A jar of water.
If I would ask you, “What two occasions in Holy Week does a jar of water play a significant role?”
Perhaps the jar of water isn’t the “main character,” but with the jar of water we gain insights into our Savior Jesus.
The first jar is probably the one that gets forgotten. It was a jar being carried by a man near the entrance to the city of Jerusalem. It was the image given to the disciples by Jesus as the distinguishing mark to follow that man to the home where preparations were to be made for the Passover meal. The man carrying the jar wasn’t the owner, but evidently worked at the house and had the task of getting water for the household.
While this water jar may pass us by, the detail isn’t just the clue that leads to the upper room where Jesus celebrated the Passover and gave the Lord’s Supper, it is a detail that communicates the truth with which Jesus spoke.
Here’s how Luke records the events:
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
The disciples didn’t have to go back to Jesus and say, “We never saw a guy with a water jar.” The left and found things JUST AS Jesus had told them.
The water jar wasn’t a big deal, but it was a big detail to verify the fact that Jesus always speaks with truth.
Here’s an interesting conjecture. Was this the water jar that Jesus pours from to wash his disciples’ feet?
When we think of water during Holy Week, we think of Jesus’ washing his disciples feet. Until writing this devotion, I hadn’t considered the possibility that the very jar of water that the man carried back to the house was the jar of water from which Jesus poured to wash his disciples feet. Could be…
A jar of water was important for many household chores, including the washing of travelers feet. Whether the second mention of the jar of water is a continuation of the first or simply a second jar of water, it’s significance and detail is important.
From this jar of water Jesus showed his servant heart. The jar held the water Jesus used to wash his disciples feet. Perhaps the man carrying the water jar should have also been the one to wash the disciples’ feet. But Jesus stepped into his role in order to serve his disciples.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Details. Who knew a jar of water could validate the truth with which Jesus spoke and the heart with which Jesus served. But it did.
Apply: What details of the Passion catch your attention? Share if you’d like to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for using details to catch our attention and validate the truth of your words and the heart of your actions. AMEN.
This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s Message: A Regime Change (CLICK HERE)