Making Power present by Deon Crafford
Matthew 21:1-5 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt,[a] the foal of a beast of burden.’
A frustrating scourge in our nation over the past 20 odd years have been what is commonly referred to as a Blue Light Brigade. This is a cavalcade of three to ten, or even more luxury motor vehicles normally traveling at a very high speed with flashing lights and intent on pushing and intimidating normal law abiding citizens off the road so that some or other “very important person” can be delivered to a venue where they will deliver some or other meaningless speech. That is the way of the general politician we have come to know in this country – full of the display of importance and power, but with very little substance that sits behind the window-dressing. With this picture in mind we then turn to Matthew 21 and a colt, the foal of a humble donkey. At first glance it is not uncommon to find a Christian discretely disappointed that our Lord would choose to make a triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a little donkey. Perhaps like the Jews of the time, we are expecting a blazing, explosive and intimidating march into the City, so that those in power quiver at the thought of having to face up to Jesus. But no, He comes on a donkey, the most humble of animals. But is specifically done this way – as prophesied – many years before because the One with All the Power needs no display – just to be brought to His people.
Sometimes modern day Christians and Preachers act like the Spiritual Blue Light Brigades. It is not uncommon nowadays to see popular pastors go around surrounded by bodyguards, as though God will not look after His own. In this vernacular the humble donkey entrance is reserved for Jesus or for the fact that He and His disciples were not well-off and had to make do with what was available. Today the donkey has been replaced by helicopters and luxury cars (sometimes armour-plated). Even the average Christian sometimes fall trap to this by entering a situation from a very “high ground” position e.g. “here I am in all my holiness coming to advise you on all your lowliness”. We have all experienced it and have perhaps ourselves even been guilty as perpetrators. Still Jesus shows us here that Power needs no display – it just needs to be present in order to be effective.
The foal of the donkey could never have diluted or diminished the Power of Jesus Christ. All it was in this instance was a humble carrier of the Lord – the source of Power – into the city of His people, the city of David. The Power of Christ is never going to depend on how forceful I have brought it to bear on my situation or the people I engage with. All I need to be is a willing and humble carrier of the Gospel of Love, the good news of Power that has no limits. Humility does not mean silent acquiescence with what is clearly not of Christ and it is not to be intimidated into endorsing disobedience and sin. Humility is much more about carrying the Gospel into my world so that the Power of the Lord may embrace those whom He loves too.
Love to all