Biblical Significance of Jesus at the Mount of Olives

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated January 9, 2023.

The garden of Gethsemane with the city of Jerusalem in the background

The Mount of Olives was one of Jesus's favorite places to pray; however, it was so much more than that. We associate the Mount of Olives with Jesus due to how many events of importance occur here involving Him; it is known as the "place of suffering and glory of the Messiah.” We explore the powerful stories behind the Olivet discourse.

The Mount of Olives

Situated in Jerusalem, east of the Old City, and separated from the Eastern Hill by the Kidron Valley, the Mount of Olives encompasses three peaks (although it is more of a hill than a mountain). Also known as the Mount of Anointment (for the olive oil used in sacred anointing), it gives way to a beautiful garden of olive trees, known as the Garden of Gethsemane in the Bible. This is where Jesus and the disciples prayed the day before the crucifixion. It was one of His favorite places to pray, the place where He made several important prophecies, and the place where he ascended to heaven (Acts 1:11).

Some Christians believe that this is where He will one day return for His second coming. These factors, along with other biblical events there, make the Mount of Olives a very special and unique place.

Visiting This Sacred Location Today

The mountain and the garden can be visited today; one can visit the memorial church Gethsemane and can even see trees that were around when Jesus walked here.

Biblical Events That Occurred at the Mount of Olives


The Mount of Olives was a very significant place in terms of prophecies. The glorious entry that was prophesized in the Old Testament came true here (Psalm 118:22, 25-26, Daniel 9:25, Zechariah 9:9, 16, and Matthew 21)—He came down the mountain on Palm Sunday, while crying over the city’s future destruction (Luke 19:29-44). The Old Testament proclaimed that He would be betrayed here, as He was. Several other prophecies linked to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane in the Bible illustrate the sacred importance of this place.

The Three Visits to the Mount of Olives

During the week before the crucifixion, Jesus visited the Mount of Olives three times.

Luke 19:28-39 tells us about the first visit; as he neared the Temple Mount, the Jewish crowds cried out:

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! —Luke 19: 38

The Second Coming

One of the most significant prophecies involving the Mount of Olives relates to the Second Coming. It was here that Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 24-25. As well as this, on His second visit, the disciples were able to talk to Jesus about the end of days, and Mark 13:1-37, and Luke 21:5-36 provide us with clear details, including a powerful image in which Jesus splits the Mount of Olives.

Christ returned the last time to the Mount of Olives to pray on the day before his arrest. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sweats blood: “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Perhaps, a prophecy in itself. He was comforted there by an angel.

The Mount of Olives as a Safe Place for Children

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. —Mark 10:13-16

King David and Jesus

Events in the lives of King David and Jesus seemed somewhat of a mirror, and within this mirror, the Mount of Olives is inextricably intertwined. David traveled to the sacred mountain just as our Lord did and was betrayed by a friend (2 Samuel 15:31; Luke 22:47-48) who would later commit suicide by hanging himself (2 Samuel 17:23; Matthew 27:5). God's grace was evident in both events.

The Mount of Olives Is a Beacon of Hope

The mountain, with its enthralling garden, incredible views, and proximity to the Temple Mount, has always been a precious, holy, and important place where phenomenal events have occurred. The beautiful connections between Jesus and His disciples, His triumphant re-entry into Jerusalem, and Jesus' ascension have imbued this destination with the other-worldly wonder of God.

The possibility of Jesus' Second Coming, back to this enthralling spot, can only fill us with hope; in the meantime, the solid and very tangible earth lies under our feet as a constant reminder of a glorious eternity with Him.