TODAY God ‘NEEDS’ US to FULFILL His PURPOSES
October 20 Bible Reading: Mark Chapters 10-12
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, "Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord has need of it,' and immediately he will send it here." (Mark 11:1-3)
The above passage signifies that the Gospel of Mark has advanced the ministry of Jesus from the wilderness, through Galilee, to the final destination of Jerusalem, where Jesus will fulfill His mission as the Messiah (10:33, 34). This gospel has been called ‘a passion story with a long introduction’ as more than one-third of Mark’s narrative takes place during a seven-day period—the last week of Jesus’ life prior to His crucifixion (called the “Passion Week”).
God planned carefully as He carried out His great work of salvation and nothing was left to chance (Gal. 4:4). If Passover was on Saturday that year, the sacrificial lamb would be killed on Friday. The lamb would have been selected on the Sunday before – the day Jesus (God’s lamb) entered Jerusalem. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is one of the most well-known events in the New Testament, Celebrated just a week before Easter, Palm Sunday is a time of great celebration of Jesus’ kingship. Seen in its first-century context, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey highlights the true nature of His kingdom!
In the Jewish context, the donkey was a royal animal, and the event was a coronation celebration (1 Kings 1:32–40). It was the only time our Lord permitted a public demonstration in His honor, and He did it to fulfill prophecy and turn the people’s hearts back to the Word of God. Instead of a parade of chariots and trumpets and a well-orchestrated ceremony, Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, a common beast of burden. Instead of walking arm-in-arm with powerful city officials and other celebrities, He was accompanied only by a small band of common fishermen, rural Galileans, and even a former tax collector!
The Old Testament prophesied Jesus’ actions, which in this case identify Him clearly as the Messiah. In fact, Jesus was fulfilling a prophecy made years ago by Prophet Zechariah about the coming of a righteous and gentle King to bring salvation: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zech 9:9)
The point to be made here is that our Lord Jesus Christ needed the help of a donkey for His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Mark 11:3 clearly states that Jesus had the need of a donkey to ride into Jerusalem and reveal Himself as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29) When we apply this into our personal lives, let us understand that God needs us as well to fulfill His grand purposes for building His Kingdom!
The Creator of the entire universe needs us and desires to fit us into His eternal design. While we admit that we are as insignificant as the unknown donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem, God will definitely use us for the extraordinary work in His Kingdom! Can we humble ourselves before God as ask Him to fulfill His purposes through our lives today!