“When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’’ So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, ‘Why are you loosing the colt?’ And they said, ‘The Lord has need of him.’ Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:
‘‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’’
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’”
Who Uses Us?
The Scripture passage that we read today describes what Jesus said after giving the parable of the minas on His way to Jerusalem to bear the punishment of the Cross. It’s written here: “And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’’” Here, the Lord told the disciples to bring a colt and tell anyone who asks about it, “Because the Lord has need of it.” Let us focus on this part and meditate on the will of the Lord that’s revealed here.
Our Lord said to the disciples to go into the village and loosen and bring a colt tied there, and if anyone asked them about it, He told them to reply, “Because the Lord has need of it.” When viewed from common sense, it’s impossible to understand what Jesus said here. It’s easy for us to be puzzled by why Jesus told the disciples to loose and bring someone else’s colt, and to just tell anyone who asks about it that the Lord would use it. What would you have thought if someone told you this? You’d have thought that this made no sense. However, while this may seem like nonsense for many people, if you hear it with your spiritual ears and see it with your eyes of faith, it will make sense to you. In short, today’s Scripture passage means that our God calls to be His workers those who, like this colt, have not served the world even though they are still bound to it. Of course, God sometimes also calls others to be His workers when they have served worldly affairs for a long time.
When the Lord said here, “Loose the tied colt and bring it to Me. And if the owner or anyone else asks you about it, tell him that the Lord has need of it,” His disciples obeyed Him accordingly. Aren’t you amazed by these disciples of the Lord? Of course, Jesus is their Master. He was their Teacher and their God, but even so, how could anyone just go to a strange town and bring someone else’ colt just because he is told to do so? Yet the disciples obeyed the Lord and brought the colt to Him exactly as they were told. It’s written clearly in the Word of God: “So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, ‘Why are you loosing the colt?’ And they said, ‘The Lord has need of him.’ Then they brought him to Jesus.” This is not a fabricated story. It is the exact record of what actually happened.
If you were in the disciples’ shoes, would you have been able to do what they did? If I were to say to you, “Go to this place and there you will see two cars. Bring them to me,” would any of you do this? Are you confident that when you get caught, you will say, “The Lord has need of it”? If I asked you to do this, you would probably say to me, “I know that we believe in God and that we are sinless, but how can you, a pastor, ask us to take and bring someone else’s things? I just can’t follow you. Now we see that you are not a pastor, but a thief. Ask us for something reasonable, not for something that makes no sense at all. This is just too much!” Like this, you would have resisted and rejected my request.
The Bible reveals the righteousness of God, and there are many things in the Bible that human beings simply cannot understand. However, so long as you believe in the righteousness of Jesus and are carrying on with your life of faith in this Church, do not think that you can just believe in and follow what’s comprehensible to your head. Whatever the Lord says, you must believe in it clearly with your heart even if it’s beyond your human comprehension. The Word of God that we read today is also difficult to understand for the human mind, but it is still right.
Take a look at the colt that appears in today’s passage. Since no one had ever ridden it yet, it was still a young colt. Once it grew up a bit more, it would have carried loads at its sides for the rest of its life. However, if this colt served the Lord rather than just carrying the loads, it would have been much more comfortable and happier than carrying the burdens of this world. So to put it simply, this colt that was called by the Lord won a lottery. If it had stayed where it was, it would have had to carry the heavy load of the world for the rest of its life, but because the Lord said that He had need of it and told the disciples to bring it, the colt was actually used by the Lord. In fact, the Lord rode this colt into Jerusalem. The people at that time sang praises and shouted out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
My fellow believers, God carries out His righteous work through you and me. And He calls those who, like this colt, have not served this world and still have an innocent heart to be used for His work. He calls those with a pure heart to serve Him and carry out His work for the rest of their lives. Put differently, the colt that appears in today’s Scripture passage refers to none other than us. If someone is too tied down by the affairs of the world, the Lord cannot use this person freely. By nature, a colt is a stiff-necked and stubborn creature. That’s why the Lord said, “Loose it from its ties and bring it here. I will use it.”
