The Lord has need of it (Luke 19:31)

As the Lord Jesus is approaching Jerusalem and preparing to accomplish the work of redemption through His crucifixion, He comes near to the village of Bethany. In the village there is “a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat.” His disciples are to “untie it (the colt) and bring it here (to Him)” because “the Lord has need of it (Luke 19:30-31).” Thus, we are introduced to this colt, this common beast of burden, which is forever significant because of its encounter with Jesus. This post considers how we, too, like this colt, are significant because “the Lord has need of us.”

The colt was one “on which no one had ever sat (19:30).” Up until now, this colt, which was bred to carry people on its back, had never carried anyone. Until now, the colt had been useless, but now this colt will carry the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem. Now, “the Lord has need of it,” so the colt is suddenly useful. In the same way, before the Lord called us into His vineyard, we “were standing idle in the marketplace (Matthew 20:3)” or we were toiling after riches (Eccles. 4:7-8), but we were useless to the Lord. But then there came a time when the Lord untied us (John 8:36) and brought us to Himself, because “the Lord had need of us.” O happy day, the Lord has need of me! Now I am useful to the Master (2 Timothy 2:21) and He has given me work to do (John 17:4; Eph. 2:10). My life is useful because “the Lord has need of me.”

This colt was just like every other colt. There was nothing special about it, nothing that would make it stand out from the rest. But now, because of this encounter with Jesus, there is something that will forever distinguish this colt from others: “The Lord has need of it.” Just so, there is nothing special about us and nothing that makes us particularly significant. Apart from Christ, we are all groping in the dark like the blind (Isaiah 59:10). But the Lord has called us to Himself, and we are forever distinguished because of the Lord’s gracious call.

The Lord of glory, the Son of God, specifically selects THIS colt to be of service to Him. “The Lord has need of it.” Jesus needed a colt to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and to carry Him into Jerusalem. This messianic prophecy must be fulfilled, so the Lord chose this colt to be the one He would ride. Just so, the Lord has specifically chosen and called each one of His children for a specific and unique work. “The Lord has need of us” because He has a unique work for us to accomplish that only we can do.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the people cried out, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38)!” It would have been ridiculous in the extreme for the colt to have imagined that any of the praise of the people was for it. No! King Jesus rode on its back, and all the praise was directed toward Him because all the glory belonged to Him. So, it is for us, for as the colt’s only glory came from the One who rode it, so our only glory is a dim reflection from the One we serve. We lose our life for His sake (Luke 9:24) and direct all glory to Him. “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).”

Also, although Scripture is silent about this, I am persuaded that, because of the colt’s joy in carrying the great Son of Man, its burden actually felt light (Matthew 11:30). So, too, as we “take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23)” and go “out as lambs in the midst of wolves (Luke 10:3),” we experience not the heaviness, but the lightness of the Lord’s service (1 John 5:3).

Because Jesus has chosen this colt and the Lord has need of it, everything changes for the colt. Likewise, because Jesus has called us to His service, everything has changed for us.

There was nothing significant about the colt, but the One who chose the colt and who rode the colt was supremely significant. In the same way, we are significant not because of who we are, but because of whom we serve and because “the Lord has need of us.”

In these ways we are like the colt which the Lord rode into Jerusalem, but we are of so much more value than that colt. The Lord has untied us and called us to Himself (Luke 19:30), and He has done this because “the Lord has need of us.” He delights in us and He desires fellowship with us, and He has made us His witnesses and His ambassadors and His fishermen and His servants, and He has adopted us as His children forever. Rejoice, for “the Lord has need of us.”

SDG                 rmb                 11/5/2020

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