Saturday, March 21, 2015
The Man Doing Woman's Work
As Luke takes us into the 22nd chapter of his gospel, he stands us down right in the middle of a busy street in Jerusalem. At first we only see Peter and John as they go about the bidding of Jesus. But, there is someone else there, too. While he is easy to miss in the story, he stands out like the nose on your face. He is carrying a jar of water to his home which as everyone knows was work delegated to women. And even though Jesus told the two disciples to look for just such a person, it still sets off all kinds of questions for those of us reading the story of the journey.
Anytime I read the Word and go off, either consciously or unconsciously, on some question tangent, I remember Dr. Robert Traina, a professor of Bible at Asbury Theological Seminary. Back in the dark ages of paper, pen, and composition notebooks, he taught his students to study the Bible by asking questions. No question was too obvious and one was too trivial. "Don't worry about the answer," he would say, "just learn to ask the questions." With his prodding a single verse would generate page after page in that wire bound composition notebook.
So, with Dean Traina's teaching still hung up in my gray matter, I wonder about the man with the jar of water. Like the two disciples who went for the colt, he is not named. Why did Luke not name the host of the holy meal? Did Jesus talk to him in another place at another time? Or, had He sent someone ahead of Peter and John? Is there any significance in the water he carried? Was it supposed to be used for the neglected act of footwashing? Did Jesus invite His host and his household to share the meal? Ah, the questions. They really are helpful as we search the Word of God. They are like new windows that can be opened enabling us to see in a different and new way the Word of God.