In our ongoing series, on the lessons to be gleaned from "Palm Sunday" we come today to 2 more...
Tempering Matthew's "puzzling" account of Jesus riding on two donkeys
with the other Gospels, which state that He rode on a single donkey,
some of the Bible commentators state with rightful conviction that while Jesus rode on a
donkey's colt into
Jerusalem, the "senior" donkey followed riderless right behind. The 'junior'
donkey (donkey's colt) is reasoned by the seasoned scholars to represent the
church, birthed 1500 years after Judaism was established, which accepts
Jesus Christ. The riderless donkey, then, represents Judaism, who has
Culturally and socially during
Biblical times, a king astride a donkey symbolized the "peace mission",
whereas a king riding on a horse symbolized "war". The "peace" mission
of Christ which would be accomplished four days later on the Cross, would
pave the way for a peaceful reconciliation between not only Holy God and
unholy man (See
2 Cor. 5:21/1Tim. 2:5), but also between Jews and Gentiles
as well as the physically impaired and the healthy ones who
would all be now one in Christ (See
Is. 56:3-7/Acts 8:26-40).
Say Preacher, is your popularity
soaring? What better time than now to recall the wise words of Sadhu
Sundar Singh, especially in the context of all the unexpected popularity
that came the way of the unsuspecting "little donkey" on this momentous
occasion. I am quoting his words verbatim here below:
Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and
strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon
an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the
road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon
the garments and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish
to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not
decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear
Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men
do to them for the sake of Jesus."
Doubtless, these words need
to not so much be inked, but rather, be engraved in the hearts and minds of every
servant of God. It would serve every servant of the Master well to
remember that he/she is being respected, not because of his/her profession, but
because of his/her association with the Master's work. Look at the Apostle
Paul's self-worded "score-card" of his ministry: "For I am the least of
all the apostles…it was not I but God who was working through me by his
grace." (1 Cor. 15:9,10 NLT)
Take heed, messenger of God's word!
With popularity can come some pitfalls. The next time people pat you on
your back for your "marvellous sermon", praise God for placing the
message in your heart and counting you worthy of taking it to the
world. Otherwise, you could well end up making a proverbial "ass" of yourself! The words of John the Baptist
are so important for us to remember the words quoted from Sadhu Sundar
Singh: "'He must increase, I must decrease' (John
3:30 BSB) ought
to be the "watchword" for every Servant of God at all times."
While on the subject, it would not be out of place to muse on yet
another simple yet profound truth. Wasn't the Donkey which carried Jesus
to Jerusalem first "untied", and then only "used" for His glory? How true
in a Christian's life too! First one has to be "set free" from the
chains of sin before he/she is put into "service" of being "a carrier"
(read witness) to the outside,
watching World (See
Prayer: Father, we praise and thank
Thee for all the lessons You are teaching us from "Palm Sunday". When
it comes to application of these lessons, enable us not to be only "mere
listeners" but also "doers". In Jesus' Name. Amen.
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire "Lessons From Palm Sunday" mini-series,