A Brave Little Donkey
By Dell Smith Klein
How many of you have been to a ranch? Have you been to a rodeo? (Allow the children to respond.) A person who grows up on a ranch knows that young horses have to be carefully taught to allow a rider to saddle it, put a bridle in its mouth and climb up on its back. You can’t just walk out and get a young colt to stand still, saddle it up and then climb up on its back and ride away. That horse would buck you off! And a young donkey or mule is even more stubborn. Without training, a young donkey won’t even move. He’ll stiffen his legs and flatten his ears. He’s showing you that he will not be obedient.
But, look what happened in the Holy Bible: Jesus and his followers were walking toward Jerusalem. When they got near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples into the village to find a young donkey that no one had ridden. Jesus said, “Untie him and bring him.” (vs. 2) Jesus went on to tell the disciples if anyone questioned what they were doing that they were to say, “The Lord needs him.” (vs. 2)
Now, remember what happens when someone tries to ride an unbroken horse? (Allow the children to respond.) That’s right. That horse will begin to buck and throw the rider off onto the ground.And what about a donkey or mule; how will they react if they have never been ridden before? (Wait for children to answer.) Yes, they will stiffen their legs, and refuse to move.
Is that what happened when the disciples brought the donkey colt to Jesus? No! They threw their garments on the young donkey and Jesus climbed on and rode right into Jerusalem. It was like a parade. People were cutting off branches from trees and spreading them out in the roadway. The Holy Bible says that some were out front and some were behind Jesus, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (vss. 9, 10)
It must have been an exciting parade. There was Jesus riding on the young donkey. And the people dancing along, shouting, “Hosanna!” The young donkey wasn’t afraid of the rider on his back and wasn’t afraid of people shouting and throwing branches on the road in front of him. He just walked along like he had been ridden for years.
Like that little donkey who wasn’t scared, we can learn not to be scared in new surroundings, too. When I am going to church camp but none of my friends are going, or when I go to the hospital to have my tonsils out God helps me not be afraid. God helps us even in scary situations. We can always trust him.
God of heaven and earth, we are thankful that you showed us this miracle of a young donkey that had never had anyone sitting on his back. Jesus helped that donkey not to be scared. You help us, too. Thank you. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan