There are times in my life when I have felt that I was the person most suited to a task or situation. Wendell Anderson of CBC fame taught his students that each one of us is better at something than anyone else on earth. Matthew tells us about a “certain man” that Jesus identified as the person best suited to host the Passover feast for Him and His disciples. Matthew did not even mention his name but his guest room was the place where the last supper that Christ would have with His disciples was to take place. We remember that “certain man” for his availability and for his readiness to accommodate the celebration of God’s rescue plan of His people from Egypt. The Passover lamb, Jesus, was rehearsing the night that an angel passed over the homes of God’s chosen people as the final act in the plan of rescue and restoration of His people from slavery.
There is another man in this passage and he is one of the twelve. Judas is named and his actions have been recorded and Matthew says, “It would have been better if he had never been born.” By the time the disciples met for the Passover meal, Judas had already committed to turning Jesus over to the Jewish leaders. His mind had conceived the idea days before. He had accepted the silver payment. He was waiting for the right opportunity.
So, 2000 years have passed and there are lessons to be gained from these two individuals: one named, one not. When do we answer the simple requests that seemed a natural thing for the unnamed “certain” man? When do we need to be on guard for the temptation to follow our own way, to look at the things of this world and long for them? When do we look for help to avoid the urge to satisfy our own needs and desires?
Jesus calls us to love those around us and to be gentle. He expects us to see to the needs of others and to do it as the “certain man” who was best equipped to offer hospitality. Jesus has asked us to visit the sick, come alongside the lonely, and mourn with the broken hearted. He asks us to do these things as we follow His example not counting the cost.