Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hospitality

Mark 14:12-16
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal with you?” 

So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions:  “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you.  Follow him.  At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’  He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up.  That is where you should prepare our meal.” 

So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When I think of Biblical hospitality, I always think of the story of Mary and Martha opening their home to Jesus.  Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, and Martha was concerned about making things perfect for Jesus.    

As many times as I have read the scripture about Jesus' Passover meal, I’ve never wondered about the person who opened his home. 

This passage leaves me with a lot of questions. 

1.     Did the owner of the house know Jesus?

2.     Did Jesus make prior arrangements to use his guest room?

3.     Was it customary to just open your home to strangers during the Festival of Unleavened Bread?

4.     Did the Holy Spirit prepare the owner of the house, and he set up the guest room as a result of this personal encounter?

5.     Was the owner just naturally hospitable?

6.     The scripture says the room was prepared already.  Was it always set up in this manner or was it set up specifically for this event?

7.     Was the owner of the house involved in the preparation of the meal? 

Since these questions are not answered in scripture, they must not be important to the story.  I have to wonder though, what would happen if someone asked me to give my guest room to Jesus and all 12 of his disciples. 

Would I go crazy like Martha did trying to make sure everything was right?  Would I be prepared in advance like the owner of this house?  Regardless of whether the owner knew Jesus was coming or not, he was ready.

Our society is much different than in Jesus time; however, I think we are still called to hospitality by sharing our homes and lives with others.   Whether it's a planned event or last minute, I want to be as willing as this man to open my doors widely to others.  

With Thanksgiving four weeks from today, this scripture is a good reminder to me to prepare things ahead of time, while life is moving at a slower pace. 

I'm typically a last minute gal who works until the guests arrive.  I want to change that this year so I can have time for Jesus, the reason to be thankful for everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment