“As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there, “ he said “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” --Matthew 21:1-3 NLT
I’ve seen various representations of this Scripture portion and most seem to portray this mysterious donkey owner as either a lackey or excessively naive. I like Dr. Joel R Beeke’s description however.
“On the outskirt of the city, Jesus sends two disciples to a nearby village to fetch a female donkey and her colt. The owner of these animals, although unknown to the disciples, is on close terms with Christ, believing in His mission. Merely hearing ‘the Lord hath need of them’ (Matt. 21:3 KJV) is enough for the man to permit his animals to be led away.” Tabletalk, September 2008.
While visiting the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte recently, I caught a glimpse of why Rev. Graham been called “the world’s best-loved evangelist”. Few people today have had such opportunities to preach the Truth to presidents, kings, and world leaders--not to mention the millions upon millions of “common” men. If God was still writing the book of Acts, I’ve little doubt Billy Graham’s name would show up frequently.
Which left me wondering…. Would my name appear anywhere? Likely not, and to tell the truth, I’m not sure I’d want it too. I can’t say I’m ready to accept all the trials and tribulations of Paul, or endure martyrdom like Peter and James. I don’t think I’d even like the fame and public life of a preacher like Billy Graham.
But I do long for the day when I hear my Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” So if I was in the Bible, I’d like it to be like that anonymous donkey owner. Not someone in the limelight, just someone close to Jesus that can be trusted to come through for him when given a task. And in short…that’s why we keep plodding down this road that we hope will bring us to Papua New Guinea.