Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Donkey's Story

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. I love to write stories of how it might have been behind the scenes in Bible stories. If the donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem could talk, here is the story he might have told about that first Palm Sunday:

I had always wished I were a horse. Standing beside my mother, I often watched the horses go by carrying Roman soldiers. How important they seemed! Once, I even saw Pontius Pilate, the the Roman governor in Jerusalem, ride by. His horse acted so proud. I nickered. If only I could carry a king. But I knew kings didn't ride donkeys.

Still, I was anxious to grow up, to be useful, no matter what my life's work would be. Whenever Isaac, my master, needed a worker, I would bray in my deepest voice, trying to attract his attention so he would let me help. But he always chose my big brother instead. I felt useless and unhappy.

Then today, two men untied me. I could hardly believe what was happening. At last, I was going to be useful! I was a little nervous, but I walked as tall as I could, ears up, back straight. I may not be as regal as a horse, but I would do my best.

I wondered what these two fellows had in mind for me. Who was this Jesus they said needed me? Isaac seemed to think he was a good man--a prophet, he said.

As we neared Bethphage, I saw a small group of people gathered around a man. He looked rather ordinary, until I got close enough to look into his eyes. His eyes--how kind and gentle they were...yet sad too. I'd never seen eyes like his before.

The two men, "disciples" they called themselves, draped some of their clothes on my back since I didn't have a saddle. I stood very still as the man they called Jesus climbed on my back. I sensed his calmness, and I wasn't nervous anymore. Slowly, we walked down the dusty road toward Jerusalem. Clip-clop, clip-clop.

Soon, many people began following us. They spread their garments in the road to make a soft path for us. Some people cut palm branches and waved them as they all began to sing, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

By this time, everyone in Jerusalem was asking, "Who is this?"

"It's Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth," his disciples answered.

Then, someone shouted, "Let's make him our king!"

Suddenly, I remembered the old prophecy of Zechariah, "Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey's colt."

I was carrying the King of the universe on my back--Jesus, the King of kings, the very Son of God! Why, this was better than all of my dreams put together! I was blessed above all donkeys.

What if ...

What might the donkey have thought the next morning?

The next morning the young donkey awakened. The pleasant memories of yesterday lingered. After breakfast, he arched his neck and walked proudly with mincing steps back toward the city of Jerusalem.

On the way, he noticed a group of people over by the well. "I'll show myself to them first," he thought. They took no notice.

"Throw your garments down," he muttered crossly. "Don't you know who I am?"

They stared in amazement. Then someone uttered an oath and threw a stone at him.

"Miserable infidels," he thought in bewilderment. "They don't deserve me. I will go toward the market. That's where the good people will be waiting."

Courtesy Pinterest
No one at the busy market noticed his arrival. "The palm branches," he shouted. "Where are the palm branches? Have you forgotten so soon?"

Dazed, he hung his head and slowly plodded back to his mother for comfort.

"Foolish child!" She nudged him gently. "Without Him, you can do nothing."

This story illustrates a vital truth. When God uses you to do something for Him, do we try to take the glory to ourselves for what He has done through us?

Do we try to accomplish many things apart from Him?

We should not be surprised when our enterprises fail. Just as the branches cannot produce fruit unless they remain attached to the vine, so apart from Him we can do nothing. We must remain in Him and allow Him to remain in us.

And He deserves all the glory!

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