by Alexandre Bida
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.'" Matthew 21:1b-2.
At a luncheon I attended recently I heard a talk by a young woman who heads the Athletes In Action ministry at a local university. As she described her typical day — going on campus early to meet with a sports club and talk about how faith in God can enhance athletic performance, then camping out in the coffee shop or other place athletes gather to meet with them one-on-one, build relationships, and so walk with them through things like performance anxiety, sexual pressure, sexual identity confusion etc.— I thought: I could never do that!
It's the same reaction I feel welling up when I read Jesus' command to the two disciples in today's reading. What do you mean, "Go...find a donkey and a colt....loose them ... bring them to Me"? You mean just go and take someone's donkey? You've got to be kidding!
Of course Jesus' disciples were well broken in by now. His out-of-the-box directives had seen them through scarcities of fish, food needed to feed a large crowd, a supply of tax money , a poorly supplied missions trip, and many other incidents. We don't read that they demurred for a second. Instead, they did exactly what Jesus said, and became part of the fulfillment of prophecy.
1. We don't all have the same job in God's kingdom. I love Paul's comparison of the church with the human body. We're not all the same organ or part and so we will have different functions. The Athletes in Action staffer was herself once a part of a varsity soccer team and has credibility in the world of university athletes. I know God isn't expecting me to do what she's doing.
2. Even so, sometimes what God tells me to do may not make sense. Obeying what He says may stretch my faith.
May my history of doing whatever God has asked me to do in the past prepare me for whatever kingdom errand he has for me today. And may my obedience today prepare me to do whatever He asks tomorrow.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to do whatever assignment You give me today. Amen.
MORE: Why did Jesus need that donkey?
"Jesus sends two of his disciples to get a donkey... Why? What is he doing? Why does he want a ride into Jerusalem on a donkey? Never before has he done such a thing.
Matthew tells us why in verses 4-5, 'This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "Say to the daughter of Zion [that is, to Israel], 'Behold your king is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden,''"
This is a quote from the prophet Zechariah (9:9). Jesus has chosen to act out the fulfillment of this prophecy and to declare his kingship in the action of riding on a donkey. This means, yes, I am king, for that's what the prophet says it means: 'Behold your king.'
'But,' he is saying, 'I am gentle and lowly. I am not, in my first coming, on a white war-horse with a sword and a rod of iron. I am not coming to slay you. I am coming to save you. This time. Today is the day of salvation.'"
- "Jesus Declares His Kingship" - By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org.