What Jesus taught me about being an ass

6214666-jesus-journey-on-the-donkey“And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?”

Mark 11:2

We have an example of a God who would come bearing weakness and wearing brokenness. A God who came giving up his robe rather than wearing it. A God who sat in the dirt with a whore rather than on a throne, and ate with the scum. This is a God who needs me, even in my imperfection.

Heading into Passover Jesus called for a donkey to enter the city in.

In what I consider one of the Bibles most revealing and revolutionary statements Jesus says, “The Lord has need.”

Jesus has a need!

We receive a vital piece of information and insight into the person of Jesus by finding that he has a need for something and in that moment it is a need for a donkey.

As I’ve always taught and will continue to teach, the Bible has more layers and deeper meanings that will allow God to speak in a new way.

This story isn’t just about an ass that was an animal in the right place and right time to give the savior a ride though the city.

That colt is all of us; you and me. It is the story of a life bound and forgotten not being  experienced and one day a savior smiles upon him.

Why, because he has to make himself feel great? No. He has need.

He has need of a person tied down. He has need of that junky that has lost everything. He has need of that teen who feels like failure awaits every person she attempts to love.

This is one of the most powerful verses in scripture because it tells us why.

For God so loved…

But why?

Because he had need!

It’s exciting to me because this means Jesus wanted me with all my doubts.

Jesus wanted me even with all of my mess.

He wanted me with all my uncertainties and my insecurities. He has a need for me.

The gospel isn’t about winning souls; it’s about connecting an ass that is tied up to a savior who will liberate.

One thing I just have to say that I love about this scripture is that Jesus chooses the inexperienced donkey.

He didn’t want the donkey that traveled the land. He didn’t want a donkey who knew what it was like to carry a king. He wanted the donkey that was tied up and never ridden.

Some of the best people for the job will have never done the job.

Some of the best experience is the least experience.

The end of the verse reflects often what we see in our own lives as we begin something new.

As the disciples untied the colt and was about to bring it to Jesus as he asked, people questioned.

How many times have you wanted to start something, a business or even a career and the people around you seem to have all these questions.

Jesus had no incentive to question this colt, he just wanted to free it.

Don’t ever let your inexperience hinder you from dreaming. Out of your inexperience will come many blessings. You may be an ass with no experiance, no money and nothing looking up, But Jesus has need for you.

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What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Following Jesus, this Rabbi from Nazareth was of the utmost importance to these teens and young adults he called disciples, each of whom came from every existence at the time.

Some of these followers left family, some left lovers, others left jobs and some were rejected by the world around them. These men and women knew what it was like to be unwanted and alone.
At times, we see them exhibit that following Jesus was more important than funerals of family members, more important than having any possessions and more important than life itself. (Luke 9:61)
Following this Jesus was so important to these young men and women that they would neglect everything so that whatever Jesus was doing at the moment would be the one and only focus in their daily life.

I can make that statement fully confident that this was the mindset of many of Jesus’ followers.
I can see that same passion with teens from every denomination in Christianity.
But wait, I can also see the same passion with Buddhist, Muslim and Mormon followers. It’s limitless; the passion exhibited is something that seems to be universal and not exclusively tied to Christianity or followers of Jesus. We have even pondered how serial killers and cult leaders could also have similar dedication from their followers. So following Jesus must be about something more than just walking a similar path he did.
In fact, we see this passion in music scenes that have risen in the past such as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Hardcore and more. We have witnessed that all have followers that exhibit similar passion.

In these times of confusion, I love to dive into the wisdom that is the historical writings of Judaism. For me, the wisdom hidden in many early Jewish writings is a daily inspiration and guidance and more-so, knowing Jesus searched for the same wisdom in his life.
One of the Hebrew words used for following someone in the Torah, which is the name for some of the Jewish scriptures or the Christian Old Testament, means to follow after and carry something.
This is insightful and easy to pass over, as with much wisdom that presents itself in life.

When they spoke of following someone, it didn’t stop with following after someone but they insisted something would have to be carried. Following was not just about walking after someone.

The illustration we are beginning to see is that if someone follows a person or idea, they begin to carry what they are following or they begin to carry something the person they are following is carrying.

The Christian journey as it has evolved has also changed in its idea of what being a follower of Jesus really means.

I mean this not as an insult but an accountable observation. In our western churches, it’s often rare to see a church take place in a public place or common area.
Padded pews are a luxury of the Jesus follower of the past. We now have booming mega churches, media software that out-does most organizations, church brand coffee, bands that are composed of award winning musicians and sound systems that put arenas to shame.
Is this what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Come follow me”?

Are we carrying the same passion and call Jesus did when he walked the earth? Is his burden our burden?

Are you following Jesus empty handed?

Adapted from Barefoot Christianity coming next Tuesday!

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