Jerusalem held deep cultural and religious significance for the Jewish people. Many of their great leaders?David, Solomon, Hezekiah?reigned in Jerusalem during the days of Israel?s glory. It was a place of kings and power, a symbol of the Jewish nation.
Jerusalem was also home to the Temple, a place representing God's presence among his people. In Jerusalem, King David made plans for the Temple, King Solomon built it, and Nehemiah rebuilt it after the Jewish captivity. Thousands of pilgrims traveled to the city each year so that they could worship God at the Temple.
In Jesus' day, the city still bustled with Jewish culture and religion. Herod the Great had expanded and rebuilt a magnificent Temple, and the city had grown significantly in size since the days of King David.
Click here to see a diagram of Jerusalem in detail
Click here to see a diagram of Jerusalem during David and Solomon's time
Six primary districts existed in Jerusalem during Jesus? ministry: David?s City, Lower City, Upper City, the Business District, the Temple Mount, and a New City area that was growing beyond Jerusalem?s walls. Jesus likely visited each of these areas at some point during his life.
Jerusalem was the place where Jesus lived out the final moments of his life, bringing his life-transforming message to every corner of the city. And as the disciples followed their rabbi through his last days, Jerusalem became the place where they saw his message fulfilled?and where they began their own ministry to every corner of the world.