Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mark 11

2 comments:

Prairie Chick said...

The triumphal entry. He was making the proclamation of being King. Only King's rode on the colt of a donkey. This is the climax of Jesus ministry. The moment that He reveals "I am He" to one and all, and they receive Him with joy and ecstasy. Only days before His crucifixion.

***The Significance of the Donkey

Luke and Mark don't discuss the significance of the young donkey, but Matthew and John quote from Zechariah 9:9,

"Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey (LXX hupozugion),
on a colt (LXX polon), the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth." (Zechariah 9:9-10)

The scripture indicates that riding a donkey is not at all beneath the dignity of Israel's noblemen and kings (2 Samuel 18:9; 19:26). Indeed, David indicates his choice of Solomon to be king by decreeing that the young man should ride on the king's own mule (1 Kings 1:32-40).

Jesus' instructions are clear that the donkey must be one that has never been ridden (see Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7; 2 Samuel 6:3). It is set apart, consecrated for a specific use -- for the Master's use. There is a rabbinical tradition that no one should use the animal on which a king rides.[8]

It is fascinating to me that in Zechariah's prophecy the gentle king that comes into Jerusalem riding a young donkey is the same one who will defeat chariots and war-horses and bring peace to the nations. One of the final scenes of Revelation is a picture of the conquering Christ riding a white war-horse (Revelation 19:11-16), but today he rides a donkey in hope of peace.

When Jesus indicates to his disciples that he should ride on a donkey that no one had ever ridden before, he is initiating a public, kingly act. He is revealing openly that he is the Messiah.***

Chris said...

My musing came when I got to the fig tree story. Makes me think a little about John's account of the vine and the branches teaching that Jesus gave in John 15:2... he cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit. At first glance I always feel a little shocked at Jesus for doing something so destructive and seemingly rash. But my story-loving self loves the fact that Jesus uses this to teach his disciples about faith.