Jesus liked to tell parables It seemed to him a good way to get a message across. People relate to something that is recognizable in their context, relevant to the marketplace; relevant to the work places they are familiar with; the culture and time in which they live. Parables are a good way to share a message. Everybody loves a good story, and everybody loves to hear a good story from a good story-teller.
So, after Jesus tells them a story, a parable to the crowd, he goes on ahead to Jerusalem, and we are told that when he comes near Bethpage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sends two of his disciples ahead of him saying, “Go into the village and you find tied there a donkey colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here, and if anyone asks you why and for what reason you are doing this, simple say this: “The Lord needs it!”
So, as they follow the errand Jesus sent them on, they are questioned, and asked: “Why are you untying this colt”? They reply with these words: “The Lord needs it”! You know, don’t you wish that everything was that easy in ministry; when the Lord tells you to do something, and you go and do it and someone says: “Why are you doing this Father Dave? Or, why are you doing this Senior Warden? Or, why are you using this song in the worship service Music Director Naomi? Wouldn’t be wonderful if all we had to say was Jesus told me to, and besides that, the Lord needs it. “The Lord needs it”! That really should be enough for everybody right?
You know it doesn’t always work out that way, does it? It seemed to work out really good for Jesus in this story, but then again you and I are not the Messiah that is going to ride into Jerusalem on a back of a colt that has never been ridden. One thing that we miss in this passage, unless you understand colts and mules, you just don’t hop on a colt that has never been ridden.
I really don’t know anything about training donkey colts for riding. I was doing some reading about mule and donkey trainers and training one for riding can be complicated, different than a horse, and maybe easier than a horse because of temperament, but will take considerable time and talent to train properly. Was Jesus an experienced rider? Trainers say that you cannot attend a three or four-day clinic and then start riding your colt the very next day. So, this is just as impressive as the way the colt that had never been ridden is acquired for Jesus.
They bring the colt to Jesus, and after putting Jesus on the colt, He rides into Jerusalem as people throw their cloaks or what we would refer to now probably as jackets, sweaters or hoodies on the ground in front of Him. The multitude begins to praise God joyfully with a loud voice, saying: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, glory in the highest”!
“Jesus is coming into the city!” Our Lord is making His way into the heart of the city; into the heart of the kingdom of God established here on earth; into the heart of the church that is yet to be; into the hearts of the lives of all of us.” Jesus is coming into the city! It is a time to wave the palms. Our Lord, our King, our Messiah is coming into the city is a time to rejoice.
Let us rejoice and be glad of the coming of our Lord and Savior. In the tragic days that followed Palm Sunday, the soul searching days, the triumphant days and the exuberant days of praise for Easter that is coming…New life!.