Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Go, And Bring Me That Donkey

Jesus sent out two of his disciples. He said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey's colt tied up. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here. Someone may ask you, 'Why are you untying it?' If so, say, 'The Lord needs it.'" Those who were sent ahead went and found the young donkey. It was there just as Jesus had told them. They were untying the colt when its owners came. The owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They replied, "The Lord needs it." Then the disciples brought the colt to Jesus. - Luke 19:29-35

Have you ever been asked to do something that you felt uncomfortable with? Have you ever been asked to do something uncomfortable by someone you loved? For a stranger, I would more than likely fail the test and pass right on by - like a couple of people that's mentioned in the NT. Luke 10:31, Luke 10:32 For a loved one, I would more than likely bear it, or better yet, have a convenient excuse. Each time I read this story as found in the three gospels, I always sigh, and think how uncomfortable that would have been for someone like me. I admit, I have much to work on in serving Christ the way He would want.

For instance, just the other day, my wife and I pulled up into a major department store parking lot, and there was a basket in the open parking space. I couldn’t go any further, and being the gentleman that I am, I asked my sweet wife if she would mind getting out and pushing the basket to the side, so I could finish pulling up into the parking space. She gladly agreed. We then talked about her remembering having to do just that same embarrassing task for her parents when she was growing up, and how much she hated it. Then she told me of her asking our oldest son just the other day to do that too, and how he didn’t like doing that either. My oldest son gets this uncomfortable feeling very honestly from both my wife and myself.

Another story I remember as talked about in the OT is that of Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was also told to do something uncomfortable, unexpected, and embarrassing.
2 Kings 5:9-12 Naaman had developed a skin disease. Naaman’s army had captured a little Hebrew girl who served Naaman’s wife. The little girl had compassion on Naaman, and explained that he could go and see the prophet Elisha, and the prophet would heal him. Naaman packed up and went, expecting the prophet to come out with a loud commotion and heal him. Naaman never saw Elisha. Elisha simply told Naaman to go and do something uncomfortable, unexpected, and embarrassing. Naaman was furious and refused to follow the directions of the prophet. After a while, some of Naaman’s closest friends told Naaman, that this was an easy thing to do. Even if the prophet had told this strong man Naaman to perform some great feat, Naaman could have done it. Why couldn’t Naaman do this easy thing. This sort of reasoning worked for Naaman because he got up and went to the Jordan river and dipped himself seven times, just as the prophet told him to. To his surprise, it worked, and his skin disease was gone, and his skin was pure and clean.

Back to the story of Jesus instructing two of his disciples to go and take this donkey and bring it back to him. How hard would it have been for me, if Jesus were to tell me to go and do this. I’m not sure how well I would have done. But look closer. Jesus sent two. This would have been much easier for me to consider, if I had someone to go with me, to help me, to support me in this task. I should never forget the power that comes from the help of others in the task that Jesus asks of me. I should also make myself available to help others if there is a need. And, there’s always a need by someone for something.

Jesus also gives the two some additional help. He further explains what “may” happen once they get there, and what to do and say “if” what might happen really does happen. He has given them miraculous proof that would leave an undeniable impression upon both of them, which would do nothing more than strengthen their resolve to obey. Jesus has equipped these two people with strength from each other, and proof that they serve Jesus – the son of God. Who else matters to these two, more so than Jesus? If Jesus told these two to perform this task, and gives them proof of what will happen, and it really does come to pass, can’t you just see the grin on both of their faces as they approach Jesus bringing this donkey behind them?

If Jesus were to ask anything of me today, am I willing to be His servant and obey?

Am I Listening To What God Is Saying In His Word?

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