Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”
They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?”
He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.”
And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”
This is such a classic scene of how Jesus worked with His disciples and still works with us.
Passover was a 7-day festival. Imagine Thanksgiving starting on Wednesday when you’re cooking everything for the following day, but then having everyone over or going to friends’ houses every night from Wednesday to the following Tuesday night! That’s a lot of turkey sandwiches!
We also know from other interactions that the Pharisees are on the lookout for Jesus. He’s got a price on His head and the whole city of Jerusalem is packed with pilgrims, political activists, and natives just trying to celebrate their top holiday of the year.
To “prepare the Passover for us” is a big job. Those disciples have to go get a lamb, have it sacrificed and roasted at the temple, gather up a bunch of wine and other foods, and get it all to a place in time for dinner. But most of them are Galileans. They ain’t from around here. And how many people is Jesus inviting to Passover?
The fun thing here is that there is somebody here that is willing to host “The Teacher” for the Passover, but Peter and John don’t know who the guy is. Jesus either set up this friendship that makes perfect since way before this day, or some kind of miracle happened. I like to think this guy was previously known because it keeps in character with the other events and habits of Jesus.
The puzzling thing is that the host is noticed as a man carrying water. When I was a kid, my parents didn’t subscribe to the newspaper. My grandparents did, and we’d get hand-me-down clippings if a news story was worthy. When something big happened, however, whether I was at my mom’s house or my dad’s, it didn’t matter. I would get sent to the neighborhood newspaper dispenser to buy a paper. Mom was too busy making dinner or resting, Dad was too busy watching TV and drinking beer, so it was my job to go fetch the paper for 35¢ so that we’d have our own copy of it that day.
That’s kind of like what fetching water was like. It was a task for a child or a servant. We can only speculate why this man was out fetching water. Was he a servant because of debt? Was he alone in his house with no children or servants to send for water? And yet, without all of this, he had room in his inn(it’s the same word for the place that had no room for Jesus when He was born) for Jesus and all of His disciples.
Jesus took care of the location and he used this somehow off or dysfunctional man to do it. And He involved the disciples in the hard work of preparation too.
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