Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Little Donkey

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"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation; lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9).

Looking at the little donkey, we see what he had to deal with at young age. He lived his life in peace and contentment until he was confronted with his ultimate test serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when He entered the gates into Jerusalem.

The little donkey has been chosen to be in a big parade and in the center of everyone's attention. What can a little donkey do? Can he succeed not to think highly of himself? Or is he going to try to steal the glory of His master? Or is he going to remember who he is and what he is there for?

Looking at the little donkey who has never been ridden before, let's try to imagine what he thought:

  • When is someone riding him for the first time!
  • When he is entering the big city for the first time!
  • When he never saw such a multitude of people in his entire life!
  • Did he think that he must be very more special than other donkeys?
  • Did he think that the multitude of people came just to see him?

The little donkey is merely serving the Lord passing through the crowd. He is only a tool that is needed in that time and that moment of time to give a message to all.

We read about our Lord Jesus Christ's triumphal entry to Jerusalem and how a great multitude of people took branches of palm trees and went to see Him and greet Him with hymns and songs. And we wonder why a donkey, why is not a great big horse for that will grasp more attention for the crowd recognizes Him as the King of Israel who came to rule the city of Jerusalem, to return the land back to them, and conquer the Romans and the Gentiles.

By riding a little donkey, the crowd's expectation was demolished and that is what our Lord Jesus aimed to do.

"saying to them, 'Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them.' All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 'Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.''" (Matthew 21:2-5).

Our Messiah is a King of humility He came on earth for a short time so He can grant us salvation and teach us about His ways so we can follow His example and glorify Him on earth and ultimately join Him one day in heaven.

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey" (Matthew 25:14-15).

Another thought entered my mind about how our Lord uses each one of us as servants for just a short time or even a moment to send a message to others. Our Lord is not in need of our service but He is trying to help us to see the way to heaven. And it is up to us to let Him lead and humbly obey His ways. Therefore we either become a faithful servant or a grumble servant using many excuses not to follow him and we end up lacking obedience.

Being faithful servants to our Lord is not an easy task. It is hard and challenging and requires effort on our part. We need to pray for our service, to be able to humble ourselves, to do our best in serving others, and to remember why God has chosen us for this mission. That is why God granted us His Holy Spirit in order to lead us and guide us to Him.

Therefore we must not be full of pride or think of ourselves as unique or special since we have been given talents in order to fulfill our mission toward each other. Instead we should thank God that He gives us the opportunity and the chance to serve Him and be a help to others.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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