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The God Who Bleeds 7 Jesus and the Donkey


Series – The God Who Bleeds

Attempting : Turn – attention – mystery – Jesus.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, (Mark 11:1)

saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. (Mark 11:2)

If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” (Mark 11:3)

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, (Mark 11:4)

some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” (Mark 11:5)

They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. (Mark 11:6)

When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. (Mark 11:7)

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. (Mark 11:8)

Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9)

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:10)

Title: Jesus and the donkey

At the very end of Jesus’s ministry. Palm Sunday. 5 days before his death.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem from Galilee, he enters the city riding on a… Donkey.

Not even a full grown donkey, but a colt. – Male donkey, younger than 4 years old. – Basically a wimpy little donkey.Wasn’t an accident – Jesus did it on purpose.


That same week, Pontius Pilot, the roman governer also came in to the city.

He doesn’t live in jerusalam. Didn’t care much for commoners.

He had a lovely home. Mansion. Built on the seaside right off the mediteranian sea, next to Herod the great. You can still see the ruins there.

City named for Cesar – Cesaria.

So, at Passover. – The jewish holiday remembering their liberation from oppression.

This was a good time for people to get the idea to revolt and rebel. – This actually happened multiple times.

So the roman governor knew that he couldn’t just chill in his mansion, but instead had to come down to oversee.

So in the same week – Jesus and Pontius Pilot BOTH come to Jerusalem.

But he is not riding a donkey.

No Pontius Pilot rides, what is known as a war horse.

Jesus – donkey

Pontius Pilot – war horse

If you were to see it you’d say “Yes there he is! The mighty governer! Great and powerful! Mighty stallion!” Strength, glory, dignity.

Peasant, preacher, prophet guy – nowheresville galilee. Riding a wimpy kid donkey and then these poor people surrounding him and recognizing him as the real king.

Appear slightly ridiculous.

Might have been some people laughing.

Both Jesus & Pontius pilate come to down, from competing and contrasting kingdoms.

  • Pontius Pilot rides a war horse
  • Jesus rides a peace donkey.


Let’s talk about horses.

In the bible, God doesn’t like horses.

The name Phillip – lover of horses. Well God’s not Phillip.

Horses don’t fair particularly well in the bible.

Ex: – Not named – creation account.

When ARE mentioned – negative.

Of course, it’s not that he doesn’t like the horse. What he doesn’t like it what horses were in the ancient world: War Horses.

All Horses were war horses.

Horses were not for riding pleasure or transportation, or agriculture. – No that was the donkey. – If you wanted an animal to carry all your crap, aka a beast of burden.

Horses are mentioned 185 times.

Virtually all references to a horse is in the context of something destructive.

Horses were used exclusively for waging war.

If you keep this in mind, you’ll understand some of the commands in the Old Testament.

Ex: When Israelites came out of egypt and into cana, they were commanded to keep the donkeys, but hamstring the horses.

“Well that sounds cruel!!!”

Actually something like: “Keep the tractors but destroy the tanks.”

In the Torah, Deuteronomy, the Kings of Israel were forbidden to multiply horses.

The kings ignored this command.

Solomon had 12,000 horses. – He had stable CITIES.

Amazing: when you read about the wars of Israel, they’re never victorious b/c of their horses.

When they rely on horses, they’re defeated.

Rely – God – Delivered.

Over and over.

‘The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.’ (Psalm 33:17)

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7)

Jesus is on this journey from galilee, they’ve gone through jerico, he has lunch with Zacheas, a wee little man in the tree.

Healed Blind Bartimaeus.

Begins this long march up to Jerusalam, reaches the top, see Jerusalam, and says ‘Wait!!! I need a tiny donkey.’

He tells his disciples where to go get one, if anyone asks say ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’

Not a horse, a donkey. – Tiny donkey. Doesn’t fit, feet probably drag on the ground, it’s silly.

So he rides in and people are rejoicing and yelling “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

So Jesus rode the humble peace donkey on palm sunday.

White Horse – Revelation?

YES. Parallel. – World’s Power – Sheds own blood.

Jesus rejects the glorious warhorse to ride the ridiculous peace donkey.

He comes in direct opposition to the worlds definition of success.

