While the owners of the donkey are not named, it is likely they were also followers of Jesus. It seems borrowing the donkey was prearranged. Jesus had planned how he would enter Jerusalem. His followers prepared the donkey and tied it near the city gate knowing Jesus needed it and would send someone to get it.
We read in three of the gospels that Jesus instructed the disciples, if you are asked why are you taking the donkey, answer, the Lord needs it. Jesus knew he would need a donkey to fulfil the scriptures. The owners of the donkey were willing to meet Jesus’ need and because of their service, Jesus was able to make the bold statement of the triumphal entry and to receive the glory and worship that were rightly his. This year as I read this story, with the world in a time of heightened need, I was drawn to Jesus’ words; the Lord needs it. This prompted me to ask; What does the Lord Jesus need from me in these unprecedented times? What can I offer so the Lord will be glorified and honoured?
You may remember the of the story Jesus told of the King welcoming the righteous into his kingdom saying, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?” ‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”” (Matthew 25:35–40)
I think, against the background of pandemic and lockdown, these words of Jesus speak to us in ways we may not have noticed before. The King who rode in triumph into Jerusalem is the King who will welcome us into his kingdom. In essence, to meet the needs of others is to meet the needs of the King. I am sure each of us are finding ways to do this, meeting our King’s need by serving others. Perhaps a word of kindness to a neighbour will carry Jesus love to them. Perhaps dropping off groceries for an elderly neighbour will be a sign of God’s care.
On Palm Sunday the king needed people to lend him a donkey so he could be glorified. Today he needs us to show care to others, to our church family and to the people just over the fence so he can be glorified. In the week ahead I encourage you to ask Jesus, what do you need from me so you will be glorified and honoured in my life?
What does Jesus need from me this week?
What can I do to serve others that will give glory to Jesus?
Rev John Malcolm