“The Lord Needs It”
And after Jesus had said this he went on ahead going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives he sent two disciples saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you and 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 untying it? Tell them, “The Lord needs it.” Those who were sent ahead found it just as he had told them and as they were untying the colt its owner asked them. “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
Jesus sends His disciples on a mission; find a colt and bring it back. He gave them one short response should they be confronted by the owner. Armed with this directive, they go into Jerusalem. Now a colt was one of the most valued possessions a household could own in the culture of the time. It served as a means of transportation, pulled a plow, cultivated fields, and carried items to market. This young colt the disciples were to procure was going to play a major role in the health and prosperity of this family.
It should be no surprise then that when the owner sees the disciples untying the colt and leading it away, he shouts out, “why are you untying that colt?” He may have picked up a stick and came running out at them to defend his property.
The disciples respond as Jesus had instructed them, “the Lord needs it.” That’s all they said. We assume that the owner of the colt knew who “the Lord” was and that the Lord was his Lord, too. And that is all that the owner needed to hear. What a response of faith!
The owner of that precious colt did not need a fundraising letter, a brochure, or a video. The disciples offered no name plaque on the walls of Jerusalem, and no seat next to Jesus at the major donor banquet. “The Lord needs it.” That is all the disciples said to this angry man brandishing a stick. And upon hearing those words, the man just let it go. What a marvelous picture of a heart tuned to God. Imagine what it must have been like for that man a few short hours later to see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords riding triumphantly into Jerusalem on his own colt. This is a powerful example of a person giving sacrificially for the right reason and seeing God do amazing things with that gift.
In the midst of this pandemic, we may be tempted to hold on, protect, safeguard, and shelter what we have. Generosity may conflict with the loss of a job, a decrease in savings, or uncertainty of the future. Yet this story challenges us to search our heart and ask ourselves where God is saying to us, “I need you to share what I have given you that this work may be completed.” May we respond obediently, which, in Kingdom terms, always means abundantly and joyfully.
- Is it enough for you to know that ‘The Lord needs it’ in order to give generously?
- What might keep you from being able to respond freely to the opportunity to give as the Lord leads?
- In this crisis, what might the Lord be asking you to give or do to meet needs around you?
- What might God do with our giving if we respond to His command?
Lord, there are so many things that keep us from responding freely and joyfully to your request for us to give. Help us to see the obstacles in our way. Help us to name them and submit them back to you. We pray this Holy Week that you would create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, empower us to greater levels of generosity and grant us an obedient heart that only needs to hear that “the Lord needs it” in order to give as joyful, faithful stewards. In the name of our triumphant and risen Lord. Amen.