Luke 22:8

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Luke 22:8 

“And He sent Peter and John, saying, go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” –  Luke 22:8

This verse speaks of the  preparation that was necessary for the get together often identified as the Last Supper, meaning the last meal the disciples shared with Jesus prior to His crucifixion. “Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” Luke 22:7-8. Since the Passover meal had to be eaten within the walled city of Jerusalem, Jesus prepared to eat the meal within the city. We see this in the Book of Exodus. First they were to celebrate three feasts a year. “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.” Exodus 23:15-16. Then in verse 17 we read, “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.” Exodus 23:17.  The fact that they were to appear before the Lord , this speaks of celebrating these feasts in Jerusalem. And as our focus verse states, He sent Peter and John to make the preparations.

They then asked Jesus, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” Luke 22:9. They did not have a place where they resided, so they wondered if He had a specific place in mind.  Jesus then tells them, not exactly where they will celebrate, but how they will find the place. “And He said to them, “Behold, 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?” Luke 22:10-11. Now, we see something very interesting.  Jesus tells them to go out and they will find a man carrying a pitcher of water to his home,  so they follow him into his home.  Then when they arrive they were to ask the owner about a guest room.  Now, what is interesting is that the person they meet on the road is not the owner of the house.

In those days it was often said that, except for his own flask, a man does not carry water; he leaves this work to women. The text in fact does not care about the gender of the person mentioned. In Luke, as in Mark, the word translated ‘man’ is the Greek word anthrōpos, meaning man. But it is not man as opposed to woman, it is man as opposed to animal.  It speaks of the species, not the gender. Now even if the one carrying the water was a slave or a woman, neither of them in that period could own property or were unable to acquire the funds to make it happen. Then, Jesus tells them to ask about a guest room in his house. “The Teacher says to you, where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” Luke 22:11b. Jesus then gives them the answer the owner of the house will give them. “And he will show you a large, furnished, upper room; prepare it there.” Luke 22:12. He does not speak simply of a normal guest room as we understand it, but a large room that is located above the main house. Then after receiving Jesus’ instructions, “And they departed and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.” Luke 22:13.

So, what can we learn from this?  Jesus knew what was going to happen .  He had only a few days before He was to be crucified. On Thursday, it was Passover proper. The lamb is killed, and Jesus and His disciples eat the Passover meal in the upper room. On Friday, the Day of Preparation. Jesus is tried and executed, but not convicted. The Jews continue their Passover celebrations with the chagigah, offerings made during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On Saturday was the weekly Sabbath, and then on Sunday, His resurrection.  The preparation for His arrest, conviction, and ultimately His execution and resurrection was only a couple days. However, these several days brought about our opportunity for salvation. He kept the Jewish celebrations and gave His life for us.  This is why He came, and this is why we have access to salvation and eternal life.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Psalm 23:5

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Psalm 23:5   

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.”- Psalm 23:5

This verse is a picture of God’s provision for His people in difficult times.  A good man has enemies.  There is no question of that, just like Jesus had enemies.  Yet here, what we see is David declaring peace in the midst of his enemies.  This is something that is totally different than how we see things.  Let us look at this a moment.  Normally, when a soldier is in the presence of his enemies, if he eats at all he snatches a hasty meal, and away he hastens to the fight.  He quickly swallows it so that it will get him through the battle until he can have a more complete meal. 

However, notice the wording here.  “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. Psalm 23:5a.  David is saying that just as a servant lays out the table with a fancy cloth and then puts the feast on this table as in a time of peace, so does He present a table for David where his enemies see it.  Nothing is hurried or rushed, and there is no confusion.  There is nothing to disturb the meal, even though the enemy is at the gate and sees everything.  God prepares a table for us and we as God’s children can sit and eat as if everything were in perfect peace.  And what a peace He gives us, that even in the midst of the most trying times and circumstances.  Isaiah puts it this way, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4.  When we trust God completely, and our minds are focused on Him and not our trials, then He will keep us in perfect peace.  It does not matter what is going on or if we are troubled by our enemies, for He will take care of us.  God will provide our needs in ways we could never imagine.  We have no reason to fear, for God is always with us and will protect us.   And He will bless us in situations that seem impossible for any good to come from it.

The last part of this psalm is, “You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5b.  There are several meanings to the anointing of the head with oil, however, the one that makes the most sense to me is the idea of the oil of gladness as shown in Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3.  Because of the goodness of our God, even in difficult times, He will anoint us with the oil of gladness.  Because of this, we will not mourn during this time, but trust God that He has this.  And the peace of God and His incredible provisions will not just fill our cup but will overflow due to the overabundance of His goodness.  And again, our enemies will see this and be amazed at what they see. 

This chapter shows the amazing provisions He provides us, especially during difficult times when our enemies are within view and are watching us.  We have nothing to fear when we put our trust in the Lord our God, for even at times when things look the worst, He will bring us through.  Always remember this, God is greater than our problems and will work on our behalf to take care of us.  Trust Him in all things, for remember what Moses said, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.