Temporary or Permanent?
Lord, as I read Your Word today, open my eyes to connect the temporal with the permanent, my daily life with Your eternal plan.
Read Luke 19:28-44
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Changed lives come about, not primarily by a set of ideas or by acceptance of a doctrine, but by commitment to a Person (Christ)” (Elton Trueblood).
Luke gives us the sense of continuity in Jesus’ life: “After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead” (28). He gives us a sequence of events connected to a bigger plan; but we also find some transitory elements that became connected with the permanent. The colt, an animal, may be unimportant for human history, yet Jesus gives it a permanent meaning. Going to Jerusalem could be another trip in life, but for Jesus it was the road to death. He depends on the disciples to bring a colt, the farmer to provide a colt, and the colt to enter Jerusalem. He incorporates small things into the life project. Life consists of bringing these two dimensions, the temporal and the permanent, in close connection. The small things in life may have meaning for eternity only if we give them meaning. Our society insists on eliminating the unnecessary in the name of efficiency, time management, or productivity.
There are two out-of-the-ordinary observations. First, the colt’s owners responded positively when they were told: “the Lord needs it” (34). Did Jesus have an earlier conversation with them? Did they recognize his authority? Second, Jesus demonstrated his authority over nature in Luke’s account: “no one has ever ridden” (30). The temporary versus the eternal and the out-of-the-ordinary features of this account lead us to another observation: the disciples witnessed all these things. Their testimony is based on their past experiences of miracles and teachings from Jesus (37, 38). They had experiences that could not be erased. This is true for all Christians as we experience God in our lives. We are able to speak with authority and knowledge, which in turn leads us to honor Jesus in our lives and in worship (38).
God challenges us to live the temporal in view of the eternal (44). How might you be doing that this day and also in the days ahead?
Father, forgive me for my limited understanding and my wavering trust. Infuse me with trust in Your greater plan and purpose.