Untamed colts - 12 October 2018

Xanthe Hancox

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”  Matthew 21:1-3

Today’s passage is another story about a donkey you probably know well. Each year on Palm Sunday, Christians all over the world commemorate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a colt. And like the other animals we’ve been looking at, we can learn a great deal from this little colt.

What’s striking is how this donkey, never before ridden, submitted to Jesus without resisting. Mark’s Gospel says no one had ever sat on his back. He was unbroken, untamed, untrained. But he was available, willing, and unafraid to do what Jesus needed him to do.

The circumstances must have been pretty confusing for a young animal with a rider on his back for the first time, but the colt kept calm and collected. He just kept on doing what he was supposed to do, going where he was supposed to go. And because Jesus was with him, he was not afraid.

How often do we plead and protest when there’s something difficult to be done or a heavy burden to be born? We dither and dawdle, hoping God will change his mind and not ask anything too taxing of us unless we are sure it’s going to turn out for the best. We want to understand everything happening in our lives before we agree to it. But that’s not the way God works. Submission is more than agreeing just with what we understand and approve.

Prayer: Lord, lead us gently to surrender to your control, submitting our hearts, our minds, and our very lives to your perfect will. Teach us to trust you, knowing that you are with us always, Amen.

Go to top