Those Who Are Used by the Lord Are Not Bound by the Things of This World
Before the Lord uses the righteous, He infallibly unties them from the ties that bind them, whether they are bound by the world, money, people, or anything else. So for us to be used by the Lord, we must first be free from any ties that bind us to the world. By any chance, is there anything that’s binding your heart to the things of the world? We must remember that if we are tied to anything else other than the work of the Lord, we cannot be used for His work.
God calls those who are like the colt in today’s Scripture passage and makes them His workers to be used for His ministry. It is for this purpose that the Lord brought these colts—that is, the people in the world—into this world and grew them. Of course, those who claim to be the owners of these colts think that it is they who have nurtured the colts, and so they resist when the Lord, through His disciples, releases them from all the ties to use them. They say, “Why are you trying to take away my colt without my permission?” However, our Lord has a simple answer to this defiance: “Tell them that the Lord has need of it.”
When God calls us to be His instruments, all of us are clearly bound by the world. There clearly are ties that bind us, whether they are our families, others, or some duties of the world. However, God frees us from all such ties. When the Lord is about to give us true freedom and use us, the first people to raise objection is our old owners, saying, “Why are you taking away what’s mine?” But the Lord has a simple answer to this: “I have need of it. What more needs to be said when I am going to use it?”
The disciples in today’s Scripture passage untied the colt and brought it to the Lord, and the Lord used it. That is how God also calls you. What were the ties that bound us then? We were tied down by the affairs of the world. When the Lord seeks to use us, there is only one thing that we can say to the people of the world who oppose this, to those who do not understand us: “The Lord has need of me.” That is the right answer. God has entrusted His precious work to us. So we have nothing else to say other than this.
When our Lord told the disciples to bring the tied colt in today’s Scripture passage, He was in fact drawing an analogy to explain how He calls His workers. This implies that countless future workers of God are tied to the things of the world. How much could you really serve the world even if you wanted to? We have to ask ourselves constantly which is better for us to serve the world or the righteousness of God. And if anyone objects when we are called by God, we have nothing else to say than this: “God has need of me. I will serve His righteousness. I will carry out God’s work.” The Lord did not tell His disciples to bring a free-running colt, but He told them to loosen and bring a colt that was tied down. It’s this tied colt that the Lord wanted to use.
Indeed, the Lord has released the wretched colts bound by the things of this world and used them as His servants. What do the colts here symbolize? They refer to none other than God’s workers. In a time when there was no automobile, colts were important means of transportation. They carried heavy loads at both sides. Spiritually speaking, therefore, these colts refer to God’s laborers. They refer to none other than you and me. Before you and I were used by the Lord, we had also been bound by the world just like this colt. So through His disciples, our Lord freed us from all the ties that bound us. And He entered Jerusalem riding the colt. Like this, the Lord is leading us and using us as His instruments to achieve His work and fulfill His will. In the Old Testament, it was already prophesied that Jesus would ride a colt in humbleness:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
The Lord said, “Loose the tied colt and bring it here. And tell them that the Lord has need of it,” and He used this colt that was brought to Him. When we are used by God, and when we serve the righteousness of God, there is nothing else to say but this: “I’m being used by the Lord because He said that He had need of me.” Although the people of the world may not understand this, it is something that we are qualified to say as those who have become righteous. It is, in fact, what all of us must say without fail. There is no need to give any other explanation. There is nothing more to say than this: “The Lord said that He had need of us, and He will use us. We will serve the righteousness of the Lord from now on.” When God calls you, others can’t object to His will if you say to them, “The Lord said He had need of me.”
Literally, we are used by God as His instruments. If you resist this calling stubbornly, then you can’t be used by God; if you want to be bound by the world again, then you can’t help but serve the world; but if you submit to the righteous calling of the Lord, then you will be used by God as His precious instrument. If you obey the Lord’s calling and follow Him by faith, you will surely be used by God for His righteousness.
