FOLLOW THE MAN WITH THE JAR OF WATER (Mark 14:13-15)
I belonged to the household of a rich family in Jerusalem. My duties were to look after supplies and keep the properties in order. I did the work women were not able to do. I rearranged furniture for guests and meetings. I was in charge of transporting people with my carriage. I was very busy during our large feasts like the Remembrance Day, when our ancestors were delivered from slavery in Egypt. During this season, things were different. We were not free to speak about a certain Prophet that had made on impression on us. There were changes in the air, and we were in the midst of it. It had become dangerous, even to invite the Prophet and His follower or speak His name. I am speaking about Jesus.
I knew Jesus and His family long before He emerged as the Prophet. His parents came to Jerusalem annually and stayed with us. I remember when He, as a lad, challenged our teachers in the Temple and His folks worried about where He had been and what He had done. That was more than twenty years ago. All this time, Jesus behaved like the rest of us. Then, all of a sudden, He went to see His cousin John to be immersed in water. From that day on, He began to do things that stunned the people. We began to believe that He was the Prophet Moses had predicted. There was much excitement and expectation among the people. A few days earlier, He rode into town on a donkey and the city was in an uproar. The people cheered Him as a “Son of David.” The event scared our leaders out of their minds. They feared that the Romans would have to calm the crowds and they would lose their positions.
Today, I was instructed to carry water jars; so, two of Jesus men, that never had been at our place and unknown to our leaders, could follow me and prepare for our greatest celebration. Fortunately, no one asked me why I carried water jars, when our women were known to do it. All the others would come into town under the cover of darkness. Everything went as prearranged and Jesus and His twelve reclined in a circle to eat sour bread and drink bitter wine. It was a reminder of the sour and bitter days in Egypt. Particularly, strange was the behavior of my Young Master. He insisted that he assist me in serving Jesus and His company. He knew things that were about to happen that only one of Jesus’ followers was involved in. The eleven were very much unlike their Teacher. It was as if they had chips of pride on their shoulders. They expected me to treat them as if they were the representatives of Jesus’ new order. Jesus was not pleased with their behavior. When I tried to wash their feet, as it was customary for guests before they entered our home, Jesus refused and He washed the feet of His followers. Then, He too reclined and explained that what He did, they were to do to each other. They were not to lord over each other or over others. In this world, they were to be servants of God.
The object lesson was only the beginning that began to dampen the mood of the party. Jesus had another and much more disturbing announcement. He began telling them that this was the last time that they would be together and that one of them was selling Him out to His enemies. It was as if a chill had fallen on them. Each one of the men questioned themselves whether they had said or done something that was going to hurt their Teacher? One of them, called Peter insisted that he would not betray his Teacher. Jesus told him that he too would deny Him when his life was going to be threatened. Just before they finished their meals and drank their cups, the Teacher asked to be remembered in a similar manner after His departure.
During that moment, He ordered Judas to do what he had intended to do. Judas arose quickly and went out into the night. Only, one of the followers was told what he was up to. We all would learn later that he had sold his Teacher for thirty pieces of silver, led our leader’s soldiers to our garden in the country, kissed Jesus, to point Him out in the dark, and had Him arrested. Judas, himself, regretted what he had done. He returned the money to the leaders, and then hung himself. Yes, Peter did deny that he knew his Teacher three times. And yes, under the cover of darkness before daybreak, our leaders had the Governor crucify our Prophet by nine O’clock next morning. While we slept, my Young Master followed Jesus from His arrest into the kangaroo court and to the cross. Just think! All this happened while we slept.