A Donkey’s Blessing
- Our text for today is one of four or so passages normally read on Palm Sunday.
- Normally, the focus is on the people shouting “Hosanna” and recognizing Jesus as Lord, worshipping Him in the process.
- Today, however, I want to shift the focus to the donkey and the donkey’s blessing.
HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND THE TEXT?
28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
The donkey of Luke 19 is the donkey of Zechariah 9:9 …
- Luke 19:36-40 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
- Zechariah 9:9
So … what is the donkey’s blessing?
- Jesus had to be taken into Jerusalem on a donkey.
- Of all the donkeys in the region at that time, only one would be chosen to carry the Messiah into Jerusalem.
- Only one donkey would be chosen to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.
- That donkey was the one we read about in Luke 19:30 and the following verses.
- The donkey’s “blessing“ was being chosen to participate in the ministry of the Messiah.
What should we take away from the text?
There are many things to be gleaned from the passage, but I want to leave you with three (3) …
1. The donkey’s “blessing” was also the “blessing” of the two disciples.
- IF we could switch focus FROM the donkey … TO the “blessing” …
- Like the donkey, the 2 disciples were participating in the ministry of the Messiah.
2. The donkey’s “blessing” is also a “blessing” that rightly belongs to the Church.
- The two disciples are unnamed. I think they are unnamed because God would want us to identify with those two disciples.
- IF we identify with the 2 disciples, THEN we can realize that … like the 2 disciples … and the donkey … we, as the Church, have a role to play in the ministry of the Messiah.
- Each of us … by virtue of having been given the Holy Spirit (and the spiritual gifts that He has given us) … has the opportunity to participate in the (ongoing) ministry of Jesus Christ.
3. To be successful in sharing that blessing … of participating in the work that Jesus is doing … we need to do two things …
- First … We must be obedient
- Notice Luke 19:30-31.
- The instructions to the 2 disciples may have sounded strange … but they carried them out anyway.
- The instructions were potentially dangerous … akin to asking two of us to go into some inner city garrison, locate a new vehicle that had never been driven and just drive it out … but they carried them out anyway.
- Second … be willing to give up anything the Lord asks us to give up
- Notice Luke 19:33-34 and then Luke 19:35
- Notice that there was NO resistance by the owners.
- Seems to me the owners must have been disciples … or near-disciples … but that’s not the important point.
- The important point is that they were prepared to give up some prized possession … because the Lord had need for it.
A. Imagine how that donkey might have felt if he were human.
B. I can’t speak for any donkey out there, but … IF I were that donkey in Luke 19, THEN all my children and relatives and friends would be familiar with the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 … and I’d probably have a licence plate saying, “ONE DONK”.
C. Seriously, though, as we conclude, there are two questions I think each of us needs to ask …
- How obedient have I been?
- Is there anything I’m not prepared to give up IF the Lord needs it?
D. How you answer those two questions will determine how effective and successful you will be in participating in the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ.