Curious passage, this. (Check it out in Mark 14: 12-16). Jesus giving precise orders to two of his disciples as to where to make preparations for them all to eat the Passover. “Follow this man carrying a jar of water (in those days only women carried water, so that bit’s weird in itself!), go up this street, pass through this door, use these words and Hey Presto! you’ve found the specially prepared room I’m going to eat my last dinner in.” So they go, and as the Good Book says, they find things ‘just as Jesus told them.’ How did he know? Had Jesus secretly sussed our the territory beforehand? Organised everything in advance on the sly? Cloak and dagger-like because he knew the Priests were plotting to kill him? Possibly. Or did he have supernatural knowledge of what his two messengers would find? This seems more likely given the emphasis of some of the words.
Ok, but why the big fanfare? If he was going to show off his divine powers, couldn’t he think of something a little bit more well, miraculous than demonstrating foreknowledge about where he was going to eat dinner? Unless it’s Mark reiterating the fact that Jesus was completely in control of events; that the crucifixion (and all that led up to it) wasn’t a fluke or a freak, but had been planned in advance by God and had been entered into willingly and knowingly by his Son ‘according to the Scriptures’ for the sake of us all.
I was reminded of this recently when a couple of days before appearing in I AM MARK at a Christian Festival in the UK, a praying friend of mine wrote to me to tell me that she thought it highly likely that this particular performance would impact the lives of fellow artists in the audience. So, imagine my astonishment when not one but two young actors, obviously much moved, approached me independently at the end of the show, to tell me that they had been confirmed in their calling as artists by watching me perform.
Obviously this was nothing like as grand as Jesus preparing his accommodation for eating his last meal, but for me – and those two actors – it was no less awe inspiring as a mark of God’s foreknowledge and kindness.