We speak of “walking with the Lord” and that is a believer’s privilege and calling. However, we are looking at times when Jesus didn’t walk but was moved by some other means. In my last post, I shared about how Jesus was a passenger in Peter’s row boat one morning and that experience changed Peter’s whole life from that day on.
Let’s take a look at another exception to this rule: “Jesus walked everywhere He went”.
Jesus Rode On A Donkey
Sure you knew that! Yet the fact that it only happened once and was not His usual way to get around, draws special attention to it. Why did He do it and what can we learn from it?
– Jesus is how God Keeps His promises
In Zech 9:9 God promises the Messiah will come into Jerusalem on a donkey.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
If God has made a promise, Jesus keeps it! This is why Paul wrote “All the promises of God are yea and Amen in Him.” (Christ)
– Jesus came to His own (the Jews) but died for the whole world.
In Genesis the prophecy of messiah was:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. “He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes.” (Gen 49:10-11)
When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they rejected Him and He knew they would and that is why He wept (Luke 19:41). He had two of his disciples “loose” a donkey that had been tied. You see Christ’s donkey (his humble ministry) was originally “tied” to the nation of Israel alone (Mat 15:24). When they rejected Him, His ministry was no longer exclusively towards the nation of Israel (the “vine” cf. Isaiah 5) but now it would be for the whole world as Jesus came to Jerusalem to die on a cross for all man’s sins.
– Jesus chose to live in line with the Word of God
Jesus knew the prophecy in Zechariah 9 that He must present Himself on a donkey to the nation of Israel. It doesn’t appear anyone else really did realize it at the time he made that now famous ride. We are told the disciples didn’t get it until after Jesus rose from the dead.
A couple of life lessons for us:
1. We have God’s Word to give us instruction on how to live too. How to make decisions, how to marry, how to raise our children, how to witness to our friends, how to do business, how to get God’s leading, how to handle our finances, etc. etc.
Like Jesus, we need to obey the scriptures when we face circumstances that they speak to (which is likely most of the things we are facing right now!) He didn’t explain Himself to his followers or do a sermon series on Zechariah 9, He just did what God said.
There is awesome power in simple obedience
Consider this: The story is told of an occasion when Alexander the Great came with a relatively small army to a city who’s city gates were locked shut for security. Alexander sent word to the City’s leadership to surrender immediately. They responded “Why should we, we have more men than you have under your command!”. Alexander then did a strange thing. He ordered his men into marching columns in the plain sight of the city. He then gave orders for them to march straight towards a cliff. When he gave the order, the first few men marched straight off the cliff to their deaths! Immediately the town surrendered. “Why?” you ask. Because they knew immediately that with such radical obedience and allegiance, there was no way they could match Alexander in a battle.
When you live a life of simple obedience to God by obeying His word, God will use it to validate your relationship with Him as well as to demonstrate that he has sent you to those who are watching your life.
2. We will often not understand what the Lord is doing until AFTER He has done it. The disciples didn’t “Get it” until after Jesus rose from the dead. Sometimes we can clearly see what the Lord is doing in our lives or in the lives of our friends or family. When we cannot, we need to wait and smile and remember there was a day when Jesus rode on a donkey!