WEEK 6: Horse or Donkey?


“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” (Mark 11:1-3)

Extended reading – Mark 11:1-10

A few years, when visiting Egypt, I learned something I will never forget. Just before we returned to South Africa, one of my Egyptian friends gave me a gift: a small wooden donkey made from olive wood. When I thanked him, he said that it was more than a gift – it was a spiritual lesson never to forget.

He started telling the story of how Jesus rode on the back of a humble donkey on Palm Sunday to enter the city of Jerusalem. He explained that donkeys were seen as lower-class animals. Horses, in comparison, are strong and of a ‘higher class’ than donkeys. Donkeys are humble creatures, and very plain. There is nothing fancy or glorious about them, but they are good and loyal servants. They serve humans without complaint, just doing what is required of them. Jesus chose to ride on the back of the donkey specifically to show us the virtue of Christian humility.

Then my friend said that if we would like to have the privilege of ‘carrying’ Jesus into a place where He speaks into the lives of people (whether it be through a sermon, praying for people, or serving them in one way or another just the way we are), we need to remember that Jesus did not ride on a horse; He chose the back of a donkey. As humans, our sinful nature aspires to be a horse, showing how special we are and using our giftings as a way of showing people how we have been blessed by God instead of using the gifts for His glory. If we are like a horse, Jesus will choose another vessel through which to work.

May the Lord keep on reminding us that we need to become like a humble donkey, instead of trying to be like a horse.