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Lending to the Lord

It is a strange concept to imagine a millionaire borrowing a small purse of money from an average customer or the owner of a car dealership borrowing a car from a friend. Yet, in the gospel accounts we see three times when the Lord had needs and asks to borrow from the creatures of His own making.

While I  often just skip over these small moments in the Scriptures, recently they have struck me as simultaneously beautiful and convicting.

Both Matthew and Mark record the same instance in which Christ tells the disciples to borrow a room in which to celebrate the Passover (Matthew 26: 17-19 and Mark 14: 12-16).  Though each words his account slightly differently, both versions carry the same authoritative tone: “The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with  my disciples” and “The Teacher says, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my  disciples?”

The third instance, where Jesus sends the disciples to grab a colt for the Triumphal Entry has been running through my heart and mind this week.

Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” say, “The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.”
Mark 11: 3.   

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The Lord has need of it. The Greek word chreia, translated here as need, literally means necessity or business. In essence, the disciples walked up to the man who had his colt tied up and said, “The Lord has some business to do with this donkey.”

We don’t know if the Lord had made some prior arrangements or if this was the first the man had heard of the Lord’s authoritative request. Either way, we know his response. He untied, or as the Greek word luo can be translated, loosened or released his colt to the Lord’s disposal.

Now, I don’t have a colt, and I don’t plan to have a colt. I did want chickens for a while, but my wise husband gently reminded me that I struggle to keep our children and dog alive. But I do have other would-be colts.

I have a husband who is the greatest gift besides Jesus I have ever received. We have three precious growing children whom we steward and under-shepherd, but who ultimately belong to the Lord, the Master, the kurios. I have time, gifts and talents and small semblances of control over my health and my schedule.

I tend to think of all these as mine. While in some ways, I do have responsibilities over them, I wrestle to remember that all of them, no matter how dear and precious they are to me, are ultimately His.

Perhaps because I have been doing some serious continuing mom-education in reading many books on healthily-releasing teenagers, or perhaps because we have been in a very sweet and prosperous season, I find my heart and hands struggling to loosen my grip.

It has helped me to imagine myself standing there, with whatever it is my heart is struggling to release fully to the Lord tied to a post. If the Lord were to send a messenger from me with the accompanying phrase, “The Lord has need of it,” how would I respond?

My husband’s health? My children’s development or future plans? My own health? Our home? My desire to write and teach God’s Word?

The One who has given all these things into our stewardship still has full ownership rights over all of them. And we are twice His: once by creation and again by redemption.

Oh, how I long to respond as the aforementioned men responded: Absolutely. It’s all yours. 

If the Lord has business to do with the things or people I most prize and have most invested in, they are His.

He need only say the word. He requires no explanation. He need not offer us enticements, as He has proven Himself to be the agape authority through His life, death and resurrection.

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