January 8, 2020 –
The donkey dates back 3,000 years before the birth of Jesus. But it was the birth of Jesus and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem 33 years later that the donkey achieved his most significant accomplishments.
Sometimes when we look at Jesus’ life, we cannot see the significant roles two donkeys aptly named, Privileged and Honored, played. I distill their stories into two enduring lessons for today’s Christian.
What does Scripture say about these two donkeys? When we look closer into Jesus’ life, we discover the story of Privileged and Honored and the significant roles they played. We note the special donkey Mary rode on from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Privileged was entrusted with carrying the pregnant Mary.
Christian typically believe Mary rode a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem just before the birth of Jesus. The Scriptures do not expressly state that she did; however, it is doubtful that Mary, who was in such an advanced pregnancy, walked from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a distance of about 90 miles. The fairly grueling trip and stressful environment may have taken them from four to seven days. So, we give Privileged the benefit of the doubt.
The second donkey, Honored, is the animal Jesus rode into Jerusalem to fulfill Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would come riding on the back of a donkey. The Old Testament prophet Zechariah writing in 484 B.C. wrote, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9) The Apostle Matthew adds, “Tell Daughter Zion, ‘Look, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” (Matthew 21:5, HCSB)
Two enduring lessons for today’s Christian
In the Bible, the donkey symbolizes the combination of necessary transportation and a generous dose of humility. Privileged and Honored teach Christians it’s an honor to transport The Gospel and a privilege to share the Good News with humility.