Summary: A donkey on Palm Sunday sets an example for us to live by

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- FRANCIS (1950)

Behind enemy lines in Burma, G.I. "Peter" Donald O’Connor is rescued by a talking mule named Francis. Peter’s claim that his four-legged pal speaks. Peter is placed in a padded cell before the pair are recognized for their heroic deeds.

- Six more films follow 1950-1956

Movie Titles

• Francis in the Navy

• Francis goes to West Point

• Francis Covers the Big Town

• Francis joins the WACs

• Francis in the Haunted House

• Francis Goes to the Races

- Francis was first talking animal before Mister Ed the talking horse.

- Will Rogers trained this mule

- In the ’50s, they sponsored the first of an annual PATSY award ceremony. The “Performing Animal Top Star of the Year”

- This was the Academy Award for animal actors.

- Francis the Mule was the first PATSY winner in 1951

If the “Performing Animal Top Star of the Year” award had been around in first- century Jerusalem, the animal who carried Jesus certainly would have been a winner.

— This Jerusalem bound donkey would have won a PATSY.


1. A Distinctive Donkey - Be Available


- Found in all 4 gospels Mt 21:1, Mk. 11:1, Lk 19:28. Jn 12:12

- The Lord has need - first 3 Gospels

- v.1 Bethphage “House of unripe figs” – Not ready

- v.1-3 - Two Go – Verify and agree to the need

- Exactly as Jesus said

- Mare with her colt – Mt. 21:2

- Tied – Mk 11:4 by the door where the 2 ways meet

- Never been ridden – Lk 19:30

- Owned by others – Lk 19:33

- Will be given without question – Mt 21:3

- The Lord see our condition and our possibilities

Now for Our Reaction or Action

2. Depart from the Disciples - Be Wise


- They stand with Jesus today

- Later one will betray Him

- Another will deny Him

- Go back a chapter- Discussing who is the greatest 20:20-28

- They heard but did not learn

- Describes us - Looking out for ourselves

- Some of us have followed Jesus for years

- Dropped a few coins in the plate

- Taught a class here & there

- Under pressure — Run, Escape, Bail out

3. Detach from the Drove - Be Committed


- Crowds were curious, but not committed

- Cried Hosanna now less than a week crucify Him

- They had learned the truth but can’t do the truth

- Crowds for the church today are the Lilly & Holly type

4. Dodge the Directors - Be Authentic


- Jn 12:19 - Pharisees “World is gone after him”

- Lk 19:39 - Pharisees cried stop your disciples

- Religious Leaders often took bribes (Judas)

- Gave false witness (Jesus trial)

- Ch. denominations bring confusion

- Media preachers often are out for themselves

5. Dare To Be a Donkey - Be Humble


- Most people don’t consider it a compliment to be compared to a donkey.

- Let’s call him Christopher

– Gk “Christ-bearer.”

- v. 7 Submitted to the cause of Christ

- v. 10 He carried Christ into Jerusalem

- Applying Christopher the “Christ-bearer.” to our lives

• Serving Christ. Or being a faithful servant can be a burden.

• Serving Christ humbly without caring who gets the glory.

• Following Christ’s direction; being willing to go where he wants to go, not where we want to go.

• Not getting spooked by the crowds, the noise, the attention.

• Taking Christ into enemy territory.

• Never asking Christ to “get off our backs.”

• Being obedient to the will of the One who holds the reins.

Lets close by going back to Christopher

The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride.

He walked into town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them,” he thought.

But they didn’t notice him. They went on drawing their water and paid him no mind.

“Throw your garments down,” he said crossly. “Don’t you know who I am?”

They just looked at him in amazement. Someone slapped him across the tail and ordered him to move.

“Miserable heathens!” he muttered to himself. “I’ll just go to the market where the good people are. They will remember me.”

But the same thing happened. No one paid any attention to the donkey as he strutted down the main street in front of the market- place.

“The palm branches! Where are the palm branches!” he shouted. “Yesterday, you threw palm branches!”

Hurt and confused, the donkey returned home to his mother.

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