3 Apr. Mark 14:12-16

3 Apr. Jesus prepares for his last Passover meal

"It was now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was sacrificed. Jesus's followers said to him, 'Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover meal'?"

"Jesus sent two of his followers and said to them, 'Go into the city [of Jerusalem] and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. When he goes into a house, tell the owner of the house, "The Teacher says: where is my guest room in which I can eat the Passover meal with my followers?" The owner will show you a large room upstairs that is furnished and ready. Prepare the food for us there.'"

"So the followers left and went into the city. Everything happened as Jesus had said, so they prepared the Passover meal."

          (Mark 14:12-16)

 

 

At the start of the Preparation Day for the Festival of Unleavened Bread (the Passover festival) – on the Thursday evening – Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem to eat their Passover meal in a house with a large upper room or 'guest room'.

The room was probably provided by one of Jesus’s followers. The house had several storeys, and the owner was wealthy enough to have servants who collected the water in heavy stone jars from one of the wells or ‘pools’ in the old city of Jerusalem.

Jesus had sent two of his disciples in advance to make final preparations, and they had been able to identify the correct house as they had followed a man carrying a jar of water. This would have been an unusual sight as it was generally regarded as women’s work to collect water (see John 4:7 & 28).

It's not known exactly where Jesus celebrated the Passover meal that has become known as ‘The Last Supper’; but it must have been the home of a wealthy Jewish supporter, as the guest room was described as being 'large' - big enough to accommodate Jesus's close circle of 12 followers.

Every Jewish house had a 'guest room' (Greek - 'kataluma') where Jewish travellers would be invited to stay overnight with fellow Jews (e.g. see Luke 2:7, where Mary and Joseph stayed in the downstairs room of a Jewish house (with the animals) because there was no space in the family's 'guest room' (Greek - 'kataluma').) In many houses, the guest room would have been built on the upper story or on the roof. But guest rooms were usually small, and only a wealthy Jew would have had a guest room large enough to accommodate 13 people.

The 'Coenaculum' or 'Cenacle', an upper room above the supposed Tomb of David, in the area now called Mount Zion, resembles the sort of ‘guest room’ where the disciples met. This room was re-built by the Franciscans in 1335, but is unlikely to be the actual site of the Last Supper.

It's more likely that the disciples shared their Passover meal at the home of John Mark and his mother Mary, where the early church met shortly after Jesus’s death and resurrection (see Acts 12:12-13). John Mark had a Roman name ('Marcus'), so it's quite possible that his father was a wealthy Roman citizen while his mother was Jewish. St Mark’s Church, in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, is believed to mark the site of the house belonging to John Mark’s family.

The photo (by Shmuel Spiegelman) shows the old city of Jerusalem.

You can read more about Jesus's 'Last Supper' @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/6-jesuss…/the-last-supper/


Printer Printable Version