Lesson Fourteen


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Memory Verse: Matthew 21:9
Further Study: Matthew 21:1-11, 18-22; Mark 11:1-14; 20-24; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19; The Desire of Ages, pp. 569-584; The Bible Story, vol 9. pp. 33-43

The story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is not a new one for us. In fact, generally around Easter each year we are reminded of the events that led up to His ultimate crucifixion. This celebratory ride into Jerusalem among cheering disciples waving palm branches and laying their cloaks down for Him to walk upon occurred on Sunday. By the next Friday Jesus would be crucified. But, for now, we finally see what the disciples and others have wanted for Jesus all along—for Him to declare Himself King.

We could point to several places in the story to find lessons for today, but as parents, I believe you’ll find the best lessons in a character no one seems to make much of—the donkey.

We first meet the donkey when Jesus directs two disciples to go into the nearby town.

We first meet the donkey when Jesus directs two disciples to go into the nearby town. There they will find a donkey and its colt tied up. They are to untie them and bring both to Jesus. If anyone protests, they are simply to say, “The Lord has need of them.” What most of us see here is Jesus’ ability to tell the future. Indeed, they found two donkeys just as He said. They are stopped as He suggested. They offered the reply, and the donkeys were released to their care. And that’s where we find our first lesson.

Jesus, as we discover in this triumphal entry, did declare Himself as King, but He was so much more than that. He was and is God and Creator. While Jesus appeared to be “borrowing” the donkeys, they belonged to Him first since He’s the one who created them. The owner was only their caretaker. Each of us, in turn, as parents are given children—beautiful, talented, and wonderful children—but like the donkeys we are only their caregivers. They belong to Jesus first and so as their parents we must do all we can to raise them for Jesus so that when He calls for them, they will recognize His voice and serve Him whether when they are young or as they grow older.

The donkey was also significant because it was the donkey that reminded the crowd who Jesus was. On the surface, Jesus appeared to be riding in as a conquering Hero or King returning from war. But if this were true, He would have ridden a white charger or black steed to demonstrate His rank and status. Instead, Jesus chose to ride on a beast of burden, a humble animal, a young donkey. In doing this, He automatically reminded the people of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9—

“Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The donkey pointed to a gentle, humble King—the true Messiah the people were waiting for had arrived.

The donkey pointed to a gentle, humble King—the true Messiah the people were waiting for had arrived. And so, too, do we along with our children need to be reminded that as the donkey reminded the people of who Jesus was, our lives need to be lived in such a way that people are reminded of Jesus.

It is often in simple things like a donkey where we learn more about Jesus. Be ready to return your child(ren) to Jesus. Be ready, like the donkey, to be used when He calls. Be someone who reminds others of Jesus. Be renewed.

Digging Deeper 

“Reports have reached the rulers in Jerusalem that Jesus is approaching the city with a great concourse of people. But they have no welcome for the Son of God. In fear they go out to meet Him, hoping to disperse the throng. As the procession is about to descend the Mount of Olives, it is intercepted by the rulers. They inquire the cause of the tumultuous rejoicing. As they question, “Who is this?” the disciples, filled with the spirit of inspiration, answer this question. In eloquent strains they repeat the prophecies concerning Christ:  

  • Adam will tell you, It is the seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent’s head. (Genesis 3:14-15) 
  • Ask Abraham, he will tell you, It is “Melchizedek King of Salem,” King of Peace. (Genesis 14:18) 
  • Jacob will tell you, He is Shiloh of the tribe of Judah. (Genesis 49:10)
  • Isaiah will tell you, “Immanuel,” “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6) 
  • Jeremiah will tell you, The Branch of David, “the Lord our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:6) 
  • Daniel will tell you, He is the Messiah. (Daniel 9:26)
  • Hosea will tell you, He is “the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is His memorial.” (Hosea 12:5) 
  • John the Baptist will tell you, He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
  • The great Jehovah has proclaimed from His throne, “This is My beloved Son.” (Matthew 3:17) 
  • We, His disciples, declare, This is Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of life, the Redeemer of the world. 
  • And the prince of the powers of darkness acknowledges Him, saying, “I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.” (Mark 1:24) 

Taken from The Desire of Ages, pp. 578-579

Making it Real

After telling this story to your children this week or studying it for yourself, think about other Bible stories that involve donkeys. How many can you think of? How were donkeys used to deliver important lessons?



Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, who’s delighting everyone with her smiles. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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