When we seek to devote our entire lives to serving the righteousness of God and come to His presence, the people of the world may object to the right choice of our spiritual faith. In times like this, we must speak boldly before all those who want us to stay tied to the things of the world. Just as the disciples here said, “The Lord has need of it,” so must we also open our mouths and shout out, “The Lord wants to use me. He has called me through His servants.” There is nothing else to say. What more needs to be said when the Lord Himself wants to use us? That is how God calls His workers.
None of us knows whom God is about to call now. These things do not happen because you want them to happen. Rather, God carries out His work accordingly His will without fail. And to fulfill His righteous will, He calls the spiritual colts tied to the world. As such, we must realize that these colts are none other than ourselves, and we must submit to the Lord’s calling in obedience.
In fact, for these spiritual colts called by the Lord, the calling itself is a glorious honor. After all, just for giving the Lord a ride, they will hear people praising, “Hosanna to He who comes in the name of Christ, the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace on earth and glory in the highest!” Who would ever shout out Hosanna and welcome a colt? The colt was welcomed only because it was used by Jesus; if it were left alone in the street, it would easily have been stoned and tormented. So this colt was a truly blessed colt.
My fellow believers, like this, the Lord has called you and made you His workers fulfilling the righteousness of God when you were bound by the world. And He has made you His people. Every human being is actually born as a lowly being just like this colt. The Old Testament says that to save the firstborn colt, a lamb had to be killed and offered as a sacrifice, as it is written, “But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem” (Exodus 13:13). From the moment we were born into this world, we were all born with sin, and we had to die for this sin. All of us were born as such stiff-necked and stubborn sinners. However, Jesus Christ took upon Himself all of our sins once and for all, sacrificed Himself for our sins, and has thereby saved us to perfection. That is why we are now being used by God as His precious instruments.
The world does not treat us so kindly. It protests to us, demanding to know why we are being released from the ties that bind us to the world. But even so, this world cannot help but let us go, for the Lord said that He would use us. There is nothing more to be said once the Lord says that He will use us for the work of God. If the Lord says that He will use us, then we will be used by Him accordingly.
God calls us suddenly when we are busy with the things of the world. God’s calling comes all of a sudden. While reading today’s Scripture passage, I could realize that even though Jesus’ disciples were simple and Jesus Himself also spoke in simple terms, His Word was fulfilled exactly as He said because it was the truth. The Lord said, “Just go, loose the colt, and bring it to Me. And if anyone ask why you are taking away the colt, tell them that the Lord will use it.”
However, it is because of Jesus Christ that those around Him are welcomed; it wasn’t the colt itself that the people were welcoming. That is only a matter of course. The people had seen and heard how Jesus had raised the dead back to life, healed the sick, and performed the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fish, and when they praised the Lord, the disciples of Jesus were also praised. Like this, the colt that was carrying the Lord into Jerusalem was welcomed as well. In fact, as those serving the Lord, there will be many occasions when we are praised by others. But we should never turn conceited by this. As God’s servants, we should be ready to serve Jesus Christ rather than trying to be served or praised by others.
Like this, when we are used by the Lord, we are sometimes honored thanks to the Lord. However, we must pay attention to what the Lord said: “Tell them that the Lord has need of it.” Whenever God calls us, we must answer His calling regardless how He uses us. When you are called by God, some people may object to you and say, “Why do you want to do God’s work rather than serving the world and taking care of your own business?” In times like this, you must say to them boldly, “God is saying that He will use me to carry out His work. So I must do this work.” Remember this clearly. Remember that when God calls us, we must say boldly and clearly what He has told us to tell the people of this world. We must say that the Lord has need of us.
I wonder what you and I might be doing now if we had not met God, not received the remission of sins, and not been used by the Lord. Even if we made some money, what use would it be? We probably wouldn’t have prospered in any ways, since it would not have had any meaning.
