24 Question 3

The Olivet Discourse simply refers to the words of the Lord in Matthew, chapters 24 and 25.  A discourse is just another word for a speech or a sermon.  It is called the Olivet Discourse because it was given on the Mount of Olives as we read in Matthew 24:3, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”  The Olivet Discourse can also be found in Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36.  Matthew goes into more detail that Mark and Luke and is often the portion referred to when speaking of the Olivet Discourse.

In Matthew, chapter 23, the Lord, addressing the hypocrisy and unbelief of the scribes and Pharisees, seven times says unto them, “Woe unto you.”  At the end of Matthew 23, the Lord pronounces judgment on the nation of Israel.  He says in Matthew 23:37-39, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

In Matthew 24:1, the Lord leaves the temple where he was speaking.  In verse 2, we read, “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  Then, in verse 3, the disciples ask the Lord, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”  So, the Olivet Discourse is given in response to the disciples’ questions concerning the future judgment of the nation of Israel.  The discourse deals with the tribulation period and the judgment of the nations before the 1000 year reign of the Lord begins, where as we read in Isaiah 32:1, “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.”