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God's Faithfulness
Mark 11:1-11 

 

And as they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, [2] and said to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. [3] "And if anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' you say, 'The Lord has need of it'; and immediately he will send it back here." [4] And they went away and found a colt tied at the door outside in the street; and they untied it. [5] And some of the bystanders were saying to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" [6] And they spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. [7] And they brought the colt to Jesus and put their garments on it; and He sat upon it. [8] And many spread their garments in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. [9] And those who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; [10] Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!" [11] And He entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking all around, He departed for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. 

On their journey from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of His disciples on an errand to borrow a colt. In doing so, He was fulfilling the prophesy of Zech. 9:9 that says: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey." The action does more than fulfill a prophesy, it also provides insights into a Christian's relationship with Jesus Christ. 

The impact of verse three is often lost in the events that precede and follow it. In Bethany, Jesus performed an amazing miracle. This wasn't the first time He did miraculous things. He had healed the sick, given sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, but this miracle was especially significant. Do you remember what it was? He raised Lazarus from the dead.

The enthusiasm of the multitudes was reaching a fevered pitch as He journeyed into the Holy City with this disciples. And on the way, he sent two of his disciples on an errand to borrow a colt.

A colt he would ride into the city in fulfillment of a prophecy and to receive the praise and honor He was due. The citizens spread out "the red carpet" for Him--they placed garments and palm branches in His path, and they greeted Him as their King. Listen again to their words, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!" 

Hosanna is an exclamation of praise that literally means, "save us." When the crowd said, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;" they quoted a Messianic Psalm, Psalm 118:25-26 that said, "O Lord, do save, we beseech Thee; O Lord, we beseech Thee, do send prosperity! [26] Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord."

It is easy to see how Mark 11:3 could get lost in the shadow of Lazarus' resurrection and Jesus' triumphal entry. Most of the time we view it as a mere prophetic footnote when it really is a significant instruction. Jesus said, "And if anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' you say, 'The Lord has need of it'; and immediately he will send it back here." (Mark 11:3)

Notice the phrase, "The Lord has need of it." Isn't that a contradiction? Does the King have need of anything? Doesn't the scripture clearly teach the Lord made everything? "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3 KJV) Doesn't it also teach that He owns everything, and controls everything?"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." (Col. 1:16 KJV)

Yet, Jesus said, "the Lord has need of it." It was a specific item He needed--a mule colt. We generally think of a donkey as a beast of burden, a lowly farm animal. But in the ancient days, it was Kingly transportation. In 1 Kings 1:33-34, King David gave instructions for Solomon to ride on his mule as a part of transferring power to him, "And the king said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. [34] "And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet and say, 'Long live King Solomon!'"

In riding this colt into Jerusalem, Jesus was exerting his Lordship over His people. And He needed a man's colt to do it.

There is a sense in which God can get along just fine without us. He doesn't need our efforts, our money or our ministry. But there is another sense in which He needs us. Think about it for a moment. When you taught Sunday School or gave your tithes or served as an usher today, you were doing it for Him! He needed you to serve and you did. What a blessed thought, that God can use us.

There is another paradox in Jesus' statement in verse 3, he instructed His disciples to say, "immediately he will send it back here." Jesus says, give me what you have, but when you do, I'll return it to you. It is a cliche', nevertheless it is a fact of the Christian walk, "you can't out give God." Jesus put it this way, John 12:24-25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [25] "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. 

He says, "Give me your colt, but I'll return it." He says "give me your life and I'll give you eternal life." 

Let me ask you something, could any of you say, "I've sacrificed for God and He's let me down?" Would you say, "I've given to the Lord and He's abandoned me?" Is there anyone who would say, "Jesus hasn't been faithful?" Of course not. He is faithful! Let's celebrate that faithfulness by standing with the choir and singing, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." 

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