Free for use: One spacious upper room, furnished.

Yesterday was the day English tradition has called “Spy Wednesday,” because on that day Judas made a deal with the authorities to betray Jesus and began looking out for an opportunity to do so (Mark 14:10-11). Immediately after this scene, Mark tells us what happened on Thursday (14:12-16):

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

The sequence is clear: Judas the spy is on the prowl, so Jesus does not give out any information ahead of time about where the Last Supper will take place. He doesn’t even whisper to another disciple, who might be persuaded to spill the beans. Instead, he sends two disciples to follow someone they will meet randomly in the city. And the miracle is, with Jerusalem swollen to triple its normal population and Passover celebrations fighting for room literally on the rooftops, this random person leads them to a spacious room all furnished and still available!  It’s like getting Superbowl tickets the day before the game!

But my thoughts today keep going back to the owner of the room. Today, on Holy Thursday, Jesus’ ministers will say to me, “Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?” That householder was ready without warning; I have had all of Lent to prepare. I still wonder if my inner, upper room is furnished and ready for tonight.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

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Author: Dr. Holmes

Dr. Jeremy Holmes teaches Theology at Wyoming Catholic College. He lives in Wyoming with his wife, Jacinta, and their eight children.

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