The Rev. Will Scott '12, Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Ind.
1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Hidden behind Jesus’ dramatic fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy is a more mundane miracle. Jesus tells the disciples exactly where to go, exactly what they will find, and exactly what needs to be done. Go to the village, find a donkey and a colt, and bring them to me. Having known Jesus long enough not to ask too many questions, the disciples go and do just that.
Jesus needs both the donkey and the colt to fulfill the prophecy. Does he need to ride both? Why two animals? Some speculate that Jesus sat on a cloak rigged between the two animals. Others do not venture a guess. The answer is irrelevant. The prophetic sign remains.
The minor miracle accompanies the great one, like a colt with a donkey, just as we anticipate the once and for all incarnation every year.
Gracious God, give us eyes to see who we are in light of the one who is coming, even now. Amen.