The Master-s Voice: Luke 19:28-40
This passage of scripture should sound familiar. Just yesterday, our reading in Psalm 118 foreshadowed this event. Jesus is riding into Jerusalem, under no coercion other than his love for people.
A key player in Luke’s account is the owner of the donkey colt. With no more explanation than “The Lord needs it,” the owner allowed Jesus’ disciples to lead the donkey away. What did the donkey’s owner know or sense or see? It is possible that the owner had a keen sense of what was right, a sort of Spirit-led intuition in this instance. Jesus knew that this owner would sense the importance of giving up the donkey. Somehow this suggests a spiritual bond between Jesus and the owner.
There is a spiritual bond between Jesus and every person who knows that Jesus is “the Lord” (vv 31 and 34). The simple phrase, “the Lord needs it,” resonated in the heart of the owner. For Jesus’ ministry to go the last little segment of its way, the heart of an ordinary person had to understand at a deep level that “the Lord needs it.” Don-t you wonder if the disciples were curious about the ease with which they obtained the donkey from the owner? Perhaps they just brushed off the incident as another remarkable or puzzling moment in a life of following Jesus.
Has this thought ever occurred to you: “The Lord needs this from me”? Perhaps the thought came concerning something as general as more faith or deeper obedience to his teachings. Perhaps the thought occurred in a specific instance in which someone needed your help. The voice was quiet, the nudge gentle, but unmistakable nonetheless. Such moments or notions come more often the more we listen and learn to discern the Master’s spirit in the matter. Some call it the Master’s voice.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a willing person’s intuitive “yes.”
Perhaps the owner recognized the disciples and knew whom they were talking about when they said, “the Lord.” Even so, their master walked everywhere he went; why did he suddenly need a donkey? That would have been a valid question, but the Lord doesn’t always check with us or answer our questions. The Lord needed it. The owner gave it to him.
It may well be that as you read this passage of scripture you sense exactly what the owner of the donkey sensed all those years ago. It’s the same Lord who asks. It’s the Lord whose ministry continues through the work of the church. It’s the Lord who still works with and through the obedience of ordinary people to complete his ministry. That’s who calls and nudges even in our time. Jesus asks us to participate in his ministry of dying for the people. We often sense the rightness of his requests, but we also often find a bit of logic to divert obedience.
Now is the time to confess this particular sin and to begin to listen and discern more carefully, to obey more readily, and to follow a bit more closely. What a privilege it would be to see our donkey in the parade.
Help us to listen and to discern your quiet nudging and urging within our hearts.
A word about the series
The Lenten season has always inspired many people to create everything from poems, art and music to a completely new direction in their lives. This Lenten season Tabernacle will be exploring many of those creations in the hope of inspiring you to compose in a medium that is natural for you. The paintings in the Sanctuary are of the Biblical Stations of the Cross. The artist, Grieg Leach, completed them in 2010. They will help us to visualize the events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus. In addition to the paintings there is a Lenten devotional booklet, Return to Me, which is available in print or online. The Stations of the Cross also inspired these devotions, written by Terry York of Baylor University. Living with these two bodies of artistic expression based on the Biblical Stations of the Cross throughout the season of Lent should help us as we seek to return our lives to God by walking with Jesus though his final days.
Pray, read, think and return to God.
All scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible.
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