Donkeys for Jesus
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A commission: a group of people entrusted by an official body with authority to do something.
ill. An MP has a commission to represent their constituency in Parliament. Each MP represents about 92,000 people. He or she is entrusted with one vote out of 650 to say "yeh" or "neh" regarding government decisions. (Owen Thompson, our MP.)
exp. In government there are greater and lesser commissions.
MSP - represents their constituency in our devolved Scottish parliament. (Collin Beaty, our MSP)
exp. Each Ward has councilors who represent them. Russel Imrie is the councilor for Midlothian West. (I know Kelly Perry and Pauline Winchester.)
THESE ALL OF COMMISSIONS - AREAS OF TRUST WITH AUTHORITY TO DO SOMETHING. (SOME ARE GREATER, SOME ARE LESSER)
ill. In the Bible we have something called the "Great Commission."
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
exp. This commission is given directly to the Apostles to take the Gospel to the world. It was likely given on a mountain to the South East of Galilee near Tiberias.
- They were appointed to take the Gospel to the world.
- They were given authority from God to preach this Gospel to the world.
THIS COMMISSION HAS BEEN PASSED ON TO THE CHURCH AND HAS RIGHTLY BEEN THE SUBJECT OF MANY SERMONS.
exp. It has appropriately been called the Great Commission because it is a huge task entrusted to the church. I is a commission to the church given from the lips of the Lord Jesus.
message this evening - Matthew 21, I've entitled, "The Humble Commission."
exp. It also came from the lips of Jesus.
def. The humble commission: Go get a donkey for Jesus.
exp. Many of the commissions that God will give to us fall into the arena of humble commissions. Peter - "Feed my sheep." "Wash feet like a servant." "Be great, by serving others.
note: (MUCH OF WHAT GOD DESIRES TO DO WILL BE FULFILLED BY THOSE WHO ARE CONTENT TO TAKE THE HUMBLE COMMISSIONS.)
proposition: I want to challenge us to TAKE THE HUMBLE COMMISSION.
question: Will you take the humble commission from Jesus? (Even if what God calls me to do is as simple as getting a donkey for Jesus, I'll do it!)
TAKE THE HUMBLE COMMISSIOIN FROM JESUS! HOW SHOULD YOU TAKE IT?
I. Take the humble commission immediately.
exp. This humble commission is timely. (Notice the time elements in our text.)
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway....
exp. They are walking with Jesus and Jesus said, "It's time to do something for me."
note: In our story it is extremely imortant that these men fulfil this commission immediately.
exp. Timing is important in the will of God.
ill. Queen Esther - Esther 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
exp. If she didn't take her commission immediately the people of God would have suffered.
ill. George Mueller's orphans - "The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat," the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. "Mr. Mueller," he said, "last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in."
app. If you walk with Jesus, there will be times where you hear Him say in your heart - It's time to do something for me.
- Help a missionary. (You may not know of their need but God does.)
- Pray for someone. (You may not know why but God does.)
-Visit someone with the Gospel. (You don't know they are open, but God does.)
- surrender to be a missionary, pastor, Sunday School teacher, get involved in evangelism....
- It could be so many other things that God puts on your heart.
emphasis - It's important to take those humble commissions in a timely manner.
transition: Take the humble commission immediately.
II. Take the humble commission directly.
exp. This humble commission is a specific location.
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you,....
ill. It is a joy to visit Israel and see places which are clearly presented in the Bible. We saw the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath. They know just where this took place because God's Word is so very clear.
ill. I've stood on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Our story takes place in this area.
- They are walking to Jerusalem.
- They have arried at Bethphage on the Mount of Olives.
- There is a village right by them where there is a donkey for Jesus.
exp. There were not 5 places to get this donkey. Not 4, not 3, or 2 BUT THERE WAS only 1.
question: Did anyone know that this donkey was to be ridden by Jesus? Can you imagine your surprise that an animal from your wee farm would be borrowed by the Lord?
exp. Humble commissions are often to a specific place.
ill. Even what we call, "The Great Commission" take the Gospel to the world is to be fulfilled by REGION SPECIFIC ministry.
Paul's missionary travels were to specific people.
Acts 16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
exp. A humble commission may be contrary to man's reasoning. Why would you go there?
ill. Philip - revival in Samaria - led by God's Spirit into the wilderness to reach one man.
Acts 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: ....
exp. That is a humble commission after seeing so many trust Jesus in Samaria - but God would send the Gospel to Ethiopea through the man whom Philip reached.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
app. As we take our humble commission, we need to do so directly to the people and place where God leads.
transition: Take the humble commission immediately, directly,....
III. Take the humble commission completely.
exp. This humble commission has many steps of obedience and they are to be completely followed.
A. Step one: Find them.
...and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her:
exp. First they had to locate the animal.
note: An exciting truth about the will of God is that God can make His will abundantly clear.
exp. These men weren't going to walk into the village and see 10 other donkeys with foals tied up. Jesus said - there will be one tied up with a foal, that is the one.
ill. There's another animal story in the Bible - involving camels - that demonstrates God's ability to guide us to FIND HIS WILL.
Genesis 24:13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
exp. You know the story - she gives him a drink and offers to water his camels. Incredible! Could Abraham's servant doubt God's clear leading.
ill. Gideon questions what was the clear will of God and God allowed Gideon's Fleece test to prove to Him the will of God.
app. The first step in fulfilling our humble comission is finding exactly what God wants us to find.
B. Step two: Loose them.
...and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
exp. Can you imagine the courage it took for these men to lay hold on an animal they did not own and walk away with it to Jesus?
note: Please don't go to any car dealership and drive away with a car saying it's the will of God because you heard it at church this evening.
ill. I'm paranoid about people thinking I'm a thief.
