And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master said, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.
26:17-25 Observe, the place for their eating the passover was pointed out by Christ to the disciples. He knows those hidden ones who favour his cause, and will graciously visit all who are willing to receive him. The disciples did as Jesus had appointed. Those who would have Christ's presence in the gospel passover, must do what he says. It well becomes the disciples of Christ always to be jealous over themselves, especially in trying times. We know not how strongly we may be tempted, nor how far God may leave us to ourselves, therefore we have reason not to be high-minded, but to fear. Heart-searching examination and fervent prayer are especially proper before the Lord's supper, that, as Christ our Passover is now sacrificed for us, we may keep this feast, renewing our repentance, our faith in his blood, and surrendering ourselves to his service.
Go into the city to such a man - That is, Jerusalem, called the city by way of eminence.
Luke says that the disciples whom he sent were Peter and John. The man to whom they were to go he did not mention by name, but he told them that when they came into the city, a man would meet them bearing a pitcher of water. See Mark and Luke. Him they were to follow, and in the house which he entered they would find a room prepared. The name of the man was not mentioned. The "house" in which they were to keep the Passover was not mentioned. The reason of this probably was, that Christ was desirous of concealing from "Judas" the place where they would keep the Passover. He was acquainted with the design of Judas to betray him. He knew that if Judas was acquainted with the place "beforehand," he could easily give information to the chief priests, and it would give them a favorable opportunity to surprise them, and apprehend "him" without making a tumult. Though it was certain that he would not be delivered up before the time appointed by the Father, yet it was proper "to use the means" to prevent it. There can be little doubt that Jesus was acquainted with this man, and that he was a disciple. The direction which he gave his disciples most clearly proves that he was omniscient. Amid so great a multitude going at that time into the city, it was impossible to know that "a particular man would be met" - a man bearing a pitcher of water - unless Jesus had all knowledge, and was therefore divine.
The Master saith - This was the name by which Jesus was probably known among the disciples, and one which he directed them to give him. See Matthew 23:8, Matthew 23:10. It means, literally, "the teacher," as opposed to "the disciple," or learner; not the "master," as opposed to the "servant or slave." The fact that they used this name as if the man would know whom they meant, and the fact that the man understood them and made no further inquiries, shows that he was acquainted with Jesus, and was probably himself a disciple.
My time is at hand - That is, "is near." By "his time," here, may be meant either his time to eat the Passover, or the time of his death. It has been supposed by many that Jesus, in accordance with a part of the Jews who rejected traditions, anticipated the usual observance of the Passover, or kept it one day sooner. The Pharisees had devised many forms of ascertaining when the month commenced. They placed witnesses around the heights of the temple to observe the first appearance of the new moon; they examined the witnesses with much formality, and endeavored also to obtain the exact time by astronomical calculations. Others held that the month properly commenced when the moon was visible. Thus, it is said a difference arose between them about the time of the Passover, and that Jesus kept it one day sooner than most of the people. The foundation of the opinion that he anticipated the usual time of keeping the Passover is the following:
1. In John 18:28, it is said that on the day on which our Lord was crucified, and of course the day after he had eaten the Passover, the chief priests would not go into the judgment-hall lest they should be defiled, "but that they might eat the passover," evidently meaning that it was to be eaten that day.
2. In John 19:14, the day on which he was crucified is called "the preparation of the passover" - that is, the day on which it was prepared to be eaten in the evening.
3. In John 19:31, the day in which our Lord lay in the grave was called the great day of the Sabbath - "a high day;" that is, the day after the Passover was killed, the Sabbath occurring on the first day of the feast properly, and therefore a day of special solemnity; yet our Saviour had partaken of it two days before, and therefore the day before the body of the people. If this opinion be true, then the phrase "my time is at hand means my time for keeping the Passover is near. Whether this opinion be true or not, there may be a reference also to his death. The man with whom they were to go was probably a disciple of his, though perhaps a secret one. Jesus might purpose to keep the Passover at his house, that he might inform him more particularly respecting his death, and prepare him for it. He sent, therefore, to him and said, "I will keep the passover 'at thy house.'"
