I’M JUST A DONKEY
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:1- 11 ; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40 (READ); John 12:12-19
INTRODUCTION: For at this chapter begins that which is called the passion-week. M. H.
All the four evangelists take notice of this passage of Christ’s riding in triumph into Jerusalem, five days before his death. The passover was on the fourteenth day of the month, and this was the tenth; on which day the law appointed that the paschal lamb should be taken up (Ex. 12:3), and set apart for that service;
on that day therefore Christ our Passover, who was to be sacrificed for us, was publicly showed. So that this was the prelude to his passion. M. H.
I. THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY
A. In Humility
1. Jesus comes in humility, yet with appropriate dignity; instead of coming on a horse as a conquering general would, He comes on a colt, as royalty would - the Prince of Peace (David Guzik)
2. * Compare to the inauguration of a U.S. president.
a. A colt vs. an armored Limo.
b. Peace vs. a threat of terrorism.
B. Honor from the people
a. Put on the donkey.
b. Put beneath the donkey.
When Jehu was proclaimed king, the captains put their garments under him, in token of their subjection to him. M. H.
Others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way, as they used to do at the feast of tabernacles, in token of liberty, victory, and joy; M. H.
a. The crowd calls out Hosanna, which means "save now!"; the crowd openly gives Jesus the titles appropriate for the Messiah (David Guzik).
b. Hosanna signifies, Save now, we beseech thee; referring to Ps. 118:25- 26,
(v. 25)“Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
(v. 26) “Blessed [be] he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.”
where the Messiah is prophesied of as the Head-stone of the corner, though the builders refused him; and all his loyal subjects are brought in triumphing with him, and attending him with hearty good wishes to the prosperity of all his enterprises. Hosanna to the Son of David is, "This we do in honor of the Son of David.’’ M. H.
c. The language here is very grand, intended to express a burst of admiration far wider and deeper than ever had been witnessed before. J. F. B.
C. The town was stirred.
D. Fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9
II. WHAT ABOUT THE DONKEY?
A. Christ called the donkey into service.
Donkeys were much used in that country for travel; horses were kept only by great men, and for war. Christ could have summoned a cherub to carry him. M. H.
B. A Donkey was a beast of burden.
C. What did the donkey think of all of this? Did she think the celebration was for her?
Article from Pulpit Helps, November 2000, pg 12 by Jan Silvious
Sadhu, Sundar Singh, a great Christian of India, was asked if he was influenced by the honor his friends gave him. He said, “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, many people spread their clothing and palm branches on the street in honor of the Lord. Jesus was riding, as the prophets foretold, on a donkey. In this way the feet of Jesus did not touch the street adorned with clothes and branches, but instead the donkey walked over them. It would have been very stupid of the donkey if she had imagined that she was very important. It was not for her that the people threw their clothes on the streets.”
Stupid are those who spread the good news of Jesus and expect to receive glory themselves. The glory should go to Jesus.
III. I’M JUST A DONKEY
A. The Lord called us ---the Lord hath need of him.
B. The Lord loosed us --- ye shall find a colt tied --- loose him
C. The Lord called us to bring glory to him, not ourselves.
In this day of fallen heroes and Christian superstars, it is important that we get a firm grip on what our attitude should be toward those who bring Jesus to us in any form.
Many people are too easily impressed by Christian celebrities: musicians, authors, lecturers, television personalities, evangelists. They will quote their favorites almost more readily than they quote the Word of God. Pulpit Helps, November 2000, pg 12 by Jan Silvious
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
I Cor 4:6 “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and [to] Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [of men] above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”
IV. DONKEYS AND MEN
I Cor. 1:12 “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. I Cor 1:13 “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Do you know why some people did not attend this service and services at other times? Their favorite donkey wasn’t here singing. Their favorite donkey wasn’t here preaching. They think more of the donkey than they think of the rider.
Too many people who go by the name “Christian” base their decisions on the donkey and not its rider.
V. HOW THE WRONG DONKEY ATTITUDE CAN HARM YOU
A. Our Donkey attitudes.
1. We bring the donkey into our homes and feed them with a great meal and honor them with gifts and money. And this we ought to do . . . with the right attitude.
I Cor 9:9 “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?”
2. We put the donkey’s name on our flyers and our billboards.
3. We quote from the donkey’s sayings. The Word is the standard.
4. We pattern ourselves after certain donkeys.
I Cor. 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ.”
Phil 3:17 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk
so as ye have us for an ensample.”
B. The Downfall of Following Donkeys
1. Concerning existence.
a. Donkeys live and die.
b. The Rider lives on.
Rev. 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
2. Concerning stability.
a. Donkeys can change.
b. The Rider doesn’t change.
Hebrews 3:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
3. Concerning trustworthiness.
a. Donkeys can be hirelings. Although usually calm, they can turn and bite you.
b. The Rider was willing to give himself.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
4. Concerning steadfastness.
a. Donkeys can leave you in the midst of trouble.
b. The Rider will never leave you.
Hebrews 13:5 “[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
5. Concerning faithfulness.
a. Donkeys can be unfaithful.
b. The Rider is faithful.
I Thes 5:24 “Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].”
VI. HOW THE RIGHT DONKEY ATTITUDE CAN HELP YOU
A. Why do I keep going when people are dull of hearing? I consider that I am just the donkey.
B. When people are rude and unfaithful, I remember, I am just the donkey.
It is not just me who is being insulted, it is my rider. I’m a beast of burden.
C. What attitude will help you in times of trials and temptations? The thought that you are just a donkey.
He Must Increase, I (the donkey) Must Decrease
John 3:30 “He must increase, but I [must] decrease.”
John 3:31 “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.”
We cannot do it, however, except we get down at the foot of the cross. Human nature likes to be lifted up; the grace of God alone can humble us. (Moody Bible Characters)