Submission and Obedience

A Certain Man

"A certain man." That's how Jesus referred to him. He didn't give the man a name or any other description. Jesus instructed His disciples to go into Jerusalem to 'a certain man' and say to him, "The Teacher says, 'My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples'" (Matthew 26:18).

So, the disciples did as they were instructed, 'a certain man' obeyed, and the disciples prepared the Passover meal for their group in 'a certain man's' upper room.

'A certain man' whose house they used receives no recognition in the Bible other than the term 'a certain man.' We are never told who he was, where he lived, whether he was rich or poor, old or young. We do know that he was obedient to the message sent by Jesus through His disciples. That is all.

What resulted from the obedience of 'a certain man?' Oh, so much!

First and foremost, Jesus' intimate company of twelve men joined Him for the Passover meal. They observed the traditional Seder commemorating the final plague that overwhelmed Egypt by the deaths of their first-born sons when God freed the Jews from slavery. The blood of the slain lamb that was spread on the lintel and doorposts of Jewish homes 'spoke' to the slaying angel, who passed over their first-born sons without killing them that dark, dark night! Little did the disciples know that they were eating their last meal with the Lamb who would soon fulfill the prophecy foretold by the first Passover.

Second, the disciples learned what true humility looked like when Jesus put a towel around His waist and washed the dust of travel from their feet, the task a slave usually did in a prosperous household and which none of the disciples had volunteered to do. Only a few days before, they had argued about which of them would sit at Jesus' right and left hand in the Kingdom. Jesus had taught them about the first being last, but now they witnessed Him kneeling before them one at a time. What a profound lesson it was.

Next, at the right sequence during the meal, Jesus first took the unleavened bread and then the cup, introducing the disciples to the stark reality of His coming death and their taking that same death upon themselves in what we now observe as Communion. Jesus prepared His disciples for their death to self through the symbols of the Passover that long had been a tradition, but would soon be reality.

Fourth, Jesus quelled the fears of the disciples about His imminent death by introducing them to the coming Holy Spirit who would dwell within them. The book of John, chapters 14-16, details the place and authority of the Holy Spirit Who would come after Jesus' ascension. Jesus instilled hope in His men and left for us centuries later the glorious news about Who the Holy Spirit is and His enabling power for spreading the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus introduced His successor at that last Passover meal!

Last, sadly, we see that the betrayal of Jesus began at that table when Judas allowed the devil to fill him and then left the room to bide his time for the evil kiss on Jesus' cheek! What a frightening truth was illustrated for those of us who walk with Jesus: we must guard our hearts and seek to walk in all the fullness of the Holy Spirit so no root of betrayal is allowed to have any place in our hearts. The Bible has many warnings for believers who are capable of betraying Jesus, just as Judas did.

'A certain man' had no idea when he let the disciples use his upper room for the Passover meal just how great the outcome would be. All he did was obey what he was told. He wasn't ASKED if the disciples could use the room. He was TOLD the Teacher wanted it and that's all he needed to hear. He said "Yes."

Obedience is what it's all about. Not fame. Not glory. Not a parade. It's about doing what God directs us to do without question. 'A certain man's' obedience produced the last chapters of the four Gospels. It also led to the book of Acts! That's huge!

When God tells you to do something or to become more like Christ through death to self and you say 'yes,' you don't know what the outcomes will be from your obedience. All you need to do is obey. God will do the rest. And you will be 'a certain man.' Certainly!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®
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