One of the most fascinating little vignettes to be found in Scripture is the record of the disciples’ preparation for their final Passover meal with the Lord.
Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” And he said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, ”Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ “And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover
We must not miss the minute detail in this brief account illustrating both the omniscience of the Lord and the infallibility of His words. The Lord knows beforehand that the disciples will encounter a man, not as they travel up to Jerusalem, not at the gate of the city, but after they have entered the city. They will recognize the man because he will be doing something that was characteristically women’s work: carrying a pitcher of water. Furthermore, the Lord knows that the man carrying the pitcher will enter a house belonging to another man, perhaps his master. He knows that the owner of the house will be willing to allow the Lord and His disciples to use it to observe the Passover. He even knows about the inside of this man’s home, both its structure and its contents: it has a large room on a floor above entry level to the house, which contains furniture adequate for the needs of the Lord and His twelve disciples. So the disciples left to do the bidding of the Lord.
And “they . . . found everything just as He had told them.”
As fascinating as this account is, it would be of little interest and less use to us if it were merely the record of some ancient historical activity. But if affords us several simple but profound lessons. Put simply, (1) The Lord knows everything; (2) His words are accurate in the minutest detail and altogether trustworthy; (3) The first two facts require a response of faith and obedience; and (4) Faith and obedience prove in experience the truth of the first two facts and result in the successful accomplishment of the will of the Lord.
We must not divorce the written Word of God from the spoken words of the Lord as recorded in this passage. Both are trustworthy. Every word of the original autographs is perfect, true, and authoritative. No statement of fact is inaccurate; no promise of blessing will fail; no pronouncement of judgment will abort. The Lord has given us a wonderful guide and rulebook. It is far superior to Google Maps or GPS. Wherever we go and whatever we do, we will always find everything just as He has told us. When everything is out of kilter, when circumstances make no sense, what He tells us in His Word is our sure and infallible guide. We may not know what lies before us in the city, but the Lord does. We may not know where we are to go or what we are to do, but the Lord does. His Word will tell us where to go and how to live. No human could invent such an unerring device, but God has graciously given us the knowledge and wisdom of His will. It is perfect and precise. Nor does the Lord expect us to figure it out on our own; if, like the disciples, we leave “to do the bidding of the Lord,” we will be led through His Word and by His Spirit. It is tempting, though wrong, to see in the unnamed servant carrying a pitcher of water, types of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is right to see in this account the literal word of God being exalted and to trust and obey the written Word of God He has given us.
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