Luke 21 verses 37, 38. “Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.”
This chapter closes with a reminder to us where Jesus spent the last few days and nights before his crucifixion. During the day he was engaged in teaching in the temple (22 v 53). This also reminds us of the special relationship Jesus had to his Father’s house, the temple.
We should all remember that God intended the temple to be a place where his word would be taught TO ALL NATIONS (Mark 11 v 17). The whole idea of the temple was to be a place of welcome, enlightenment, teaching, conversion to all who would come regardless of whether they were Jews or not. But this had all been turned on its head by the Jewish nation sinking into a ritualistic, formal and exclusive religion, not in any way reflecting the welcome the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, intended for all the spiritually lost and hungry.
It was in this place that Jesus taught all through the day and we can only imagine what he said and wish we had a record of it. But at night he had to leave the temple. During the day he was protected by the crowds who gathered to hear him, but at night the temple police could easily arrest him and spirit him away. Thus he went to the Mount of Olives at night to “spend the night” (v 37) . Verse 37 translates a Greek verb used by Luke to mean “to camp out”, or it could also mean that he lodged there with some friends, for there were clusters of homes there, in those days. How blessed those people, if it were so, who gave the Messiah shelter, so close to his crucifixion.
There were thousands of people descending on Jerusalem in preparation for the Passover therefore the Jewish leaders did not dare to arrest him during the day, because they were afraid of the people (Luke 22 v 2). Many of these people wanted to hear Jesus which added to the frustration of his enemies.
All this is to remind us that the crucifixion would take place according to God’s timetable, not mans’. And furthermore we should note that notwithstanding his pending death, our Lord went on busily doing the work his Father gave him, thinking not about himself, but rather those people he had come to save. He acts as a merciful high priest in service to God. But instead of offering up a lamb as a Passover sacrifice, He Himself would become the Passover lamb for us all.