I’ve met plenty of dog lovers, cat lovers, horse lovers, and even reptile lovers, but I’ve yet to meet a donkey lover. Frankly, donkeys are just not highly sought after animals. They are the animal equivalent of the Datsun. You’ll never hear a child say, “I really want a donkey this Christmas.”
And yet, it was a donkey that our Lord rode into Jerusalem. Zechariah prophesied that Israel’s King would come “lowly and riding on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9). What has often been called “the triumphal entry” might just as soon be called “the humble entry.” This was to highlight the humble means by which the Kingdom of God advances, as well as the humble King through whom it advances.
The German theologian, Frederick Krummacher—in his marvelous work, The Suffering Savior— made an interesting observation about the manner in which Christ comes as King and the way in which His kingdom advances through the Church. He wrote:
The whole scene of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem… gives us a hint in what manner Christ, for centuries together, will manifest Himself on earth until His second coming… Zechariah, confirms and attests this, in the words, “Behold thy King comes unto you, lowly…” a word that describes at the same time the idea of an entire absence of display, pomp, and dignity; and this is the attribute which is peculiar to His government to this hour.
The Kingdom of God advanced, in the days of Christ, with our Lord riding on the back of a donkey. The Kingdom advanced in lowliness and in unassuming ways. It did not advance by human wisdom and insight. It did not advance in any external attraction.
If it were left to men, the King would have ridden to power on a war-horse. But He didn’t.
He rode to the cross on the lowliest of animals. Lowliness and gentleness were the two personal attributes to which Christ appealed. When He called sinners to Himself, He did so by saying, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest; take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle and lowly hearted and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
Today, as in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry, the Kingdom of God advances through God’s use of humble people who spread the knowledge of Christ through the proclamation of the King who was crucified for our sins. It continues to advance through the foolishness of preaching by weak individuals. It advances by unassuming means.
God’s Kingdom advances now as it did then—through humility. May we never forget this most important lesson from the life our Lord.
Written By Nick Batzig