Christians are excited about visiting Bethphage when they realize that this location on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives is where the Palm Sunday Walk actually began, and that it is only a short walk from the main Mount of Olives road.
It was from Bethphage, now marked by two small churches, that the disciples brought the donkey on which Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29). Bethphage means “house of the unripe fig,” recalling that here Jesus also cursed a fig tree with leaves and no fruit (Mark 11:12).
The centerpiece of Bethphage’s Franciscan chapel is a large stone with the inscription “Bethphage," and colorful medieval paintings depicting the triumphal entry and the resurrection of Lazarus in nearby Bethany.
The Greek Orthodox Church courtyard just up the hill has a lovely view and a comfortable place to sit for outdoor prayer and Bible study.