This past Sunday we were blessed to have the ministry of our brother Neville Gosman. During his message he referenced how Jesus instructed two of His disciples to enter the village ahead where they would find a donkey and colt and were to bring these to Him. Mark and Luke add that this was a colt upon which “no one has ever ridden.” (Mark 11:2; Luke 19:30). This fact is significant because in Jesus’ day only “unused” or “untouched” animals were appropriate for sacrifice. In this animal’s humble and willing offering of itself to the Master we see a lesson for us, that we likewise ought keep ourselves “untouched” by a sin-filled world and “offer [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” (Rom. 12:1)
In the scriptures donkeys are used to teach us many lessons. Balaam’s talking donkey shows us how God can use any willing and available means to do His will or to get our attention (Num. 22:28-31)! Samson’s use of a dead donkey’s jawbone shows that not even death can prevent great victory where God wills it (Judges 15:15-17).
The donkey upon which Christ rode, did not apply for this job. No… this donkey only kept itself humble, knowing its place of non-specialness, and it was because of that lack of any sense of specialness or entitlement that this donkey was chosen. Its heart was in just the right place for God to act mightily. “Behold, your King is coming to you… mounted on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:5).
The rich and elite in Deborah’s day rode on “white,” that is, bright-coloured or dappled donkeys, the more valued kinds, but Christ chooses the lowly… the poor… shepherds… mangers… barns… and unproven donkeys. Folk like you and I.
Though the task God calls you to may seem daunting our Lord will equip you as you step out in faith… whether you have two feet, four feet, or none! God is all about fairness: “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” (Deut. 22:10), and empowerment “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29). And God does give rest… even to oxen and donkeys. (Exod. 23:12).
So, be a good donkey and step out for Christ. Perhaps He is asking you to do something brave and new. Don’t fear change. As even Shrek has said, “Change is good, Donkey.”