TOPIC:“When God Needs a Donkey”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
“And they said, The Lord hath need of him”
Have you ever thought of those little things which Christ asked for throughout His life? Things which we would not ordinarily want, but things which Christ thought were extremely important and essential to Him.
A drink of water in John 4 to help quench His thirst. Some fish in John 6 to feed a hungry multitude. A coin in Mark 12 to pay His taxes. A child in Matthew 19 to illustrate who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. A towel in John 13 to wipe the feel of the disciples, thus exhibiting to the world the humble spirit we are to have in serving Him.
Such were the necessities of Jesus: a drink of water, some fish, a coin, a little child and a towel.
But now on this first day of the Passover week, this Palm Sunday as we call it, the week for which the whole world has awaited, and the week for which our Lord had come, now of all times we find Him asking for a donkey. Notice the words of Christ: “Go into the village opposite you, in which, at your entering, ye shall find a donkey tied, on which yet never man sat; loose him, and bring him here” (v. 30).
Now why did Jesus want a donkey? May I offer a few suggestions. First of all, to fulfill the prophecy of His first advent as found in Zechariah where we read: “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a donkey, the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9). Then, secondly, to show the relationship, and there is one, between the donkey and the cross. For you see, my friend, on Palm Sunday Christ rode the donkey into the city to be crowned, but on Good Friday, Christ bore the cross out of the city to be crucified. Riding the donkey was to display His majesty, bearing the cross was to declare His mercy.
But then, also, Jesus wanted a donkey to show that if God can use even the lowest, the most obstinate, the most stubborn of animals, the donkey to enter into Jerusalem upon as the Royal Son of David, He can also use you and me to carry out His will and to do His work.
“Now,” says the Master in effect, “just as I needed that donkey nearly two thousand Palm Sundays ago, I need you today. You may not realize it, but I do. I need you to carry my Gospel to those who have never heard. I need you to help in my Church. I need you to enlarge my Kingdom. I need you to help establish my moral principles. I need you to teach my Word.” The problem is we are too busy, too important, too self-centered for God to use. We . . .