Lenten Day 26: Keep Your Eyes Open. Follow the Dots.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Luke 22: 7-13 (MsgB)

The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.” They said, “Where do You want us to do this?” He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.” They left, found everything just as He told them, and prepared the Passover meal.

Sometimes I wonder if I make my Christianity way too complicated. From the story Luke presents here, it looks as though Jesus’ disciples experienced a degree of divine providence that you and I only dream of.

I mean look at this story…

It’s Passover 33 AD. This is the last week of Jesus’ life on planet earth and His disciples have been with Him now for about three years. Over that time, they’ve seen Jesus do some amazing stuff. They’ve seen blind eyes healed and lame legs straightened. They’ve watched Jesus set people free from all forms of demonic darkness. They’ve heard teachings and parables on the Kingdom of God. Words that seem to have life, the moment they leave the Master’s lips. They’ve experienced miracles even in their own hands. Bread and fish have multiplied, feeding thousands upon thousands of hungry people. Even the dead have been raised. And through it all, the disciples are on a sharp learning curve with Jesus.

If you remember back at the beginning of their journey with Jesus, the only command was “Come, follow Me.” No more explanation. No more details. Just enough information to give Jesus’ friends the next step. Now here we are near the end of Jesus’ three-year ministry and the picture is much the same. Jesus tells Peter and John to go prepare Passover dinner for the team. For good Jews who have practiced doing Passover Seders every year of their lives since birth, these instructions would not be too complicated. That’s the easy part. But when it comes to where the disciples should set up the Passover meal, that’s a different matter.

Keep in mind that Jesus and His disciples have been staying outside of Jerusalem this entire week. Tension is high between the temple leadership in the city and Jesus. Most of the Pharisees and Sadducees at this point have made it quite clear that they are out to defeat Jesus in any way they can. Rumor has it that the temple guards are on the prowl at night searching the city for Jesus and His disciples. During daylight hours, Jesus is teaching publicly in the Temple, safe because of the fear the Jewish leaders have of arresting this popular rabbi in public. But night-time is different. In the shadows of darkness, they have much more liberty to hunt down Jesus, bringing Him to trial.

So when Jesus asks His friends to set up a Passover meal in Jerusalem, this means they will be staying in town overnight. Passover, like all Jewish holidays, begins at sundown. And sundown, Passover 33 AD in Jerusalem, spells trouble.

So, here are Peter and John being instructed by Jesus to go set up camp for what will become Jesus’ last Passover meal.

Now if you and I were put into such an assignment, I’m guessing we’d want tons of details. Like Pete and John say here, “Where do You want us to do this?”

Yet look at Jesus’ response.

Instead of laying out a 12-step organizational plan for His friends, giving them a complete overview of all the necessary details to make this strategic dinner safe and sound from any interruptions that might become deadly, Jesus simply says go, keep your eyes open and follow the dots.

Wait a minute, Jesus. This event is way too important to leave to chance. Here we are, called by Jesus to set up what might become one of the most important gatherings in Jerusalem that His team has ever had, and Jesus is saying, trust me here, follow the dots?

This passage makes me re-consider this following Jesus thing. It makes me wonder if I’m looking at my journey with Jesus in ways He never expected me to. Here I am, for example, in the twenty-first century asking Jesus for every little detail of my life before I step forward in faith. My logic tells me that I must have a multi-step detailed blueprint of my life laid out clearly before I can legitimately follow Jesus. And here, Peter and John, being given one of the most important instructions they’d ever been given by Jesus, and they are OK with being told, “Just follow the guy with the water jug!”

Oy Vey!

As I said earlier, maybe I’m making my Christianity way too complicated.

I’m wondering if Jesus just might be asking me to lay down more of my driving need for details and simply start walking, keeping my eyes wide open and following the dots.

Sounds pretty simple…and pretty scary. But, you know what? It seems to work fairly well for these first-century disciples. Just maybe it might work for you and me as well?

Now, where is that guy with that water jug?

My prayer: Lord, it’s disturbing to my rational mind when I read about the way You ask Your disciples to follow Your instructions. My human logic requires so much more than what You are apparently willing to give. Holy Spirit, empower me to live more by faith, keeping my eyes wide open and willing to simply follow the dots that Jesus points out for me. As I adjust my life more to this way of following Jesus, may Your Kingdom will be accomplished, for Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: Why am I so afraid of living life the way I see Jesus’ disciples living it here? Why do I allow my demands for detail to control my actions when I see quite clearly that Jesus wants to teach me to live in a life of simple trust and obedience? What Jesus-directed dots are before me right now? Am I bold enough to trust Jesus in this way of life?

So, what are you experiencing today as we are journeying through this Lenten Adventure?

Over a 48-day period (from Ash Wednesday through the Monday after Easter), you and I will be taking a deeper look at the stories surrounding the life and ministry of Jesus (especially the last week known as Holy Week) as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Our Lenten Journey home page for ease of use. 

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!

Click here to go onto the next Lenten session…

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