The Donkey That Served Jesus
Mark 11:1-11 (Read)
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem upon a colt the foal of an ass was, of course, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy:
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
We want to consider our text more closely and draw some analogies between this donkey colt that served Jesus and the lost sinner who is saved by the grace of God, and called to serve the Lord Jesus in the appointed place and time.
Let us ponder on this young donkey colt as he stands there tied at that place on the edge on town where two ways met. There he is; standing, awaiting as it were, his soul purpose in life to be fulfilled; yet he was totally unaware, as far as we know, of what that purpose was to be.
I think of the lost sinner going about their life as this colt, unaware that Jesus is going to send for them. Out of the masses of lost and dying humanity, Jesus calls out their name through the gospel message, bidding them come unto Him. Have you heard Jesus’ voice calling to you?
1. We want to notice some characteristics of this donkey and see how these might relate to the lost child of God:
-Donkeys are unclean animals by Old Testament law (they do not chew the cud).
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”
Is. 64:6). This was spoken concerning the Jews. How much more this is true of us gentiles.
-Donkeys are a beast of burden. Their lives are bound for servitude to their master.
No man is sovereign, but all people are servant to someone; both physically and spiritually.
-Donkeys are stubborn; their will may be free, but only within the limits of their stubborn nature.
Proverbs 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back.
Oh how the nature of the lost sinner is like the nature of the donkey; stubborn and unwilling
to hear the truth concerning their need for salvation and their need to serve the Lord.
-Not only are donkeys stubborn, but they are very slow of learning. It is difficult to impossible
to teach them anything. Likewise is natural man dense toward spiritual things…
Job 11:12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.
Though they would desire to learn and be spiritually wise, natural man cannot be taught
spiritual things because they are spiritually discerned…
-This donkey was a young, unbroken colt, which had never been ridden by any man. Not only
was he stubborn and dense, but he was untamed and unbroken for service.
-In the Scriptures mankind is likened to a wild ass… (Jeremiah 2:24; Hosea 8:9).
Like the wild ass, the lost sinner is wild, unruly, and untamed, given to sensual pleasure.
As such the lost sinner is unfit and in no condition to serve the Lord…
-This donkey was tied up; his stubborn will may have been free, but he was in bondage to his
master. In like manner the lost sinner is in bondage to his master; the devil. They are taken
captive by him at his will. They are born in his kingdom, are led by him, and they serve him.
-He was tied up where two ways met. He was at a crossroads in life. As far as anyone knew this
donkey’s life could have gone any direction. But the Lord had his place of service all
planned out for him.
2. Jesus sent the disciples for the donkey
-This donkey didn’t know his God ordained purpose for his life.
-He didn’t know God’s prophecy concerning him.
-He was a chosen donkey, chosen by God even before the foundation of the world for this work.
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” Acts 15:18
It couldn’t have been another donkey, but this particular donkey was chosen for this
service. Just like it couldn’t have been just any virgin, but Mary the mother of Jesus was
chosen to give birth to Jesus. And so it is with all the sinners that Jesus calls; they are
each one chosen of God unto salvation in Jesus Christ, and to a particular service.
-The Bible says that the Lord had need of him…sovereign grace advocates need to consider.
-The disciples were sent to where Jesus said the donkey would be.
-The disciples untied the donkey.
-The owners did not stop the disciples from taking donkey.
-The donkey went willingly with the disciples.
3. The donkey served Jesus
-Jesus broke the donkey’s natural will. The donkey willing, and gently carried Jesus upon his
back. He did not offer to buck or throw Jesus off.
-The donkey’s mission was glorious…He carried the King of Kings into the city of Zion!
However humble the task might seem, when it is done for Jesus it is important, and it is
glorious. Our service down here may seem menial and unimportant; but if it is done for
Jesus, according to His will, then it is very important to Him and to us…
-The donkey probably didn’t realize or fully appreciate his calling or service.
-The donkey lifted up Jesus literally upon his back…we are to lift Him up spiritually.
-The donkey carried Jesus literally; we are to carry His message of the gospel into all the world.
Do you see yourself this morning as this donkey:
Unclean, stubborn, spiritually blind, wild, unbroken, a servant to Satan in his Kingdom…
And do you hear the voice of Jesus calling you unto himself…
Do you hear the gospel message calling to you to come unto Jesus for the pardon and remission of your sins?
(Preached by the Pastor Burke at the Calvary Baptist Church)