This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Jesus entered Jerusalem as a king. He was buried as a criminal by the end of the week. The events took everyone by surprise, except Jesus. He knew what was ahead and even prepared for it. Before entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday he even wanted the symbolic gesture of riding a donkey into the city. There was no mistaking the meaning. Prophets had foretold that the Messiah would come humble, riding upon a donkey (Zech. 9:9)
What's interesting about this part of the Palm Sunday story is the direction Jesus gave the disciples. He told them to go into the city and look for a certain place where a donkey would be tied up. Now how did Jesus know that? Beyond clairvoyance, and some kind of Son-of-God advantage, could there be a practical explanation? Might Jesus have known the owner of the donkey? Might the owner have been a recipient of Jesus' blessing, perhaps someone Jesus had one time healed?
Jim Jackson, former pastor of Chapelwood UMC in Houston, TX, raises these questions and then considers the significance of the donkey. A donkey was like a utility vehicle, a beast used for practical purposes like a pick-up truck. Imagine Jesus knowing that someone he had helped had purchased a new pick-up truck. And imagine this person seeing strangers climb in his truck and get ready to drive off. Don't you think that person would have barged out of his house and asked, "What do you think you're doing with my truck?"
But Jesus warned the disciples, if they are asked this question just say, "The Lord has need of it." That would do it. The owner would back down and say, "Oh, if Jesus needs it, then go ahead."
What do you have that is special to you, something that is useful and significant? What do you have that means a lot to you, that you even sacrificed to get? What if someone asked to have it saying, "But the Lord has need of it?" What would be your response? The answer to the question really is based on what you have experienced Jesus doing for you. How blessed do you feel? How much do you believe God has done in your life? What do you have that God can use? How are you releasing it for His purpose?
He still rides into our lives and asks us to be ready. If someone comes along and says, "The Lord has need of it," be ready, says Jesus.