The Teachings of Christ Incarnate Part 2: The Olivet Discourse -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 109:433 (Jan 1952)
Article: The Teachings of Christ Incarnate Part 2: The Olivet Discourse
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

The Teachings of Christ Incarnate
Part 2: The Olivet Discourse

Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the October-December Number, 1951)

2. The Olivet Discourse. The second major discourse delivered by Christ was spoken but two days before His crucifixion. This limit of time is clearly indicated by the words which follow immediately after the address, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Matt 26:1–2). This discourse, like that known as the Sermon on the Mount, is addressed to Israel. Christ’s lament over Jerusalem is the divinely arranged introduction to it. That lament is recorded thus, “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” (Matt 23:37–39). This portion, in turn, has been preceded by drastic condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt 23:1–36). As in the Sermon on the Mount, this major address is given to the disciples “privately,” and these twelve are here treated as Jews and as representatives of that nation. They are spoken to as though they, like all Jews before them, would share in the events described in this discourse. The address is of the nature of a farewell to the nation Israel. Its purpose is not to condemn that people nor to instruct those then living, beyond the preparation of writers who would prepare the New Testament text, but to

instruct those who live in the end time—with which it deals—when these disclosures and instructions will apply. It is reasonable to believe that God who provided these teachings will bring them to the attention of those, in their day of trial, to whom they belong. Jews in the tribulation will profit exceedingly by these words, and recognize them as the words of their Messiah-King. The King speaks, but quite without the use of the first person pronoun. He rather uses the third person form and refers to Himself as “the Christ, the bridegroom, the Son of man, and the king.” Few portions of the New Testament place recorded events in a more complete chronological order than this address. This fact is an essential truth which determines much in the right interpretation. That which ...

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