Because we read about the Last Supper during Lent and we focus on Jesus’ last actions with his disciples and then His passion and death I always think about this element of the story, but no one ever talks about it.
Have you ever thought about the man who was preparing the upper room for the Passover?
Here’s the story:
Mark 14: 12-16 Preparations for the Passover. 12d On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb,* his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water.* Follow him. 14Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
Luke 22: 7-13 Preparations for the Passover.e 7When the day of the feast of Unleavened Bread arrived, the day for sacrificing the Passover lamb,f 8he sent out Peter and John, instructing them, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9They asked him, “Where do you want us to make the preparations?” 10And he answered them, “When you go into the city, a man will meet you carrying a jar of water.* Follow him into the house that he enters 11and say to the master of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’12He will show you a large upper room that is furnished. Make the preparations there.” 13Then they went off and found everything exactly as he had told them, and there they prepared the Passover.g
I think it so easy to overlook this figure in the story because Jesus tells his disciples exactly what they will find and then they go and find everything is just as Jesus says it would be. We think it obvious – Jesus says it will be and so it is.
But think for a minute about the man who was preparing his house and a feast for 13 people but he hadn’t actually invited anyone over to house to celebrate the Passover. (For if he had wouldn’t 13 people have shown up and wondered what all these other people were doing enjoying their meal?) Until Jesus’ disciples showed up and asked the master of the house what Jesus told them to ask him the master of the house was doing all the preparations in trust.
Doing in trust that whatever he was told and however he was told it would actually happen. “Go. Prepare your upper room. Prepare to host a Passover meal. Send your servant to the well to draw water.” However this came to be made clear to him he went ahead and just followed. It takes time to ready a room, to prepare a meal. Preparation work had to have been in place before Jesus commanded his disciples to go and find the person carrying the jar of water – the servant was returning from his trip, task already completed, when the disciples came upon him.
What trust! Do I have that trust to follow where called to go? How many times has God asked me to do something and because I got in the way I didn’t do His will and instead did my own? How did that affect His plans?
If this person did not say ‘Yes’ to God and do what God asked him to do when He asked him to do it then where would the Last Supper have taken place? But because this person heard the Lord, listened, trusted, and followed we think nothing of him. He is a background character in Jesus’ passion and death. God is great and all we do should be to glorify Him, and this master of the house knew it and trusted and so he quietly and almost invisibly fulfilled his role in God’s plan.
Am I listening to God well enough to do for Him in trust? Am I willing to be invisible to others in order that God may be glorified through my actions?