to going to the Mount.
Zechariah 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
Zechariah prophesied of his physical return to the earth, to make things right in the last days.
Matthew 24:3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
This was their quiet place. Oh yes, he was very familiar with this place.
It seems I did not realize the depth of two simple verses. But then that may be part of our problem; we seem to think that everything is just a simple, meaningless verse. One of the ways you shake that kind of thinking is to realize that this bible you hold is a Jewish book. Yes, the appeal tends to change with Mark’s gospel and then Paul’s writings, but overall it speaks deeply to the Jewish heart. Having at least a minimal understanding of the Jewish heart can help.
My co-leader had done a bit of reading on the brook Kidron, and said some things I have never heard before. I looked at some of my commentaries and found this:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
“I detain the Reader at the very entrance on this Chapter, in order to beg his attention to what the Sacred Writer hath said of this brook Cedron, or Kidron. It is evidently the same as that mentioned, 2Sa_15:23. And as David, in passing over this brook in his distresses, was clearly a type of Christ, it merits our attention the more. Some have thought that the name of Cedron, or Kidron, which signified black, was given to it because it lay in a dark valley. And others conclude, that its name was taken from the black and foul waters which ran into it from the temple sacrifices. In either sense, the gloominess of it, and the filth of it, rendered it loathsome. And if, as is supposed, the prophetic Psalm concerning Christ had an eye to this brook when it is said, that he should drink of the brook in the way; Psa_110:7. it may serve to lead the mind to some very solemn and interesting reflections. Here it was that the good king Josiah caused the polluted vessels of the temple to be burnt. 2Ki_23:4. And all the uncleanness found in the house of the Lord in Hezekiah’s reign, was carried here. 2Ch_29:16. Jesus passing over it, and drinking of the brook in his way, may not unaptly be supposed to represent the filth and blackness of sin, in which Christ as our representative appeared. And his drinking of it might be supposed to refer to the cup of trembling, which, as the Church’s Surety he drank to the very dregs, that his people might drink the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Isa_51:22; Psa_116:13.”
Poor Man’s Commentary, by Robert Hawker
This all makes so much sense to me now considering what was about to befall Jesus.
- Day 2: Mount of Olives (apekrithe.com)
- Mount of Olives (akchenoweth.org)
- Saturday, June 8th: Mount of Olives, Kidron Valley, and Garden of Gethsemane (hendersonsaram.wordpress.com)
- Israel 2013, Day 4 – Down The Mount of Olives and Up the Kidron (readingacts.wordpress.com)
- Implications of Christ’s Second Coming (chinesechurchstudies.wordpress.com)
- The Day of the Lord (thepassionists.org)