MAN’S UNLIKELIEST BEST FRIEND (LUKE 19:28-40)
English author G. K. Chesterton, renowned for his detective crime-fighting writing “Father Brown” has this poem entitled “The Donkey”:
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
Source: The Collected Poems of G. K. Chesterton (Dodd Mead & Company, 1927)
Jesus’ triumphant entry riding on a donkey into Jerusalem appears in all the four gospels, its importance rivaled only by the feeding of the 5,000. The animal kingdom looms large in Jesus’ colorful vocabulary and world. From birds to foxes (Matt 8:20), fish to serpent (Luke 11:11), fly (gnat) to camel (Matt 23:24), ox (Luke 14:5) to fatted calf (Luke 15:30), swine to dogs (Matt 7:6), sheep and goats (Matt 25:32) to wolves and doves (Matt 10:16), locust (Matt 3:4) to worm (Mark 9:46), turtledoves to pigeons (Luke 2:24), rooster (Matt 26:34) and sparrow (Matt 10:31) to scorpion (Luke 10:19). No animal, however, is as heralded, as honored or as hardworking as the donkey in Jesus’ ministry – the unsung, unsophisticated and unselfish animal of the Bible.
What can you do for Jesus, no matter if you are popular or not, prized or not, picked or not? What attitude and approach do we need to have? Why do we need to praise, worship and glorify God in all that we do?
Submit Heartily to His Will
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.” (Luke 19:28-34)
President Eisenhower once admitted to the National Press Club audience that he was not a great speaker.
Eisenhower once said: It reminds me of my boyhood days on a Kansas farm. An old farmer had a cow that we wanted to buy. We went over to visit the farmer and asked him about the cow’s pedigree.
The old farmer didn’t know what pedigree meant, so we asked him about the cow’s butterfat production, He told us he didn’t have any idea what it was. Finally we asked him if he knew how many pounds of milk the cow produced each year.
The farmer said, ‘I don’t know. But she’s an honest cow, and she’ll give you all the milk she has.’”
Eisenhower concluded, “I’m like the cow, I’ll give you everything I have.”
When Jesus was in Bethany, about fifteen furlongs (KJV) or two miles (NASB) from Jerusalem (John 11:18), he sent his disciples to the next village to fetch a colt for his grand entrance into Jerusalem, the city of God. It was an unclear, unusual and unwanted task. A colt is a young donkey. Why did Jesus request for a young donkey? First, Jesus did not owe anything on earth. He had nowhere to lay his head (Luke 9:58), no place to call home, largely depending on the generosity of women who ministered to Him (Mark 15:41). Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man.” Even then Jesus’ headquarters were in Capernaum, 85 miles from Jerusalem.
Second, Jesus had His people, mostly anonymous, everywhere ready to do His bidding. All four gospels remember the deed but not the city, person or residence. Mark says “certain of them” (Mark 21:3) and Luke calls them “owners” (Luke 19:33). In Elijah’s time there were seven thousand in Israel whose knees would not bow to Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18). On Paul’s second missionary journey the Lord said to him, “For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” (Acts 18:10) The owners are plural, so it was from shared expenses. It was an opportunity for service. In his human form He would not do all for all. It was an experience to help us grow.