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Jesus used a donkey! Surely, he can use you

Updated on July 14, 2011

Jesus rides a donkey's colt!

If Jesus Can Use a Donkey, He Can Use You!
If Jesus Can Use a Donkey, He Can Use You!

Jesus, the little colt of a donkey and the triumphanr entry!

Jesus used a donkey! Surely, he can use you!  Look how Jesus used a lowly donkey!

Matthew 21:1-5 KJV  And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,  (2)  Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.  (3)  And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.  (4)  All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,  (5)  Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

As pastor I have often heard that shy Christian stutter, “I can’t,” when I ask her to do something for God or church.  Sister Christian just could not fathom that she could be used of God.  Likewise, Brother believer would make excuses like Moses stuttering at the burning bush when he told God of his pitiful plight in the wilderness.

Well, my favorite answer (although I often did not use it) was to say, “Jesus used a donkey! Surely, he can use you!”

The picture begins in Matthew 21 where Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem (the event known among Christians as the “triumphant entry”) gloriously draped in prophecy and saddled on a special donkey.  This scene  is near laughable to us 21st century pilgrims who are more familiar to the metal to the pedal, gas smashed, need for speed treks. 

A Donkey?


Jesus takes a donkey! A donkey?  Jesus chooses to ride astride this funny little beast. Here in public is the “King of the Jews,” “King of Kings”, “Prince of princes”, the Anointed One of God, the Messiah, the Hope of Israel, The Wonderful, The Mighty God, and He chose to use a little donkey.  What would the press say if our president chose to ride the inaugurations’ ceremonies straddling a donkey?  Would Napoleon ride a pogo stick?  Would General Patton look good in a baby carriage?  Would the Pope of Rome be paraded in a wheelbarrow?

However, Jesus chooses to use a donkey!  Surely he can use me!  He chooses to use this little animal to ride through the street not, because it is the best animal or most efficient means to do the job, but because it is the best means to accomplish his redemptive purpose which is to reveal Himself to the people.  When we see Jesus as he really is, then our lives are truly changed.  This is why Jesus comes riding on a donkey!

The donkey was chosen so the people might identify Jesus as/with the prophetic past.

Zechariah 9:9 KJV  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.

There may well have been a conveyance more efficient, more gloriously lavish, more frightening to this supposed King’s enemies, more appealing to the Pharisees, more enduring to the rabbis, more acceptable to the scribes, or more royal to the aristocracy.  However, this Jesus chooses and uses this lowly colt of an ass to identify himself in prophecy, and few at the time recognize this full intent.  Many have challenged Him to reveal Himself whether He is this Christ, but here they do not fully see his handiwork of revelation because of this simplicity; the simple symbol of a young donkey.   He uses a donkey and the colt of a donkey at that! 

Surely God can use me!

This symbolism is an invitation to see Him as He is, the Son of God.  This is so much like the Son of the Most High God!  He uses fishermen to turn the world upside down; He uses a tax collector to evangelize, and former prostitutes to win cities; he uses a child with a few fishes to feed a multitude; he uses lowly shepherds to announce the birth of the Christ child; he uses me as a seventh grade renegade to become a pastor.  He can use you!

Consider the time, the little donkey and the magnificent Christ. Some knew the meaning, others misunderstood because of the fury of the moment.  Some understood; others willfully ignored. It is obvious that Jesus is saying that God’s prophet is entering Jerusalem;  It is plainly revealed through a donkey’s colt that some kind of crises is about to ensue.  This is all because Jesus chose to ride a little donkey.  The crowd becomes enamored by the form and ceremony.  The volume of praise crescendos; The wave of palm branches sets for a breeze of anarchy against the dreaded Rome;  The winds of time are set in motion for the rising of the king.  However, the picture so amusing to us now, so exhilarating to them then, is still not sufficient to change the character of the mob.  In hours they would be crying, “Crucify Him!”

“How is this possible?” I ask.  I think the answer is in the nature of the imagery itself.  The masses see the donkey and many remembered the prophecy, but they do not see the Man and will not receive Jesus’ promise of everlasting life.  The day is not about the donkey, or the palms, of even the prophecy, it is about Jesus.  He is ever increasing and the little donkey grows smaller!

In this picture you could ask nothing more of this lowly animal.  He did what he could do.  His greatest calling in life is to answer the invitation of Master Jesus when he calls, “I have need of him!”   He gave the Messiah a ride, a chauffer to the king.  He is only a colt, but he does what he can do!

That is the way service is.  It is not about you or me, it is about Jesus.     The donkey received no praise and is attributed no rejection.  It is all about Jesus.

May my service to Him be that way!


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