God Always Provides for His Plan and Purpose
by Fred Carpenter
1) Consider the following Scriptures:
1 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3 “If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'” 6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them…
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
2) What do you see in these verses? (can you think of other things?)
- v1 – He didn’t send all the disciples, just two. God’s work doesn’t depend on large numbers. These disciples weren’t going to search for the donkey and the colt. They were going to retrieve the donkey and the colt. When Jesus sent His disciples out to do ministry, He sent them in two’s.
- v2-3 – The instructions were clear. God is in the details. The more specific the prophecy in Zechariah, the more glory to God when we read of its fulfillment in detail in Matthew (and Mark and Luke).
- v2-3 – The provision had been prearranged. God had somehow prepared the heart of the person who owned the donkey and the colt. For every story there is a back story, and every character is vital to the greater narrative.
- v5 – This was done so prophecy might be fulfilled. 9:9 was written about 500 before the event in Matthew 21.
- v5 – Jesus didn’t just need a ride into town. He specifically needed a donkey and colt (and according to the parallel passages in Mark 11 and Luke 19, a colt that had never been ridden). A Jewish king might have come on a mule (1 Kings 1:38). A warring conqueror might have come on a war horse. A donkey and a colt symbolized humility, not war and aggression. Consider also that our passage identifies this donkey as a beast of burden. Jesus was about to take on the burden of the sin of the world.
- v6 – The two disciples followed His instructions exactly, without questions.
- This whole story defies natural wisdom and probability. It does not depend on human ingenuity and capacity. It reveals and magnifies the hand of God.
3) From what you have read, what can you apply to your life? (here is a partial list)
- As we’ve seen with the owner of the donkey and the colt, every person is vital to the story – even if the role is “behind-the-scenes”. You are important to God’s story!
- A lot of time passed between the prophecy in Zechariah and its fulfillment. Sometimes the story takes time to unfold. Be patient.
- God will provide exactly what we need in order to fulfill His plan and purpose. Walk in His plan, and He will provide all you need to fulfill His purpose for your life.