A Servant's Joy
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. Luke 22:1
The annual celebration of God’s mercy on the faithful is about to get dark. Whereas the first Passover was a dark time for Egypt in the revelation of their dead firstborns, now, those who rebel against the Kingdom of God are striving to deal a final blow. In their foolishness, I see mine, especially when I forget that the Teacher is always at work.
And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Luke 22:2
Wait a second, this says “chief priests and the scribes” were the ones seeking to kill Jesus. Why would someone with head knowledge of God winning every war be so foolish as to strive against Him? “They feared the people” is a clue to their error. Proverbs says “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7a), so as we take in this passage of God’s sovereignty in the midst of war, strive against the foolishness that forgets to fear the LORD. This foolishness fears what it can see. Strive to believe beyond what you see to “where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).
Like Jesus said to the leper after He healed him, “Go on your way; your faith has made you well” (Lk 17:19); we don’t need anything else but faith and the God we believe in.
Our passage transitions from the chief priests and scribes seeking Jesus’ death to “Satan entered into Judas,” and most know the story; one more secret tool is in the works. Do you think Jesus was fearing the people or other things He didn’t see? No, He focused on what He knew and which kingdom held the greatest reward. He knew what Judas would do and still kept on His way, “for the joy set before Him he endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” Luke 22:7-9
We can empathize with Peter and John’s concerns about where and how will God make a way. Applying that to my debilitating pains and the bleak news from people, I am often crying out to the LORD with questions of how He will provide. Peter and John’s need at this time was “where.” What we’ll see is God is sovereign over where and the lives of those on both sides of the battle lines. We’ve seen how the conspirators are at work in the background, but they aren’t the only ones at work beyond what we can see.
He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Luke 22:10-11
Behold God’s knowledge and power to orchestrate such events. I see a man carrying a jar, who may also have been part of the work furnishing this room, and I think of menial tasks we do all the time. Jesus wants us to go on our way, treasuring the source of our faith and strength; this includes when we do the little things. I see this man and the master of the house and think they’ve been following God’s path for them. They are ready. God is pleased. What else could they need?
Jesus often spoke of good servants as those who serve–shocker–and who are ready. In Luke 12, Jesus said: “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come…”
I read of the man carrying the jar of water interrupted by a servant of the LORD with great news, and I meditate on 1 John 3’s words of how I am purified in the hope of Jesus’ return. I am doing well if I’m just the guy carrying the water until Jesus returns. Life is far less about the water we carry; it’s about the joy we receive carrying it for Him who loves and strengthens us to complete the task.
This faith keeps me well even if that bucket of water falls on my foot. The Teacher helps keep me in line. The use of that term here reminds me of Isaiah, who described the Teacher as One who says, “‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (Is. 30:21). When I read of this master of the house being told that the Teacher is ready for the fruits of his labor, it strengthens me in my faith to keep going. My Teacher is already guiding my footsteps. Keep serving. Keep striving for whatever fruit of my labor the Teacher is calling and enabling me to produce.
And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. Luke 22:12-13
I rejoice in this because God is still working, even when we don’t see it. We sang about that last week and it touched my soul to praise Him in this way. It is Truth to put my faith in. Philippians 1:6 tells us that God will not stop working on believers until Jesus returns. This means when I’m in an excruciating moment, God is at work. Romans 8 reminds me I still have His love and whatever the trial, God is using it for my good.
Keep carrying the water, but do so with faith that it is God who will bear us up, even to old age (Is. 46:4). The disciples needed a furnished room. It was provided outside of their strength; it was God and the strength and calling He performed through His faithful.
For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” Luke 22:22
Woe to those who strive against the King. Those who serve instead are those who will have their day of singing.
We follow Jesus, the one who saw people striving against His Kingdom, yet kept believing and serving. Like Jesus, we can serve in faith that God has determined what will happen, good and bad.
I endure for the words of my Teacher, who may say as he did to the disciples that night,
“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom…” There is plenty of joy to go around, for those in His kingdom will be blessed forever. Luke 22:28-29
Even if Satan were to demand to have me, I know Jesus will be my shield and refuge, as he was for Peter.
Despite Satan’s demand to have Peter, Jesus said, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
I don’t even need to fear losing my faith. Jesus has everything under control. Be strengthened in Him, His love, and His word.