Return The Donkey

Mark 11

The preceding paragraph of Mark’s Gospel described what Jesus did when he was going out of Jericho (10:46-52). From Jericho, the little party continued on its way toward Jerusalem. They have reached a point not far away from the villages of Bethpage and Bethany. Jesus sends two of His disciples to Bethpage. His instruction was, “go into the village opposite/just ahead of you.” He assures them that immediately upon entering the village, they will find a colt/donkey tied up.

It will be a colt “upon which no one ever sat,” hence, a colt reserved for sacred use. Nothing is haphazard about the triumphal entry. Everything has been carefully planned and is orderly, exactly as it should be.

Christ riding into Jerusalem on a donkey has great theological implications:

  1. He was coming to celebrate the Passover. 
  2. It is a fulfillment of OT prophecy, Zech. 9:9.
  3. It points the Christ as the long-awaited Messiah.
  4. It also points to the purpose of Christ’s first coming, humility, meekness, peace.
  5. There are eschatological implications, Christ’s Second Coming (i.e., the cursing of the fig tree).

The rich humility of Christ is contrasted against the hateful hypocrisy of the Jews.

Here we find a great practical lesson: if even the Lord Jesus, who was and is God as well as man, and has a right to claim for Himself anything and everything on earth, returned the colt He had “borrowed,” should not His followers return what has been entrusted to them? Furthermore, our obligation is not only the return of material things we have borrowed but also the yielding of our hearts and lives to the One who gave them to us. We learn something of stewardship from the servant heart of Jesus.

We are to be good stewards with:

  1. The Gospel
    1. 1 Cor. 4:1
    2. 2 Cor. 5:13-21
  2. Our Bodies
    1. Rom. 12:1-2
    2. 1 Cor. 6:9
  3. Spiritual Gifts
    1. 1 Pet. 4:10
  4. Giving
    1. 1 Cor. 15:50-6:1
  5. Faith
    1. Eph. 2:8-9
    2. Prov. 3:5-10

When we fail to treat as sacred the things God has given us, then we displease Him greatly. We clearly see this in Christ cleansing the temple. We are not to take what is sacred and treat it as secular. However, that’s exactly what we do when we water down the gospel or give over to gluttony or the other extreme, no modesty. We do this when we spend more time in the pursuit of worldly endeavors rather than serving the Lord. Or, when we encourage others to have faith, but we doubt ourselves.

Today, true followers of the Lord and supporters of the cause are urgently needed. Churches need believers who are willing to serve like Jesus by being good stewards and treating the sacred as such and not as secular. Are you currently serving in this way?

Back To Entries