Anonymous Servants (Just A Minute #116)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

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. (Matthew 26:18)

The fullest description we have of them is “the man with a pitcher” and his master. We have no idea who they were. Apparently the one was just a servant who happened to be getting water at the exact time Jesus’ disciples entered the city. His master, though a homeowner with a guest room large enough to host a big meal, is likewise nameless.

It is interesting that the two passages before this one are strikingly different. Both of them relate dramatic events, each concerning people’s devotion to or hatred for the Lord Jesus. And in both cases the individuals are named.

First, a woman we know to be Mary, breaks a valuable vase and pours on the Lord exquisite perfume worth a years’ wages. As the shocked guests smell the fragrance and stare at the broken pieces of alabaster, whispering breaks out around the Lord, ultimately growing into an audible chorus. The incredulous disciples join Judas Iscariot in shaming her publicly for what they considered to be a complete waste of time and money.

The very next scene is an ugly opposite. Mary’s extravagant offering was apparently more than Judas could take. Totally disgusted with her holy passion for Christ, he decided it was time to act on what had been stewing in his heart for quite a while. Off he went to the chief priests to offer information of the Lord’s whereabouts. The religious leaders agree on a price that had nauseating implications. For betraying his Master, they would pay Judas the exact Old Testament price of a gored slave.

Both Mary and Judas are very colorful characters, though for totally opposite reasons. They are clearly identified by several of the evangelists and their names forever linked with the definitions of devotion and betrayal.

But notice now the next two men. They too fulfill significant roles in the Gospel narrative. Their service prepared the scene for the Last Supper. Their hands set up the room that would host the most famous meal in all of history.

Yet the Lord chose to keep them anonymous.

Even so, we can be reasonably sure they did not mind in the least and even today are no doubt rejoicing in the privilege of having played a useful part in the Savior’s plans.

But what about us? Have we been selected to serve in the Lord’s army of unnamed stewards? I hope we have the wise insight and grateful understanding to be happy in that calling. For one thing, if we are His, our names actually are known and secure, etched in the Book of Life. The Lord assures us that each will receive the proper rewards, even for acts as seemingly unimportant as delivering a glass of water for His sake.

The Judgment Seat of Christ will reveal that there is ultimately no such thing as an anonymous servant.

Dear Father, Thank you for transforming the trivial chores of my life into service of eternal significance. It is more than enough that You have knocked at my door and come in to dine. Help me serve without the slightest care of being known by anyone else but You. Amen.