Matthew 21:1a Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives
The view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives is commanding and Jesus would have had a wonderful view of not only Jerusalem but the Temple as well. It was from here that Jesus, perhaps while looking out toward the city, His heart swollen with love for people, told his disciples to go to the house of a stranger where they would find a donkey and colt tied up, to tell the owner the Lord needed them and bring them back.
Think about that … Jesus, the Lord, the Son of God needed to borrow a donkey. One of the most amazing and, perhaps, one of the most overlooked aspects of Christ’s ministry on earth was that He was not interested in possessions. Jesus never placed much value in material possessions. It’s been said that you can tell how much something is worth by what someone is willing to pay for it. Jesus placed value in saving us.
Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
In fact, Jesus, not only taught self-denial, He was the living example of it. During His lifetime, he borrowed even the most basic necessities … a manger to be born in, transportation for His entry into Jerusalem, and a place to celebrate His last night with the disciples. Jesus borrowed two coins from a fish so Peter could pay the temple tax. In Matthew 22, He borrowed a coin to illustrate a teaching. Even the tomb He was buried in was borrowed.
The only material possessions He had were the clothes on His back, and He even surrendered those for the sake of saving us. Yet how easily do these words slide off our tongues,“I need … ”
1 Timothy 6:17 tells us that God is pleased to bless His children with stuff, but we are told not to allow stuff to distract our focus from the world to come. It’s a question we’ve probably all heard before, but one who’s answer we’ve taken for granted. Do you have stuff or does stuff have you?
Robert Frost in his poem “The Road Less Traveled” wrote:
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.