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The Untied Rope of Obedience

At the beginning of the Easter week, Jesus begins by asking two of his disciples to go and find him something to ride on as he makes this triumphant and dramatic entrance into Jerusalem. He gives them some very clear instructions as to what they had to do for this event to take place "Go to the village ahead (probably Bethpage), and you'll find a colt there. It'll be tied up on the fence, and it will be one that no one has ever ridden". The thought is that the animal was thus unspoiled by previous use and was suitable for sacred purposes. An ancient rule said only animals that had not been used for everyday purposes were appropriate for sacred purposes. In the same way, Mary was 'unused' as a Virgin. The tomb was 'unused.'

Everything had been carefully planned and was orderly and appropriate, precisely as it should be. "When you get there, the people will ask you why you are untying it, what you are going to do with their prized Colt. Just tell them that "The Lord needs it." So, the disciples head out in front of Jesus and find the situation just as Jesus said it would be. The colt was there, tied to the fence, and as they went to untie it they were asked, "What are you doing." This was a valuable animal, probably owned not by one person but by three or four. The owners may have been friends of Jesus. They may have been followers of Jesus. They may have been so generous simply because they got caught up excitement of the moment. But "Because the Lord needs it" was reason enough for these people to respond obediently. In this story, we see a powerful symbol of obedience - the symbol of an untied rope. If we want to follow Christ faithfully, we must be prepared to untie the things that we hold on to that Jesus wants to use to establish and expand his kingdom. Imagine how different the Palm Sunday story would have been if the Donkey owners had been an ass about this (pun intended!) and not freely, unreservedly, offered their donkey, leaving the colt tied up?

 I wonder how often our inability to untie our things prevents God from doing something that he wants to do? - How often do we tie up our attitude in frustrations and concerns when the Lord needs to get over ourselves so that he can demonstrate his love and life through us. - How often do we tightly tie up our financial resources so that as "The Lord needs it," we are unwilling to untie the purse strings? - How often do we tie up our time with excuses? - How often do we tie up our talents and our gifts?- How often do we tie up our motives in secondary priorities and become unwilling to untie them in kingdom service? You have something that God would want to use to further His kingdom, but you've got to be prepared to untie it first. A follower of the king has to hold things loosely. God wants to use you! It is in his plan to use the gifts, talents, and resources that HE has given to you for a kingdom purpose. Untie what you have and obediently utilize it within the kingdom. Jesus knew that being a follower begins with being obedient to the one in authority.

The Apostle Paul captures this majestically in Philippians 2 when he proclaims about Jesus - "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:8-11)

Obediently untie the things that hold you.

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