In today’s Scripture passage, the disciples of Jesus said, “The Lord has need of it,” brought the colt, and ultimately this colt carried Jesus on its back into Jerusalem. What does this mean? It means that this colt was actually used for God to save the lost souls. Like this, if God says that He will use you and me as His workers to save the lost souls, we must also answer this calling by faith. Although various thoughts may come to our minds and there may even be some things that we don’t understand, the Lord Himself wants to use us, and so why should we hesitate any longer? We must have faith and obey God’s calling to use us. And we must say boldly to the world, “The Lord wants to use me,” cut off the rope of the world that binds us, and devote all our lives to the work of the Lord.
My fellow believers, we are the pedestals of Jesus Christ. Not only our ministers, but all our brothers and sisters are also the Lord’s pedestals. We the born-again must remember that Jesus Christ is the Rose of Sharon, that we are the pedestals supporting the Lord, and that we have such a crucial role to play. Pedestals are essential to support the flower of the gospel to come into full bloom. There were seven bowls made like almond blossoms on each of the branch of the golden lamp in the Tabernacle, and each bowl was supported with an ornamental knob so that the lamps would shine brightly inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:31-39). In fact, Jesus is the Light and all of us are such ornamental knobs that support the preaching of the gospel of the righteousness of God.
God calls us soon after we receive the remission of sins, when we are still bound by the world. He calls us into His Church, saying that He has need of us. In doing so, He makes you and me serve the Lord in various forms and ways, with our possessions, our prayers, and our bodies, all to preach the Word and spread the gospel. That is how God has called you and me and used us.
However, if there are any ties that bind us to the world, we would not be able to come to the presence of God. This means that unless we untie our bondage, we cannot be used by God. So through His disciples, God has released us from all the ties that bind us. My fellow believers, isn’t it true that many of us are still bound by the world? Are you bound by money, by any chance? Are you tied down to worldly relationships? Like the colt, human beings were also born to serve someone. You have to grasp this clearly. Since we were born into this world, we must serve someone. If this is the case, if it is our destiny to be bound by something, then isn’t it better for us to be bound by the work of God and serve Him rather than the world, just as the colt in today’s Scripture passage was blessed to carry Jesus Christ on its back rather than the load of the world?
Unless we serve God’s work, it’s inevitable for us to serve the things of the world, even though we have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we end up serving the things of the world like this, the burden will be a hundred times heavier. The Lord said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” He is telling us that His work is light. What about the affairs of the world then? Just as a colt serves its owner, all of us must decide whether we will serve the world or God. Whichever we serve, we are bound to serve one of them. If we don’t serve the righteousness of God, we must serve the world, and if we don’t serve the world, then we must serve God. And it’s toilsome to serve the world. Isn’t it then patently clear which choice we should make here? We must be released from our servitude to this world. This means that even though we are living in this world, we should never serve it.
My fellow believers, who is our Lord? Isn’t He the King of all kings, the Master of all things, and our High Priest? We must serve God who is our Master. We are just like a colt, but whom should we serve if we could choose? We should serve the Almighty God. After all, why should we carry the filthy things of the world and suffer under their heavy weight? Even though we are colts, why should we carry such filthy and foul things? The people of the world won’t even offer you a bath. But God will bathe you. When the colt is walking in the field, He brings down rain and washes the whole body.
My fellow believers, so long as we were born in this world, all of us must serve someone and be bound by something. If this is the case, then the object of our service is God only. The people of the world don’t understand us when we serve God. They probably look at us as though we have gone mad. What we should say to them in times like this is the following answer: “The Lord said He will use me. He told me He had need of me for His work like this.” Is this all clear to you?
Even though you and I were born with the destiny to live like a lowly colt, how wonderful is it that we are living as colts that serve the Lord? Don’t you agree? The only thing for us to say is this: “My sins have disappeared thanks to the Lord. The Lord said, ‘I have need of you.’” We must reveal this truth and confess it clearly before both God and the people of the world.