If you go to any capital city in the world: There’s always some dude on a horse. – Statues

(…Horse statues examples in cities…)

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, brazil, Canada, chili, China (Ghinggis Khan), Columbia, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, Greece, india, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, japan, north Korea, South Korea, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mexico, Mongolia-(Genghis Khan), Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (yes boy), Syria, Thialand, Turkey, Ukraine, us1, us2, us3, us4, us5

If: Statue Jesus – Colt

These last 6 months, I’ve really been thinking about Jesus riding a ridiculous donkey, and what all that means.

I’ve been amazed at how often I answer questions like this: “B/C Jesus rode a donkey.”

1. Jesus riding a donkey opposes christian celebrity.

I don’t know if you know this, but the ministry has quickly become a pretty decent way to become a rich and famous celebrity. And that’s a problem. A core tenant of our faith is that we’re people who exalt others above ourself.

There’s nothing wrong with being popular. People usually become popular b/c they’re talented. – Totally cool.

  • Twitter followers.
  • Huge Crowds.
  • Selling tons of books

There IS something wrong with being a Christian celebrity.

The test of Christian celebrity is where the person is when they’re not on the stage.

Do they live ‘with the people’. Or have they seperated themselves from the people? Celebrity implies distance.

When they’re not talking, are they listening?

None of us are supposed to be a celebrity. Why not? B/C Jesus rode a donkey.

  • David, you’re gonna have a your own 30 million dollar jet someday! Jesus rode a donkey.
  • David, you skip to the front of the line.

2. Jesus riding a donkey shows us that the goal of a Christian MUST be peace.

Alexander the Great

In 4th century BC – Lived 356 BC–323 BC

He was on the move. – Conquering. – (MAP)

‘The King of Kings.’

In his conquering journey – moved through Israel and Judea, conquoring and destroying all in his path. – Conquors gaza, and egypt, india, by the age of 32 had conquored the world from greece to india.

In all his journeys, Alexander the great rode his fameous warhorse – Bucephalus (Pic). Very fameous. We can identify his grave to this day.

At the same time, when Alexander the great and bucephalus were conquoring the world, 4th century BC. – The hebrew prophet Zecheria, who would have encountered and suffered under Alexander the great and bucephalus, gives a new vision of a different kind of king.

Remember it’s Zecheria who says: It’s not by might, it’s not by power, it’s by my spirit says the Lord.

He gives us new picture of a different kind of King. In direct contrast from Alexander the Great.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:10)

He’s prophesying that the messiah will not be like Alexander the Great.

  • Riding a warhorse
  • Conquering by killing

But instead the messiah will come with gentleness and humility riding a donkey and teaching peace to the nations.

Back to the story

This is the prophecy that Jesus deliberately fulfills on palm Sunday.

They think he’s going to come in and fight like Alexander the great fought. Even though his donkey was wimpy, they wanted him to come and kick some Roman butt.

As Jesus approaching Jerusalem, you know what he does? He cries.

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. (Luke 19:41)

“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:42)

Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. (Luke 19:43)

They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” (Luke 19:44)

They wanted Jesus to be like Alexander the great.

  • Like Cyrus the great,
  • Darius the Great
  • Herod the Great

They’re mostly all great at killing people. And they’re ‘Great’ because the people writing history are on their side. Well why don’t people who aren’t on their side write history? B/C they’re dead.

Jesus could have been ‘Jesus the Great’ and he was tempted to be. – 3rd wilderness temptation.

He is shown all the kingdoms of the world. – All you have to do is get on a horse and ride. But he says ‘That kind of power is worshipping the devil.’

They wanted Jesus to ride a horse. White Horse of conquest.

But Jesus knew :

  • White horse of Conquest
  • Red horse of War.
  • Black horse of Famine
  • Pale horse of Death.

See this repeated throughout history. (Repeat)

Conquerors come with pride and violence. – Riding stallions.

Genghis Khan murdered 10 million.

The prince of peace comes:

  • Heals the sick
  • Defends the weak.
  • Compassion – enemy.

When Jesus saw Jerusalem, He wept. Because they had no idea how to make peace.

Speaks to the world today. – NO IDEA – Peace. It’s nobodies fault. It’s darkness of humanity – causes us to conquor instead of respect.

It’s the fact that we haven’t made Jesus the king yet.

I dream of the day when the men on horses will be replaced by the man on the donkey.

“How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace” He comes riding on a ridiculous donkey saying ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’

  1. Jesus riding a donkey opposes Christian celebrity.
  2. Jesus riding a donkey shows us that the goal of a Christian MUST be peace.

Jesus wasn’t the God people were expecting. But He’s the God we needed and he’s the God we need today. It goes against what the world will tell you should be important.