Why a donkey
“Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. Mark 11:2
Someday Jesus will come back to this world, riding on a horse to be the conqueror and ruler of the earth. You can read all about it in the book of Revelation, I’m not making it up. But in today’s reading He rode into Jerusalem riding on a young donkey. Why a donkey. What was the message that He was sending on that Palm Sunday entrance into the city?
A donkey was and still is today a pack animal. One who carries a load of goods. They were used in Jesus’ day to pull carts and move things and people from place to place. It was not a glamorous ride by any means. If anything it was a ride of humility. During that time, a king would have been brought into a city in a horse-drawn carriage of some kind. Not on a lowly donkey that belonged to a stranger.
This was Jesus’ way of saying “I come in peace, and I am here to be your savior to rescue all people from the punishment of sin, not to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Romans.” It was also an example of being on the same level as the people not high and lofty like royalty. Even though He was God in the flesh, He displayed His love and desire for people by becoming one of them. He never used His position as the Son of God. In fact, He referred to Him self as the Son of man.
His humble entry into Jerusalem that day is celebrated still today. Certainly, He intends for His people to follow His example of humility and peace. In the world today and even in America, the land of the free, we see and hear constant hostility toward one another. This is not the attitude that Jesus has, and this is not His Father’s plan for us. Sure, there are many opportunities to be angry and irritated about the decision being made by the government and even the people in our own towns. However, hostility and condemnation are not the heart of God. Love, peace, gentleness and humility are the approach and posture for God’s children.
Today I want to encourage you to have a heart of humility and peace. Don’t walk into work or school with your defenses up and ready for battle. These are the days of grace. God’s grace toward people and His people for each other. Let the love of God lead in your day and start with loving those closest to you and then let it extend to all people that you encounter all day long.
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 11:1-11
1 As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.
2 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
3 If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.’”
4 The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door.
5 As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”
6 They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it.
7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.
8 Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields.
9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”
11 So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.