Mark and Luke add that he would show them "a large upper room, furnished and prepared." Ancient writers remark that, at the time of the great feasts, the houses in Jerusalem were all open to receive guests - that they were in a manner common to the people of Judea; and there is no doubt, therefore, that the master of a house would have it ready on such occasions for company. It is possible, also, that there might have been an agreement between this man and our Lord that he would prepare his house for him, though this was unknown to the disciples. The word rendered "furnished" means, literally, "spread;" that is, "spread" with carpets, and with "couches" on which to recline at the table, after the manner of the East. See the notes at Matthew 23:6.
And he said, go into the city to such a man,.... That is, to such a man in the city of Jerusalem, for, as yet, they were in Bethany, or at the Mount of Olives however, without the city; he does not mention the man's name, but describes him, as Mark and Luke say, and tells them, "there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house, where he entereth in", Mark 14:13
; who seems to be not the master of the house, but a servant, that was sent on such an errand. This is a very considerable instance of our Lord's prescience of future contingencies; he knew beforehand, that exactly at the time that the disciples would enter Jerusalem, such a man, belonging to such a house, would be returning with a pitcher of water in his hand; and they should meet him; and follow him, where he went, which would be a direction to them what house to prepare the passover in;
and say unto him; not to the man bearing the pitcher of water; but, as the other Evangelists say, to the good man of the house, the owner of it, who probably might be one of Christ's disciples secretly; for many of the chief rulers in Jerusalem believed on Christ, though they did not openly confess him, for fear of the Pharisees, as Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea; and this man might be one of them, or some other man of note and wealth; since they were to find, as they did, a large upper room furnished and prepared. For, it seems, that without mentioning his name, the man would know him by their language, he dictates to them in the following clause, who they meant;
the master saith; the Syriac and Persic versions read, our master; thine and ours, the great master in Israel, the teacher sent from God:
my time is at hand; not of eating the passover, as if it was distinct from that of the Jews, and peculiar to himself, for he ate it at the usual time, and when the Jews ate theirs; and which time was fixed and known by everybody, and could be no reason to move the master of the house to receive him: but he means the time of his death, that he had but a little while to live; and that this instance of respect would be the last he would have an opportunity of showing him whilst living, and the last time Christ would have an opportunity of seeing him; and he might say this to prepare him to meet the news of his death with less surprise:
I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples; not with him and his family, but with his disciples, who were a family, and a society of themselves, and a sufficient number to eat the passover together; for there might be two companies eating their distinct passovers in one house, and even in one room: concerning which is the following rule,
, "two societies that eat in one house"; the one turn their faces this way and eat, and the other turn their faces that way and eat, and an heating vessel (in which they heat the water to mix with the wine) in the middle; and when the servant stands to mix, he shuts his mouth, and turns his face till he comes to his company, and eats; and the bride turns her face and eats (o).''
(o) Misn. Pesachim, c. 7. sect. 13. And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
Such a man (τὸν δεῖνα)
The indefiniteness is the Evangelist's, not our Lord's. He, doubtless, described the per- son and where to find him.
Mt 26:17-30. Preparation for and Last Celebration of the Passover Announcement of the Traitor, and Institution of the Supper. ( = Mr 14:12-26; Lu 22:7-23; Joh 13:1-3, 10, 11, 18-30).
For the exposition, see on Lu 22:7-23.
Go - to such a man - Τον δεινα It is probable that this means some person with whom Christ was well acquainted, and who was known to the disciples. Grotius observes that the Greeks use this form when they mean some particular person who is so well known that there is no need to specify him by name. The circumstances are more particularly marked in Luke 22:8
My time is at hand - That is, the time of my crucifixion. Kypke has largely shown that καιρος is often used among the Greeks for affliction and calamity. It might be rendered here, the time of my crucifixion is at hand.
26:18 The Master saith, My time is at hand - That is, the time of my suffering.
26:18,19 Go into the city to such a man, etc.
The disciples are directed to determine the place in the city by a certain sign (Mr 14:13). They do so and make ready in the guest chamber thus secured.