Donkey Story

            Far too many Christians, including preachers and Bible teachers, are like the Athenians Paul preached to in Acts 17:21.  It says: “(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)”  It seems the plain words of the Bible aren’t good enough.  There must be something hidden that needs to be twisted from its grasp.  There has to be something clever to share with others that hints at deeper meaning.  Well, just because something’s new and creative doesn’t make it right or indicate that it’s sound doctrine.

            As I write, it’s the day most know as Palm Sunday.  A man raising funds for the mission field in South America was guest speaker in our church’s Sunday school class.  He spoke with an emphasis I’ve never heard before and hope never to hear again.  Since I think negative examples are instructive, I share this with you.  First, see what you can glean from Mark 11:1-7.  Remember, if common sense makes sense, seek no other sense.

            “And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 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? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.”

            The speaker told a donkey story, complete with three point outline.  He compared himself to the donkey.  He, too, was tied in bondage to sin before he was saved.  The donkey, at a place where two streets met, was like anyone coming to Christ who must make a decision.  Once put at the Master’s disposal, he was used to bring Christ to the people.  Jesus had need of this donkey for His purposes, just as He has need of those of us He uses for His purposes.

            Cute and clever?  More like thoroughly disgusting and revolting.  I snickered to myself through the whole thing, which, by the way, took a half hour of our time.  Even my wife, who has a high tolerance for fluff, was put off.  Why was I sitting through it?  I asked myself why anyone there sat through that?  We all acted like dumb sheep.  So much for serious Bible study.  A self respecting pastor would have quizzed the speaker on his content ahead of time and gently, but firmly, steered him in another direction.

            I hasten to add that I’m reminded of an encounter with a Christian brother some 20 years ago.  I questioned how the Holy Spirit could use some of the nonsense aired over the Christian radio station I worked for then.  This brother firmly chastised me for scoffing.  He said it wasn’t my place to decide what the Holy Spirit could or would use.  I’ve often thought of what he said, because he was right.  I have no idea what the Holy Spirit can and will use in the lives of individuals who are at all ranges of maturity.  I’m confident that He won’t use anything that contradicts or makes light of  His holy Word.

***      2 Tim. 2:15—“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Study, Christian Life, Thoughts from John

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