Scripture: Mark 11:1-11
Key verses: (1-6) 1When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.
Reflection: I love the instructions Jesus gives to his disciples here. They are sent to find a colt, which Jesus knew would be there, and to bring it back to him. He gives them the words to say if anyone asks what they are doing. Sure enough, they are noticed untying a colt that doesn’t belong to them. They tell the questioners what Jesus said: “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” This line of reasoning works on the bystanders, who allow the colt to be borrowed. Jesus ends up on back of the colt, and rides it into Jerusalem in a palm branch parade fit for a king. We are told that he went into the temple, looked around, then went to Bethany with his disciples. We don’t hear any more about the colt. I suspect Jesus was a man of his word, though, and those same disciples were sent to return the colt to its original place.
I wonder if the owners of the colt were involved in that parade? I wonder if they watched Jesus through the rest of the week, as he cleansed the temple, argued with scribes and religious leaders, and was arrested and crucified? Did they become followers of Jesus? Or did they hide the fact that their colt was used by this man declared to be a guilty criminal?
I also wonder if we can have the faith of those disciples. They had faith to listen when Jesus said, “Trust me. Tell people what you need to do my work and then go do it.” Jesus is still at work in the world, calling people to him, showing them what his kingdom looks like, and inviting them into it. He has need of all that we can offer in his service: our money, our possessions, our time, our talent. The most unlikely things we have, that seem as unimportant as a colt tied up outside our home, can be part of the way that the kingdom of God becomes visible to someone else. What is Jesus asking for from you today? Trust him to make good use of it.
Prayer: Lord, help me to follow you faithfully. Give me a vision of your kingdom, and help me hear your invitation to be part of it. Show me what I can be and do, and how to serve and share, to do your work in the world. In the name of Christ, the Risen One, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].