Day 37 (3/31)
Day 37: A Stable, Two Disciples, and Jesus
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:1-3
Written by Julie Saffrin
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 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. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
As I read this text, I found myself wondering about some of the details.
Firstly, I’m guessing Jesus knew of these stables near the Mount of Olives. But did He know the donkey and foal would be tied there because He’d observed them there before? Had Jesus befriended the stable owner or the person who cared for the animals? Was the person who cared for the animals a follower of Jesus?
And if the stable person knew Jesus or was a follower of Him, then he knew Jesus could be trusted with his animals. But if the stable owner did not know Jesus, did he know of Jesus and thus allowed His disciples to either borrow or permanently take the animals? Scripture does not say, but the stable person trusted, obeyed, and believed what Jesus’ disciples said.
Secondly, Jesus tells the two disciples to “untie the donkey and colt” and “should anyone ask what you’re doing with them, and say, ‘The Lord of All needs them,’ and he will let you take them.” When Jesus said this, He and His followers were approaching Jerusalem’s city gates. Would those on the way to Jerusalem have found it odd that the disciples would be walking a donkey and its colt away from the stables and Jerusalem’s gate? In any case, the disciples obeyed their Master.
Thirdly, Jesus’ words in verse three stopped me for another reason. “Should anyone ask what you’re doing with [the donkey and colt] to say, ‘The Lord of All needs them, and he will let you take them.’” Did Jesus say this to the two disciples because He knew or saw one or both of them showing expressions of concern? Were the disciples worried that the owner or an observer would think the men were stealing the animals? In either case, Jesus gave them the words to say, either to alleviate their or the stable owner’s, worries. The disciples were able to give an honest answer.
Reflection: This Holy Week, look around. Re-notice modern-day stables and write down what you observe:
Prayer: Lord, thanks for going ahead of us when we don’t know what we’re supposed to do. Help us trust You to provide words when we don’t know what to say. Remind us You are Lord of All, and we are image-bearers of You. Help us fulfill Your purpose for our lives. Amen.