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?’ 13So 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, 14and 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?” 15He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’16So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.’ 19They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, ‘Surely, not I?’ 20He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’
Reflection by Onleilove Alston
Often when I have a need, I worry, fret, and plan though I know Yah’s word tells me “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to God” ( Philippians 4:6). But like the disciples, I have a relationship with Yahshua. Yet I still struggle with trusting that he will meet all my needs. Countless times throughout the Gospels we see the Disciples struggle with trusting Jesus – Thomas who demanded a sign, Peter who stepped out on faith to walk on water but then denied knowing Jesus, even Mary and Martha felt Yahshua was late when it came to their brother Lazarus.
Like the disciples, we all struggle with trusting that Yah will be there for us especially in uncertain times. In today’s passage, we do not see Yahshua frantically trying to find a place for his last earthly Passover. To the contrary, he calmly gives the disciples directions – trusting that the Yah who led him would also provide him with a place to commune with his disciples one last time.
What strikes me about this passage is Yahshua’s calm about the entire situation; even his impending betrayal and death. We should note that finding a place to have Passover dinner after the holiday has started was probably a daunting task. We should also note that Yahshua knew his fate and yet instead of panicking or lashing out at Judas Yahshua trusted that God’s plans for his life would be accomplished.
Personally, I wish I had such grace under fire. Yet I trust that when my personal grace is low and my anxiety is high, the Holy Spirit can fill me with peace that surpasses all understanding. Of course, a room was prepared for the disciples to celebrate Passover and all they needed was provided for, just as Yahshua said.
Sadly, the story does not end with a beautiful Passover meal but with the predicted betrayal of Judas. Could the betrayal of Judas be connected to a lack of trust in Yah’s provision? Maybe lost faith that Israel would ever be redeemed from oppression by a Messiah, especially one that walked in the peculiar way of peace. These doubts may have caused Judas to betray Yahshua for something he could see – 30 pieces of silver because he could not readily see the kingdom of Yah.
When times are tough, aren’t we all tempted to rush ahead for relief we can see with our eyes versus the promises of Yah that we have yet to see? This passage reminds me that when I trust Yah, I will experience calm during the storm. I am also reminded that when I let fear and doubt rule my heart, I am in danger of betraying the promises of God for a temporary fix.
During this Lenten season, I would encourage us as a congregation and as individuals to offer our fears and needs to Yah. May the Holy Spirit give us the grace to trust that “God will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory.” (Philippians 4:19-20)
Dear Most High, may you give us a childlike trust in you. Give us grace under pressure. Help us to trust that your word is true and will come to pass in our lives. Give us a divine revelation of your love. Amen.