Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Little Donkey

A Little Donkey
October 21, 2013
Zechariah 9:9   "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

During the time of Jesus, Rome was the occupying military presence.  Caesar was in charge and it was a common occurrence to see his military patrolling the streets.  Just having military personnel on hand in the cities helped deter rebellion against the government and ensured a degree of peace throughout the land.  Since the military was present, if a coup attempted to arise it was quite easy to put it at bay.  Many people assumed Jesus would be one of these coup attempts, since He was predicted to be the king of the Jews.  The government was prepared for this and many people were expecting it to happen, ready for battle to break out and a new king to assume the throne of government.  But you and I know that never happened the way many thought, as the Lordship of Jesus was and is over a different kind of kingdom.

In fact, many people assumed Jesus would, during their lifetime, ride through the streets on a horse, declaring His status as king and battle against the military troops in the city.  This is opposite of how it happened, though.  On His one and only triumphant ride through the city, Jesus sat on a little donkey without holding a sword for battle.  Scripture says that Jesus rode on a male foal of a donkey.  This means it was less than a year old, had never been ridden, and not fully strong enough to carry human weight.  I can just imagine, too, its gate being smaller than usually, seeing its feet take quick, cartoon-like steps just to keep at a slow pace.  It was actually an embarrassment to be seen riding this little hee-haw mule.  No king would show his face while riding on this joke of a steed.  A king usually rode the largest of horses, strong enough for battle, stately through the city streets.  Not Jesus, He rode a little donkey.  He was not a threat; He came in an unassuming manner, being mocked for His choice of chariot.

The reason Jesus rode such a teeny pack animal was critical to the Lord's plan.  The Lord never intended Jesus to wage a human war against the occupying Roman government.  Since He rode a donkey, without carrying a sword, the military were not incited to rival against Him.  It wasn't time yet.  It wasn't appropriate.  It wasn't part of the plan.  It didn't quite happen how everyone imagined or how everyone hoped it would turn out.  But this is OK, because quite often the Lord does things in a manner we seldom understand and we would seldom choose.  We like the exciting idea of a horse, a battle, and a new government.  It is a gallant romantic story, similar to the one we've imagined for our own lives.  But at some point, we begin to realize things will not turn out how we thought they might.  We are expecting a stately horse, but find it is really a little donkey, seemingly pathetic to the heroic story we've prepared for ourselves.

No, it is not how you envisioned it, but it is how the Lord designed it.  It is foolish to the world but perfect for His plan.  This was true in the plan for the life of Jesus and it is true in the plan for the life of you.  As you mature in life and mature in your Christian walk, you realize that the stately details you envisioned do not parallel how they are being revealed.  The sobriety of reality can be disappointing if you are still looking at the situation through your human eyes or human understanding.  While the daily details of your life may seem boring, they may be exactly how the Lord wants them displayed, using you perfectly how He planned.  Your little donkey may feel embarrassing at the moment, but the revelation in Heaven someday, of what really happened, will turn out an amazing romantic tale of perfection.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Zech 9:8-10, Matt 21:1-6, 1 Cor 1:18-31

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