Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.” 9 They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?” 10 “Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.” 13 So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
The disciples were living by faith as they followed Jesus day by day. While he had tried to tell them that the end was coming, they didn’t seem to comprehend what it was that he was saying to them. It was time for the Passover and before Jesus would become the sacrificial lamb, Jesus and his disciples would celebrate together. The symbolism of that night would ring out in history and so Jesus made provision for all of the details. They would need a space where they could gather and have this celebration together.
Peter and John were instructed to go and make preparations for the meal. Interestingly, they didn’t just take off and try to figure things out for themselves. Immediately they asked for Jesus’ instruction and it’s in Jesus’ response that we know that he had already worked out the details. They were to go to the city and follow a man carrying a jar of water. This was unusual because women were the ones who hauled water, not the men. It appears that this was a prearranged signal, because Jesus had already made provision. All the disciples needed to do was believe that Jesus had already taken care of the details and follow through on his instruction. All the provision had already been made.
The disciples' response in this situation becomes a template for us as modern-day followers of Christ. We are given our specific assignment by our Lord which is not the same as anyone else’s, but allows us to play our particular role in the kingdom. Peter and John were to go and prepare the passover meal. At this point in the story I have to confess that I probably would have responded differently. I like to think that I’m a “can do” person and if God gives me a task, I jump to it, but I may have missed turning around and asking the Lord for direction. Peter and John’s question of Jesus, “where do you want us to make preparations for it?” teaches me a great deal about what they had learned about being a disciple, and what discipleship ought to mean for me.
After spending much time with Jesus they had learned that Jesus always made provision. In some of the earlier stories of the disciples they try to figure things out on their own and get frustrated that Jesus would even ask them to do such a thing. By now they’ve learned that whenever Jesus asks them to do something, the first thing they do is go back to Jesus and ask him how they’re supposed to do it. They have come to realize that Jesus already knows how it’s supposed to work and they don’t have to figure it out on their own. They were to walk in obedience and so are we.
The man carrying the water jar becomes a visible sign of Jesus’ provision. Every detail had already been cared for and they didn’t need to worry. If we will listen and be obedient to the Lord, we will discover the markers along the way as well. We will have our own signs of promise that this is the way and we are to walk in it for the provision that has already been made.
In the meantime there is no need to worry or fear. Learning to stop and ask the Lord for direction before acting becomes empowering. Becoming dependent upon the Lord's leadership will bring great peace.
Lord, please help me to stop and ask the question. Amen.