“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
~ Mark 11:24
Hi James and Ellen,
Have you ever sat on a donkey? Have you ever ridden on a donkey? A donkey can be a really cantankerous, stubborn creature. A donkey’s bray is loud and obnoxious. Because donkeys can carry a lot of weight in spite of their diminutive size, donkeys are called beasts of burden. During the time that your grandmaa and grandpaa were in Colombia, South America in 1976 on a South America Mission summer team of college age guys and gals, your grandpaa convinced your grandmaa to have a photo taken of her sitting on a donkey. To get on the donkey’s back, your grandmaa was to first put her left foot on a small wood box and then she was to swing her right leg over the donkey’s back. Each time that your grandmaa began to put her left foot on the wood box, the donkey would put his back right hoof on the box. After the donkey messed with your grandmaa a couple of times by putting his back right hoof on the wood box that your grandmaa had just put her left foot, your grandmaa decided that she really did not want to have her photo taken while sitting on a donkey. How do you think that your dad would look sitting on a donkey? Do you think that your dad’s feet would be almost touching the ground if he were to ever sit on a donkey? When your grandpaa sat on the same donkey that he wanted your grandmaa to sit on so that he could take a photo of her sitting on a donkey, your grandpaa’s feet were close to touching the ground. How do you think that Jesus looked almost 2000 years ago when He rode on a donkey’s colt into the city of Jerusalem? The donkey’s colt that Jesus rode on into the city of Jerusalem could not have been very big. Why do you think that Jesus started out His last week on planet Earth riding on a donkey’s colt into the city of Jerusalem? Do you think that Jesus was purposely doing something that would make some guys so mad at Him that they would want to kill Him? As Jesus was going into the city of Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey’s colt, a lot of guys and gals – and very probably kids, were going ahead of Him shouting Hosanna and spreading palm branches that they had cut from palm trees that were in nearby fields as well as spreading out their cloaks in front of the donkey’s colt. The guys and gals – and kids, were really excited because they really thought that Jesus was going to be their next king.
Mark in his Mark Book – in Mark 11, gives a synopsis of Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey’s colt. Mark wrote also about a fruitless fig tree in this chapter and also about how the temple of God that was located in the city of Jerusalem was being misused. When Jesus spotted a fig tree that was full of leaves – even though it should not have been full of leaves for another couple of months, and when Jesus went to that fig tree to find some figs to eat and when He found that the fig tree did not have any figs to eat – which it should have had if it was full of leaves, Jesus told the fig tree that no guy, gal or kid would ever eat figs from it again. The fig tree by the next morning was completely withered. Jesus on the same day that He told the fruitless fig tree that no guy, gal or kid would ever again eat a fig from it, Jesus did some proactive temple cleaning. When Jesus showed up at the temple that was in the city of Jerusalem and found some dudes in the temple buying and selling birds and animals that would be used for sacrifices and exchanging money that would be used for paying the annual temple tax, Jesus did some serious table overturning. Jesus made it very clear that the temple was to be only used for worshipping God and that it was never to be used for anything else. Jesus was not going to allow the temple of God that was located in the city of Jerusalem to be used by a den of robbers. Jesus did not hesitate to demonstrate His ire against something that was wrong to do. How do you deal with another kid who you know is doing something that you know is wrong for the kid to do? On the recent short term dental/medical/ministry team trip that your grandmaa and grandpaa made to Guatemala, your grandmaa confronted one of the gals about what she was attempting to do to change the plans of what the short term dental/medical/ministry team was scheduled to do. When your grandmaa told the gal that if she wanted something to be changed in the schedule that she needed to talk to the Guatemalan gal who was responsible for setting up the schedule in the town where the short term dental/medical/ministry team was having clinics and ministry activities, the gal got mad and . . . the gal refused to talk to your grandmaa over the next couple of days. Because the gal still has not made a decision of faith to become a Christ-follower, this gal struggled with doing what was right to do. Your grandpaa too often has witnessed a guy or gal who is on a short term ministry team from the United States thinking that he or she knows more than what his or her host does in the country that he or she has gone to on the short term ministry team because of believing that United States has the best educated and most competent guys and gals in the whole wide world living in it.
Do you use life situations as learning/teaching opportunities? Jesus did. Jesus used the fig tree that He caused to die as an illustration as to how powerful having faith in God is. Verse 24 has Jesus saying, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Are you in a situation right now that you would like God to change? Do you feel as if you are trapped right now by your life circumstances and that there is no way out for you to go to escape? When Jesus said a guy or gal will be able to move a mountain if his or her faith is absolute in God, do you really believe that? Your grandmaa and grandpaa are very thankful that God has blessed them with a spirit of faith to believe that He is always standing on their ‘life box’ right alongside them.
Mark 11 (804)