One of my favorite things about Jesus is that He leaves nothing to chance. He is always prepared. Nothing surprises him. He has it all under control. That’s because he is God just as he claimed to be when he walked on this earth. One instance of this very thing was the preparation for his last Passover meal with his disciples.
According to both Matthew and Mark’s gospels, Jesus’ disciples asked him where he wanted them to prepare for him to eat the Passover meal. Luke reveals the identity of these disciples, Jesus’ closest companions, Peter and John. We know that Jesus didn’t own or rent a house because earlier He had said, “the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20 NASB). These two disciples had been with Jesus three years and had most probably celebrated two other Passover meals with him before. Neither one of them were from Jerusalem, so they would have had to find a place for this annual remembrance feast if Jesus had not prepared the hearts and minds of two additional men.
Interestingly, all three gospel writers tell of a man that the disciples were to meet in the city (Jerusalem). Matthew wrote that the disciples were to go to a “certain man” who would lead them to the place. Who was this certain man? We get a little more detail from Mark and Luke. They both wrote that the disciples were to go into the city and a man will meet them carrying a pitcher of water and they were to follow him. He would lead them to the owner of the house where the disciples would explain why they were there. The unidentified owner himself would show them the room which was furnished and ready. Both of these men were never recognized by name in the scriptures. Let this encourage you as you serve behind the scenes and you think that no one even knows your name. Jesus knows you and what you are doing for Him. This is all that really matters!
Something else that stood out to me is the distinctive wording each author used when relaying Jesus’ comments to the owner of the house. Matthew dictated Jesus’ words as the following statement, “The Teacher says, “My time is near, I am to keep the Passover with my disciples at your house’” (Matthew 26:18). Did the owner of this house know who the disciples referred to as the Teacher? Did this man know what Jesus meant by “my time is near?” Had Jesus given him prior notice that he would be using his upper room for this specific Passover meal?
Mark records Jesus’ instruction as a question. He wrote that the disciples were to tell the home owner, “The Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’’’(Mark 14:14). To me, this implies that Jesus may have been a visitor in that man’s house prior to this particular day. Tradition holds that Mark’s mother’s house which was often a meeting place of the early church (Acts 12:12) was this very house Jesus used for the Passover.
Luke, like Mark, also penned Jesus’ words in a question, but he added two little words that may at first seem insignificant. “The Teacher says to you, ‘Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples’”(Luke 22:11)? Again, these added words have the implication of familiarity. Was this man a close friend of Jesus? We will never know on this side of eternity.
Meditating on these three narratives made me realize that this was more than just a historical account of where and how Jesus would partake of what we refer to as his “Last Supper.” I began asking myself questions that not only unnerve me but challenge me. Questions such as these:
Would Jesus want to use any part of my house for any type of celebration?
Are there rooms in my house that would not be “ready” for Jesus to go in? (I am not referring to the unkempt clothes on the floor or the dishes from this morning’s breakfast in the sink or even a nasty bathroom, heaven forbid!), but is my house a home filled with peace that only comes from the Spirit of God?
Do the people who live under my roof treat each other with love and respect?
Do I allow ungodly music, books, tv shows and movies to invade our sacred space?
If two men showed up at my house saying “the Teacher” wanted to use a room for a dinner party (including twelve men I’ve never met), would I and all in my house truthfully be able to say, “Sure, we would be delighted!” because we truly know the Teacher?
Would I be ok in remaining anonymous when word spread that Jesus had dined in a local house? Or would I immediately post pictures on social media so everyone would see how special and spiritual I am?
Would theses men specifically say, “The Teacher says to you, Cindy,” validating that he knows me? Some of the most alarming words of Jesus are, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never new you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:23). He said those words to people who thought they knew him because of what they did in his name, but they did not understand that what really mattered is what Jesus did for all of humanity. He doesn’t want religious people in heaven, He wants people who have a relationship with him and those whom He calls “Friend.”
Would Jesus call me “Friend?”
Hard questions, but oh so necessary! I hope that you will take the challenge along with me to examine them. Hopefully, our answer to the title’s question of Jesus being welcome in our house will be, “most definitely, Yes!”