17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”‘ ” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
The first day of unleavened bread was the first of seven days that also encapsulated the Passover tradition observed from the 14th to the 21st day of the Jewish month of April (their calendar is a little different than ours, which is why Passover seems to fall on a different day every year). On this day, observing Jews were to remove all leaven from their house and slay a lamb for the evening meal. This all was in remembrance of fleeing Egyptian captivity. The 7-day observation of unleavened bread is to commemorate fleeing so hastily that they did not have time to leaven their bread. The Passover celebration was to remember the day the Lord saved them by the covering of lamb’s blood as death passed through the streets of Egypt killing each family’s first born. But that’s not the weird part!
In Mark 14 we get a little more detail of how they found this house:
13 And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 15 “And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
How many of us would have gone into the city to find a guy carrying a pitcher of water and say, “Hey, we are going to eat at your house tonight. Show us where you live and the prepared room for us to eat in.” Or better yet, how many of us could be approached in this way and accept it? The disciples were obedient to Christ and they did what He asked. The owner of the house (and his slave, for that matter) we sensitive to God’s will. Jesus clearly was as He knew what to tell His disciples to find and knew exactly how things would be. He had been in communication with the Father.
There are two things that have become the core to my prayer life:
“Let me hear Your voice”
“Give me the courage to follow it.”
We can see in this instance that Jesus knows what is going on but He asks His disciples to carry it out. They could have scoffed at Jesus for being so ridiculous. “Seriously, you want us to go find a guy with a water pitcher and tell him we are eating at his house?” Culturally this might not have been as a big of a deal as it is in our culture today, but Jesus wasn’t just being presumptuous or thinking they could get in just on His “good name”. The Father had told Jesus where to go and how to find the place. God had also been working in that house preparing them for the arrival of Jesus.
I struggle with these little nuances of the Holy Spirit urging me to do things out of the ordinary. I’m afraid I ignore them more than I am obedient to them. Just think, if His disciples weren’t obedient, then where would the Last Supper have taken place? It is the final important meeting Jesus had with His men before all of the craziness started. Our faith traditions rely heavily upon that night and what was said and done. Many times we ask “what if” we had. This time we can ponder “what if” they hadn’t. Our recognition of God’s voice and obedience to it is the key to our growing relationship with Him and our walking in His Kingdom. If we would only trust Him…
Here’s a cool track from a band we know about how great our lives could be if we trusted God better: