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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Under Authority

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. (Mark 11:4-6)

Some friends and I were discussing recently the life of a prominent person who lays claim to being a Christian. We were confused that the testimony from his lips did not correspond to his actions. With his words he spoke of his personal salvation, but with his actions and policies he clearly was at odds with Jesus.

I suspect this dichotomy exists fairly frequently. The problem comes when we want to own Jesus as our Savior, but not as our Lord — when we want the benefits He brings, but not the obedience He asks.

Jesus had ascended the long climb from Jericho to the top of the Mount of Olives. First, He stayed at the home of friends in Bethany (John 12). When He was ready to enter Jerusalem, He sent two of His disciples on an improbable mission to obtain a colt (which they had not seen), tied at a doorway outside in the street (where they knew not the exact address), and to remove it (and take the chance of being apprehended for theft).

If you had been one of them, would you have gone so willingly?

What can we learn from their example?

First, the Lord always knows what’s going on. Thus, when He directs us we should do what He asks even if we don’t know what it means. The disciples had no idea at that moment as to why Jesus wanted the colt. Matthew’s Gospel, written after the event, tells us that the colt was needed to fulfill the Scripture (Matthew 21:4,5). At the time, however, the two disciples didn’t know that; they simply trusted Jesus and followed His directions.

As a pastor I taught new converts to be baptized in water. Sometimes they would ask, “But, why? Do I really need to get all wet? Isn’t believing enough?” My response was that no one would enlist in the army and begin his or her military career by disobeying the first order of the drill sergeant. That being the case, why would any new Christian want to begin their Christian walk by disobeying — not the order of a drill sergeant, but the order of the Commander in Chief! The Christian life is all about obedience!

Second, there will always be those who don’t understand what Jesus sends them to do. That’s the case here. The bystanders are mystified as to why two strangers, who do not own the animal, are nevertheless untying it. Had I been there that day, I might have immediately called for the authorities!

Third, when others don’t understand our obedience to Jesus we should respond to their questions. We’re not to get huffy, or threatened, or argumentative. We shouldn’t give them the cold shoulder or silent treatment. Honest questions deserve honest answers.

The two disciples responded truthfully and with good hearts. The villagers accepted their response because they knew how good Jesus had been to the two sisters and brother living at Bethany: Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11,12). The bystanders trusted the word of the two disciples because, first and foremost, they trusted Jesus.

A prayer of response
Jesus, be not only my Savior but also my Lord. I purpose to obey You today. May I have confidence in all the everyday decisions of my life to say, “I’m doing as the Lord wants me to do.”

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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