April 3 Luke 19:28-40
As I read today’s devotional, I am struck most by what the act of living defiantly must have looked like to those around the disciples. I think sometimes it’s easier for us to live defiantly according to God’s call in our own lives than to recognize that in the people around us.
Imagine for a minute that you’re a villager, and you have among your livestock a young colt. Presumably this colt was of some value or distinction by the fact that no one had ever ridden it. In any case, it’s YOUR colt. Most likely you owned its mother and have raised it and cared for it since its birth, or at the least you invested a significant chunk of money in this animal.
Now here come the disciples, walk up to your colt and start untying it. Wouldn’t you be just a bit upset by that?! The passage says the owner asked, “Why are you untying the colt?” I have a feeling that may be a slightly cleaned up version of the owner’s reaction. And yet the owner evidently accepted their explanation of, “The Lord needs it.”
This is not a culture that was tolerant of thieves. In Exodus 22:3b-4, we see the punishment for theft: “A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in his possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—he must pay back double.”
And yet, somehow, the villagers heard the truth in the disciples words, “The Lord needs it.” How much easier would it have been to decry them as liars, thieves, or fools? Sometimes living defiantly can be as simple – and as complex – as recognizing and supporting those people around us who are defiantly following God’s call.
Lord, help us recognize when those around us are called to live defiant lives, and enable us to be a source of support and encouragement to their endeavors.