Untie Your Ass[ets]: Palm Sunday Edition

If I’d had any patience, I would have waited to run this post until today, but I posted it in January with the hope that it would make for a good Palm Sunday rerun. Thus . . .

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We all remember why we are here, right? I mean, if you are still reading this blog, you know that I am a reluctant real foodie who has a secret (not-so-secret) agenda to talk about how we can save to give. Real foods is just the bandwagon by which I get you all to travel with me to my little corner of Crazy-town.

Before you’re tempted to click away because I have not yet mentioned soaking grains or condemned some kind of delicious and packaged food treat, WAIT. Read on. I promise, you’ll be glad. (Or highly offended.) Remember, I have given you free printable recipes in exchange for which I respectfully demand request that you attempt to read my real REAL food posts. 😉

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I’m trying to read through the whole Bible this year, so I’m using The Message paraphrase of the Bible because I find it more accessible. The other day I was reading Luke 19.

I got to the part just before Jesus rides the donkey through Jerusalem and all the people wave palm branches and shout “Hosanna.” (I probably should have held off on this post until Palm Sunday, but seriously, that is months away and I just couldn’t wait that long. Call me impulsive.)

I noticed something I had never noticed before. Check this out.

28-31After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.'”

32-33The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

34They said, “His Master needs him.”

35-36They brought the colt to Jesus.

Did you see it? Did you? I’ll give you a hint. I BOLDED it.”His Master.” That is, the disciples were told BY JESUS, to go take a donkey. Just untie it. And take it.

(Don’t ask. Just take.) If the owners ask why, just say “HIS MASTER needs him” . . . . to the people who own and think and are earthly masters of the animal.

Ahem. Awkward.

It struck me as kind of crazy and even a little weird that Jesus would tell the disciples to “Untie it” first, and then tell the OWNERS that “His master” needs him. I mean, really. That’s pretty much asking forgiveness instead of permission, right??

I started imagining a verse 34b. Which one do you like?

  • Then the owners said “I”m sorry. Who needs him?? That’s my ass!”
  • Then the owners said, “Say what!?!?”
  • Then the owners just shrugged and were like, “Sure, okay. Just bring him back.”
  • “When pursued, the disciples dragged their ass out of town before the owners caught up.”
  • Then the owner said, “Needs him for what?”

“Here’s where it’s about to get all nerdy up-in-heah, so you just have to hang with me.

I looked up this passage in a couple of other translations, all of which used the phrase “The Lord needs him” rather than “His Master needs him.” I wanted to know WHY The Message used “His Master.”

I called upon the aid of some of my genius, nerdy friends who speak Greek and have Greek Lexicons. (Everyone must have this type of friends.)

I found that, in most translations, the phrase “His master” appears numerous times earlier in this same chapter in the parable of the Ten Minas. My friend told me that the SAME Greek word “KURIOS” is used throughout the parable and here in verse 19. According to her Greek Lexicon it means either:

– one who is in charge by virtue of possession, owner

OR

-one who is in a position of authority, lord, master

So basically either way, the disciples were told to go take someone’s donkey and then tell the owners that they were taking it to its actual, factual owner, Jesus, who needed him.

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SO????? What is my point?

Well, let’s just see if we can apply this story to ourselves as either the owners or the disciples.

Owners, I’m going to talk to you first. Do you have an ass(et)? Are your ass(ets) tied up? Do you have any money, time, opportunity, ability, friendships, or possessions that are currently tied-up?

Let’s just imagine for a second that Jesus sends someone to untie yo’ ass(et). (Sorry, I just broke into talking jive. It happens.)

You stop them and say, “Why are you grabbing my ass(et)?”

And Jesus messenger says, “The MASTER of your ass(et) needs it.”

Hmmmm. . . . this gives me pause. I feel uncomfortable. I feel stingy and seriously I just want to hold tightly to my ass(et) and run. Yet, I have given lip service to the idea that everything I have belongs to God.

Maybe you think I am talking about money because I often do. But when I read this, I definitely did not think of money as what is “tied up” in my life. I thought about my time and my abilities. I say that God is the MASTER of them, but dang-it-all if I don’t feel pretty possessive of them. I only like to think that I would stand mildly by as someone informed me that the MASTER NEEDS THEM. But I know it would be hard. It is HARD.

Lately, God has been telling me that my blog and my time need to be devoted to Him more fully. Sheesh. Can’t I just post recipes?

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Disciples, now I’m going to talk to you. Has God told you to go to someone and untie their ass(et)? Has he given you permission to just get up in someone’s space and tell them that their stuff is just not really theirs at all.

In the teensy-weensy way that I have done this in blogging for OneVerse, I have been so nervous. I LOVE advocating for missions, but I LOATHE telling people to give their stuff to God. Even though I know that Jesus says it countless times in Scripture, I feel so inadequate, and even, ashamed to ask.

Disciples, are you totally and utterly freaked out?!? Untying and claiming ass(ets) is pretty much the worst possible mission EV-AH! Owners aren’t always eager to part with their ass(ets)? What if they resist? What if they say NO? What if they don’t even KNOW Jesus? Can Jesus still be glorified by the ass(ets) of people who don’t know him?

I ask myself these questions all the time. I am a reluctant disciple. These disciples don’t even get named. I mean, I’d like some credit. Some acknowledgement at least. If I’m going to be an ass(et) grabber for Jesus, I want some kudos.

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Alright. I know I’ve extrapolated this passage about as far as it can go. Sorry if I indulged in a bit of juvenile behavior. But, hopefully a few of you will see some of what I saw the other day when this seemingly insignificant section jumped off the page. (Nothing is insignificant in Scripture). When Jesus’ disciples obeyed Him, and the owners relinquished their possession, Jesus was GLORIFIED in Jerusalem. In fact Jesus was glorified in a prophesy fulfilling way that we celebrate to this day on Palm Sunday. Here’s the rest of what happened . . .

37-38Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!

39Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

40But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”

Obedience. Willingness. Submission. Praise.

or, if it is easier for you to remember . . .

Untie yo’ ass(ets).

 

(I would LOVE you to share this post with other disciples and owners that you know.)
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