And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.…
This trifling incident contains big principles.
I. It gives us AN IDEA OF PROVIDENCE. Tendency of the age is to the seen. But mind kicks against it. Mind is like a bird, which pines in a cage. Here is hope for religion — the mind kicks against artificial conditionings. If you like you may say the mind likes, like a bird, to make its nest. True! but it wants above it not a ceiling but a sky. You can't cramp mind in your nutshell organizations. Shut it behind walls — and then it will ask, Who is on the other side of the wall? Providence involves two things. First — idea of God preserving, guarding our being and well-being. He preserves, though we don't see the way. How did Christ know that the colt was to be found at this stated moment? and that the owner would part with his property? Similarly, we must allow for the knowledge of God. The second thing involved in Providence is the idea of government.
II. IN PROVIDENCE ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO LITTLE THINGS AS WELL AS GREAT. "A colt tied." It is demeaning God's economy — some will say. That all depends on your conception of God's economy. He numbers the hairs of our head. He sees when the sparrow falls.
III. GOD HOLDS EVERY CREATURE RESPONSIBLE TO SHOW ITSELF WHEN WANTED. Everything, in God's order, has its time, and is not itself till that time reveals it. Sea-wrack on the sea-beach is ugly, slimy, hideous. But the same sea-wrack in a pool? How it spreads itself and makes every tiny filament beautiful! So prophecy in human history needs to be corroborated by the event, before it can fairly be understood. Apparently little events — what worlds of good or evil may turn on them!
IV. SOLUTION OF THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE. They go to the man for the colt. Would not common sense ask, What have you to do with the colt? Simply, "The Master hath need of him." You have a favourite daughter. One day she is not well — only a cold, you think. But she grows feverish, and you call in the doctor. Doctor prescribes, but still the sweet one sickens; and one day in his solemn look the mother reads the hard sentence — her child must die. Why is it? "The Lord hath need of it."
(J. B. Meharry, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.