“And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded.”
– Mark 11:6
What must we do to fulfill God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven?” I am confident that in the sequence of commissions as Christians, obedience is conspicuous on our lists.
In his account, we find Mark writing mostly for Gentiles. This may be why we do not find him quoting the prophecy outlined in Zechariah, as seen in Matthew’s version. Nevertheless, in His Triumphal Entry, Jesus was fulfilling the Minor Prophet’s words, “Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The appointed time for this event to take place was announced many years prior, it was just now unfolding before the eyes of the world.
The Bible tells us, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Proverbs 16:33). The Lord’s plans are already set. His divine guidance and care are according to His own will, and He involves Himself in all events. As J.I. Packer once wrote, “He directs all things to their appointed end.” God rules His world with a “hands-on” approach and very often works through the lives of His saints to fulfill His will. He does not need us yet certainly wants to use us!
The disciples Jesus sent ahead to loosen the colt were given precise instructions, and they followed them without deviating. At this point, the twelve still did not realize what was to take place very soon, Jesus’ death on the cross. Although they did not understand the foal was a means to that end, they were obedient to Messiah’s word.
Our ambitions can easily leaven the Lord’s vision and instructions. That is remedied, however, through prayer. It is during these intimate times of fellowship and conversation that our heavenly Father scrapes away ambitions and reveals the next steps.
“God speaks to us in and through the contents of the Bible, which the Holy Spirit opens up and applies to us and enables us to understand. We then speak to God about Himself, and ourselves, and people in His world, shaping what we say as response to that He has said.”
– J.I. Packer