Your King Comes Riding On A Donkey

Scripture       Luke 19:28 -40


As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives,

the whole multitude of the disciples

began to praise God joyfully, and with a loud voice,

for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven,

and glory in the highest heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him,

“Teacher, order your disciples to stop.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”




It is the time now ‘for the going up to Jerusalem” for the celebration of the Passover. The tension around Jesus and his followers seems to be mounting; it is in the air. There are many gathering in the Holy City who have believed in him and are ready now to openly declare their readiness to embrace his message of love and mercy. They are awaiting his coming. The Pharisees too are standing by the sidelines, coyly cautious and on the lookout for any confrontation as the crowds start to grow and converge around the hill of Olivet. Feelings must have been running pretty high when the sight of Jesus was spotted approaching the area.



This is the day Jesus walks into his own City and shows himself Master and King of the Jews and Lord over all. One cannot help but read this Gospel with a strong feeling that Jesus is taking charge of his own destiny. From this first moment of his arrival, he takes matters into His own hands. He tells two disciples to go ahead into Bethphage and untie a donkey that is hitched there and return with it. If anyone asks you questions about this - simply tell them, “The Master has need of it.” He makes use of all things as if he were lord of all. He commands and without a word, everyone will obey. He is as sure of that obedience as he is of the word of command that He utters. And when indeed the owners of the donkey do inquire, they are told the explanation and make no objection.



Everyone watching was awed by the command that was in his voice and the certainty in his eyes and the quiet mastery that covered him as a cloak. Those close to him knew that manner of quiet dignity and composure. However, they had never seen it as overpowering as today. Upon their return, he mounts the donkey and rides steadfastly forward into the Holy City. People accompanied him. Yes, they led him, their King, in a jubilant procession of waving palms and shouting Hosanna accolades. Along the route, others caught the excitement and joined in amidst the shouts from the enthusiastic crowds. He goes forth riding on a donkey into the city accompanied by their acclamations:

‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!”



In the midst of the noise and confusion, these countrymen had found their voices too. They touched into a deeper knowing of the power and glory of this Holy One of God that was in their midst. This was their King and his message had told them what it meant to live in the ‘kingdom of God”. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and they could all be part of it. Their shouts of praise rang out the louder.  And from his donkey Jesus must have looked with deep love into their hearts. I suspect he knew that this journey – this simple royal entry on a lowly donkey – was modeling the way of littleness and gentleness that were characteristic of the new reign of God that he was ushering in as gift for all of humanity.



But, there were others forming in the crowd, on the sidelines, and certainly not admiring this display of the crowds being stirred up even as they neared the Temple. So it was these unnerved Pharisees, in their disapproval, who began to coach him, along the route, to put a stop to this unseemly and unholy din. In bold defiance he replies to these rebukes as one speaking from divine authority:

      “I tell you if these were silent, the stones would shout!”



Oh, if you only knew, Jerusalem, you Pharisees and scribes - and all you, who even to this  day, try to silence the Good News! Hear ye, hear ye, you will not be able to silence these Hosannas. The kingdom of God will come one day. See some of the people of God are already finding their way into the New Jerusalem. The whole of creation will recognize the gift of this hour. The reign of God will one day be realized. All of creation will shout and sing their alleluias! Jesus speaks adamantly now. He is confident that no earthly power will be able to ultimately destroy the divine plan. In time the disciples came to recall that this was indeed the day of triumph for the king, a triumph befitting his birth and life and teaching and the Kingdom itself that he founded.



From the first moment of his entrance into the world, he came riding on a donkey as Mary and Joseph made the journey into Bethlehem and the stable which would be his birthplace. At his birth Jesus was called a king. The astrologers asked: “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” And when Jesus called his first disciples, Nathanael exclaimed: “Rabbi, you are the king of Israel.” The prophets identified Jesus as a king: “Your king approaches you on a donkey’s colt.”  On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey towards the end of his life and this time he is acknowledged as ‘blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.” by the people. The donkey has been for all time the honoured animal to carry the Holy One and perform this service with humility and grace.



We are followers of the King and our hearts are his throne. Today let us raise up in shouts of proclamation our songs of praise and glory to our God. May we not be fickle in our discipleship. Remain steadfast and vigilant. 




Carrying Grace   How can I “shout for Jesus”  in my daily walk through the marketplace.



#4 rosemaryo 2010-04-10 01:38
This was the boy born and sent by God to follow a mission. When I entered the place where he lost his life I felt great peace and tranquility. Looking at the blood splattered on the walls I was filled with compassion. This man’s journey held the Pascal Mystery of the Light always shinning through the darkness. There were days of great festivities and then life’s pain crucified him. I found hearing only bad things about this human being sent by God so hard to listen to. The followers of Jesus heard similar remarks. I now know how they must have felt. The many untruths and judgements that are voiced, heard and believed for only one reason to destroy Joy and gives supremacy to evil. This was my walk through the market place this month. A walk that taught me how much I must pray for peace and love to come from Jesus into all human hearts at Easter and every day of our lives.
- submitted by Chi
#3 rosemaryo 2010-04-10 01:37
My daily walk through the market place. What I see in my market place is less love and compassion but an increase in insults and hate. This story may help me and whoever reads this reflection the human life that I encounter at the market of life. A man unknown to me is born. He is held close to his mother’s heart. He grows up and a traumatic event traces a deep scar in his heart. He becomes unloved and separated from the Light. He marries and to him is born a son, the pain and anger in his heart leads him treating his family roughly. He ages becomes sick and can only depend on others for his survival. He seeks his death. His pain can only be silenced by his addiction to drugs. He suffers and he his forever lost in the desert where the blowing sand gets in his eyes and ears. He suffers a brutal death. Family and friends scream no lost is he to them. His occasional friends and neighbours have only injurious and dreadful things to say about him.
#2 Betty Mellon 2010-03-29 17:16
I am deeply in awe at the humbleness of the donkey in the life of Jesus. First with Mary’s arrival on a donkey to Jerusalem travelling with Joseph – hours later Jesus was born. Now Psalm Sunday, Jesus’ arrival on a donkey into Jerusalem greeted by shouts of praises full of joy, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” During this Holy Week the path of the “donkey” demonstrated by Jesus as the way of littleness and gentleness instills in me this is the pathway that I will embrace now and along the Easter journey.
#1 arletteh 2010-03-28 01:16
Humility and love,they 'shout'.Humilit y is the path to God's ways,to hearing God's voice to knowing what to do and how to do it,to getting oneself out of the way and let grace in,to being one's true self.There was something about Mary and Joseph when they presented Jesus in the Temple that "shouted "to Simeon that this was the long-awaited Saviour.At Jesus'birth, it was the angels that "shouted":Glory in the heavens and on earth.Now it is grace incarnate,not angels, that shout in the followers of Jesus, the poor who recognize the true Messiah, the humble One who rides a donkey.Quiet service "shouts". I think that, particularly at this time in my life ,is what will allow the Spirit to shout in me.I pray for steadfastness and vigilance.

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