Sometimes Jesus’ management of his affairs is rather mysterious.
He seems to do very little administration and organisation in the sense of a modern CEO but of course he does rather a lot of communication.
Here it seems as if we are only told one part of the story. Questions flutter around. Did Jesus have a previous ‘deal’ with the owners of the colt: had he arranged it in advance? Or is Jesus seeing ‘far’ in the sense of miraculous knowledge? Was he generally known to everybody in this village as ‘the master’? The big underlying question is: did Jesus stage an entry as described by Zechariah 9:9 or did it almost happen accidentally on the spur of the moment?
I believe Jesus planned this. Even if it was planned by prayer and spiritual insight rather than by a deal with the owner of the colt: Jesus wants to make a statement about being the ‘king of peace’. Zechariah 9:10 is crucial: “he shall command peace to the nations”. With his entry into Jerusalem on a colt Jesus makes a massive statement both of power “triumphant and victorious” (in Zechariah’s words) and of peace “humble and riding on a donkey”. No warhorses, no king with blood on his hands. The only blood on Jesus’ hands will be his own. Only in Luke do the multitudes of disciples who shout really understand this. Interestingly they call out “peace in heaven” rather than “peace on earth”. Peace on earth will only happen on that day when all confess “Jesus as Lord” and follow his way.
20 March 2016
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.