Did You Know? – From “The Last Week,” Borg and Crossan
• There are similarities to the preparation for Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem to preparing for the Passover meal later in the week.
• In both accounts, two disciples are told by Jesus to go into the city on a mission. In the first, they are to find a colt and publicly borrow it. Later the instructions will be much more cloaked in secrecy.
• While Jesus’ arrival on Sunday is very public. The Last Supper is in darkness with only the disciples.
Mark 14:12-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Passover with the Disciples
• 12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Prepare for us there.” 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
We are rapidly coming to the end of the life of Jesus. These last days will continue to be filled with prophecy by Jesus that also reminds us of the prophecy in the Old Testament Book of Daniel 7. In addition, the Gospel of Mark is written during a time of torture and suffering of his followers, several decades after his death. Mark brings hope in the midst of violence and fear.
If we have read a Bible text many times, it is easy to pass over quickly words we don’t give a second thought to. As I reflect on Jesus’ instructions to the two disciples preparing for the last meal with Jesus, I wonder about the mysterious man carrying a jar of water. Jesus tells the disciples to follow the man and wherever he enters speak to the owner of the house who will show them a large and furnished room. Where does this man come from? Who is the owner of the house? Why does Jesus need the intrigue?
We can speculate the secrecy was to keep Judas from knowing Jesus’ plans for the night. Jesus wanted that last meal with his followers and likely did not want to be interrupted. In just a few hours, also under cover of darkness, the high priest will condemn Jesus, but before he does, also in secrecy, Jesus will give his instructions to the disciples. The Son of Man, sounding so much like the prophecy of Daniel 7, has been given the kingdom, all are invited, and all must follow…often at great personal cost.
Grace and Peace,