Jesus and the Colt
Translated by Allan Liang
When the Lord Jesus and his disciples came to Bethphage and Bethany, Jesus instructed his disciples to bring to him a colt, which no one has ever ridden, so that he may ride it into the city. Riding the colt into Jerusalem was to proclaim publicly, that he was the chosen Son of David, the One to sit on the throne of David, the One prophesied by the many prophets. The prophet Zechariah long ago prophesied that Jesus would ride the colt into the city, saying “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9) From the eyes of man, his identity and his outwards expressions were in great discrepancy. He rode a colt into Jerusalem. He was a King, and very much could have rode on a beautiful horse of large stature, surrounded by guards on all four sides, displaying majesty and commanding authority, yet our Lord came, riding only on a colt.
Riding on a colt evidently signifies humility. The word “gentle” used in Mathew and Zechariah possess this meaning. The Lord Jesus was King yet possessed such humility. “He will not shout or cry out.” (Isaiah 42:2) Though the people and the disciples there exclaimed Hosanna, and praised, but the Lord Jesus understood that he came to complete the great work of redemption. The Lord Jesus’ humility was due to his willingness in taking off his splendor and glory and taking on the likeness of a servant. The kings of this earth may treat humility as an external adornment, but the humility of the Lord Jesus flows from the very nature and core of his life. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8) Indeed, much of Jesus’ actions do not conform very well with our images of kings. When he taught in the synagogue of his hometown, the people of his hometown insulted this King as thus: “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3) Now, having to enter Jerusalem, in great humility he selected a colt to ride into the city, and finally thorns became his crown, as he died on the cross with “King of the Jews” written above his head. “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) The Bible says that this was a colt “which no one has ever ridden”, signifying that the colt was just at the age of carrying loads and Jesus was the one to use it for the first time, and as the old testament records: animals that have not been used are especially suitable for setting apart as holy, given to the Lord for his use (Numbers 19:2). In regard to the owner of the colt, when he heard that “The Lord needs it”, without second thought he offered it up, and apart from willingness, even more so, he had the desire to honor the Lord. Ought believers as us also reflect on matters of offering: Has my offering honored the Lord? When my personal needs collide with the needs of holy duties, will I first give to my Lord for his uses? The Bible commands that the offering which is offered must be the best, and totally pure and without blemish. The colt used by the Lord, must be one “which no one has ever ridden”, one used solely by the Lord. To be a vessel of the Lord, there must be no involvement with anything that defiles, and there must be a heart that is for the Lord. We know that true service requires the best to be offered. “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” ( 2 Timothy 2:21) Brothers and sisters, may we who belong to the Lord always submit to the Holy Spirit and cleanse our hearts, letting the Lord dwell in our hearts, ruling over it as King; furthermore let us offer up ourselves and become the humble little colt used by the Lord. Please meditate on the passages of Scripture and pray: Through these passages of Scripture what characteristics of Jesus can be seen? How will I imitate my Lord Jesus?