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Sunday, March 25, 2018

11 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; 2 and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. 3 And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.”
4 So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. 5 But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”
6 And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna!‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father DavidThat comes in the name of the Lord!Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:1-11NKJV)
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. (Mark 14:12-16NKJV)


I'm struck, in these two passages of scripture, by Jesus' words. "Go, and you will find." "Go, and a man will meet you." The disciples do not seem surprised at the way their needs are met. After being with Jesus for three years they have grown so accustomed to the Lord's provision that they barely notice it happening.

Water turns to wine. A fish opens its mouth and a gold coin appears. Baskets are suddenly filled with bread and fish, enough for five thousand. Miracles of provision.

But in the passages above we see God working through ordinary men. The colt has an owner who is suddenly willing to allow two strangers to walk away with his animal. You wonder if the men looked at each other as the colt disappeared into the crowd and wondered, "What just happened here?" Were they in the crowd that shouted "Hosanna!"?

Yet, it is the provision of hospitality provided by the homeowner that really speaks to my soul. The man had a large upper room sitting vacant. We're not told why. Perhaps his family and friends that usually came up to Jerusalem for the Passover could not come that year and so the room remained empty. 

I wonder, did the disciples assume that Jesus had simply made prior arrangements with the man? Possible. But unlikely. Up until the triumphant entry, Jesus had been keeping away from Jerusalem and the evil plots of the Jews. He couldn't pick up a phone and call the homeowner, or send him a letter. And, if He had sent a follower in ahead of them to make arrangments the disciples would not have had to ask Him.

Somehow, God impressed upon the homeowner the need to prepare the room. Perhaps in a dream. Perhaps during his daily prayer time. I wonder what his servants thought as he carefully prepared a table for thirteen men to eat the Passover meal. Did they think he was crazy like Noah, building an ark when it had never rained? Or did the homeowner simply tell that someone important was coming?

We don't know the details. But we can imagine what it must have been like for the man. He was setting the table by faith. He likely realized it was for the Passover meal, given the time of year. But he likely had no idea WHO was coming to dinner.

Imagine his surprise and delight when Jesus showed up at his door! Of course, it is possible that his joy was laced with fear. After all, if the Pharisees found out he was hosting Jesus and His gang they would turn him out of the synagogue.

The man may have paid a steep price for his obedience.

Why does this man's, seemingly insignificant, act speak to my soul? Because:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10)
God has a purpose for us. And it is directly related to our relationship with Him. It's not about putting food on the table or climbing the corporate ladder. It's not even about enjoying this amazing creation He has designed for us. These things may be part of our lives and that's all fine. But Jesus didn't suffer and die on a cross so that we could have these things or so that we could be happy.

He suffered and died because He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you for eternity. 

God is all about building His kingdom. Saving souls, redeeming lives. Every time He acts, moves, or blesses, it is all about bringing one more lost sheep into the fold. 

The 'good works' He has prepared for us to do, they accomplish the same goal.

We can make His blessings and provisions about us, and we often do. But they aren't about us. They are about Him, revealing His character and glory.

The Jewish homeowner reminds me to listen. What is God asking me to do? To prepare?

The Jewish homeowner reminds me to obey. Even when it might not make sense to me or those around me.

Sometimes there is a price to pay when we obey Jesus. Nevertheless, obedience always brings a blessing.

And you never know when the Lord Himself may show up at your door!


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, #HeartEncouragement,
Thoughtful Thursdays#w2wwordfilledwednesday,
Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments,
#DanceWithJesus; Imparting Grace

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June