“…If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.'” Luke 19:31
On this snowy day in March, (Yes March! It seems to have come in like a lion this year!) it’s just the coziest sort of day to be thankful for all the good and lovely things that God has given me to think on (Phil. 4:8). Curling up under an afghan to watch a little “Pollyanna” is always helpful too.
You know in that movie there is a not so nice person that tries to control the town and even the church to which Pollyanna reminds people that no one can own a church, its God’s. This reminds me of how often our decisions can be influenced by fear. No good decision is made in fear, good decisions are made in faith.
I’m reminded of Pilate in the unfair trial of Jesus leading up to His crucifixion. I can find 7 times throughout the gospels that Pilate declares Jesus innocent, he can find nothing to accuse him of (Matt. 27:23, Mark 15:14, Luke 23:4,14,22, John 19:4,6). Yet in fear of the crowd and his boss, so to speak, he ends up giving in to what they want. Pilate makes the decision in fear to send Jesus to be crucified against his better judgment.
The crowd was pretty intense chanting “Crucify! Crucify!” (John 19:6) John 6:7 records the Jews saying, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” However if you look back at the law in Leviticus 24:16 it says, anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Um, did you read what I did?! It said stone not crucify. Isn’t that what happens to our hearts when we start living in the law and not grace, in religion and not relationship. We read the Word with binoculars instead of a mirror. This world is all about getting ahead rising above the next guy but Jesus was about coming down. He went from a throne to a manger, from being worshiped by angels to a carpenters job, from being the creator of thorns (Gen. 3:18) to wearing a crown of thorns, from being Judge to being judged. That kind of humble sacrifice takes strength beyond my comprehension! One in which I pray somehow He will work out in my heart as I pray to submit and surrender my will to His.
This brings me to another thought in Luke 19:28-40 pertaining to Jesus triumphal entry. Go ahead take a moment to read it too.
Does verse 30-31 strike you like it did me?! Talk about surrender, I mean what if that donkey was all they had, what if it was a favorite friend, a child’s faithful confidon, what if it was like the child they could never have or something they had just given their life’s savings to purchase or maybe it was what they were going to sell in order to survive a bit longer until they could find work, maybe it was one of many, but maybe it felt like all they had was being taken away. You ask why and the explanation is just, “The Lord needs it.” WHAT?!?!
Maybe the owners of the donkey knew Scripture maybe they didn’t, but if they did… 1 Kings 1:33 states, he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and set Solomon my son on my own mule… Jesus wants the donkey to proclaim to the world that He was the chosen Son of David to sit on Davids throne! And Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation gentle and riding on a donkey. Jesus wanted the donkey to show the world He was the one the prophets had spoken about! And do you notice in Luke 19:28-29 This donkey was planed for before He had even entered the city!! Verse 30 displays Jesus attention to detail! This donkey was chosen for GREATNESS it had a predetermined GRAND purpose to fulfill with it’s life but the owners were going to have to let go to trust Jesus with out all their “whys?!” being answered.
The only thing I can see in letting go in this passage that would have made making the decision to trust in faith rather than say no and cling to what they felt was theirs in fear of all the unknown, would be knowing Who needed it. Knowing the Lord, knowing this Jesus; and we can through His Word too!! He is the lion we can’t tame but can always trust. He is the lamb that was slain and the lion that has triumphed. He is called Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) and all His promises are “yes” in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20).
Jesus, please, You say it only takes a mustard seed of faith to move a mountain (Matt. 17:20) so today please grow in me that mustard seed of faith to trust You when if feels like You need my “donkey”. When everything in me want’s to cry, NO! That’s mine! Help me to let go of the illusion of control and to rest in the promises of Your Word and in Your faithfully good character. To know it’s really You and not me that holds all things together. (Col. I:17) Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to follow joyfully beyond what I can understand and to sense Your presence… I AM. To hear after, the Lord needs it….dear child “haven’t I promised you that everything is working together for good to those who love Me (Romans 8:28)? Haven’t I promised you that I will bring you to a glorious end (Jeremiah 29:11)? Haven’t I promised you that I will complete that which I’ve begun in you (Phil. 1:6)? Haven’t I promised you that I will restore to you the years the locusts has eaten (Joel 2:25)? Haven’t I promised you that no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)? Haven’t I promised to supply all your need (Phil. 4:19), that if you seek Me first, everything will be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)?” So that I can respond in faith not fear. Okay, Lord. I trust You with my “donkey”. Please keep me close with my hand in Your Mighty one as You walk me through this next chapter of our love story together.
Independent Read: Deut. 31:6
*That picture on top… that’s a mustard seed… and it’s growing. 🙂