I'm very careful not to walk out of the store with something.
Careful not to move my hands like I'm putting it in a bag.
Keep the receipt....
exp. If they obey Jesus and do what He has clearly revealed, what will people say?
app. If these men worried about this, they didn't let it stop them. Is pride keeping you from loosing something for the Lord because you are afraid what someone will say.
C. Step three: Bring them.
exp. This humble commission is to find, lose and bring this object to Jesus.
note: I think there is a great Gospel illustration found here. A donkey can be a loud stubborn animal. There is no doubt that a sinner can be loud and stubborn.
exp. Many believers could testify that they were loud and stubborn before they got saved.
1. find them - People are living their lives away from Jesus.
app. God's servants need to go into villages and find them.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2. lose them - People need to be losed from their sin.
app. They are tied up with their children away from Jesus. God's servants need to set them free.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
3. bring them - People need to be brought to Jesus.
exp. That donkey would not get to Jesus without being led there.
God's servants need to lead men, women and children to Jesus.
ill. A donkey is a beast of burden. They were a tough little animal that would be given a great load.
exp. Like a donkey, people are also burdened down with the load of their sin. Jesus would have them brought to Himself to be relieved of their burden.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
app. But, to go back to our main thought - whatever Jesus has commissioned us to get is to be obediently brought to the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.
app. If Jesus has need of it, He must have it. Will you obediently - find, lose and bring it to Jesus?
transition: Take the humble commission immediately, directly, obediently
IV. Take the humble commission defiantly.
exp. Jesus told them what to do, but He also told them how to respond to any opposition.
A. Prepare for opposition.
3 And if any man say ought unto you,
exp. They were right to think that there may be objections to their bold obedience. They may not understand that Jesus had told them to do it.
question: Is everyone going to understand our obedience to God?
1. Salvation - Obey the Gospel and repent of your sin believing in Jesus.
2. Baptism - Follow the Lord in believer's baptism.
3. Church attendance - Attending a good Bible preaching church.
4. Sanctication - Getting rid of worldly junk from your old life.
app. Whatever our humble commission from Jesus, prepare for opposition.
B. Prepare to preach.
...ye shall say,
exp. Their message was simple, "Thus saith the Lord."
ill. Children often have humble commissions given to them by their parents.
- Go tell your brother and sister....
- They have no authority without thus saith your parents. But, thus saith your parents is authoritative and if their is a problem mum and dad will take it up.
app. As we take up a humble commission from the Lord - be prepare for opposition and prepare to preach - THUS SAITH THE LORD. God said to do this and I am obeying God.
C. Prepare to see God's will accomplished.
The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
exp. God does not expect us to do what we can not do. What we can do, we are to do.
ill. Remember Abraham's servant - who saw God do the incredible as he fulfilled his commission - he had a question about things that were outside of his control.
Genesis 24:5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
app. With our humble commissions, we are to do our part. Jesus clearly said in this case you will be coming back with the donkey. But, even if the condition was given of failure, they were to do their part.
transition: Take the humble commission immediately, directly, obediently, defiantly.
V. Take the humble commission seriously.
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
exp. You may think - getting a donkey for Jesus isn't that important. But, it was of vital importance. Without this donkey Scripture would be unfulfilled.
note: That would be like God saying something and it not coming to pass. It had to happen and they had to participate in doing it.
exp. You'll notice as well - THE LORD HATH NEED OF HIM.
question: How seriously would you discharge the humble commission? It fulfils Scripture! Jesus needs this donkey.
exp. I understand this evening that we don't need to worry that God's will isn't going to be accomplished - IT WILL BE DONE BECAUSE GOD WILL GET IT DONE. BUT HE MAY HAVE TO USE SOMEONE ELSE IF YOU DON'T TAKE YOUR HUMBLE COMMISSION SERIOUSLY.
ill. Esther - Est 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
app. Do you seriously believe that the humble commission you have been given is of vital importance to Jesus and the kingdom of God? (Or are you a ho hum Christian that feels no responsability to take up a humble commission for the Lord?)
transition: Take the humble commission immediately, directly, obediently, defiantly, seriously.
VI. Take the humble commission triumphantly.
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
exp. Having received the humble commission, these men obediently fulfilled it. Because of that Jesus triumphantly enters into Jerusalem as God's Word said that He would.
1. KING JESUS sits on the donkey.
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
2. KING JESUS rides on the donkey.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
3. KING JESUS is glorified on the donkey.
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
4. KING JESUS is magnified on the donkey.
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
exp. You may say, "It's only a donkey." But, look who is riding on the donkey!
ill. We often miss the big picture of the importance of a humble commission because we focus on the donkey instead of focusing on Jesus.
hymn: Kittie L. Suffield - Little is Much When God Is in It.
1 In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.
Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.
2 Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own. [Refrain]
3 When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
"Welcome home, My child, well done!" [Refrain]
app. Little is much when God is in! Will God say to you - Welcome home my child well done! You took the humble commission and fulfilled it VICTORIOUSLY!
We all know the great commission. This evening we have looked at the humble commission.
If you were walking with Jesus and he said to you, "I have a humble commission for you."
Would you take it?
I CHALLENGE YOU THIS EVENING TO TAKE THE HUMBLE COMMISSION.
Take the humble commission...
immediately - it is timely
directly - it is geographically specific
obediently - find, lose, bring.
defiantly - some will oppose it - "Thus saith the Lord"
seriously - It is fulfilling God's plan and the needs of Jesus.
triumphantly - Don't focus on the donkey. Focus on King Jesus. And fulfil your humble commission for His glory.