Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
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"Trust and Obedience"

November 30, 2023

Mark 11:1-7 - Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples and said to them, "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.'" And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and He sat on it.

Look at how calmly the disciples take Jesus' strange instructions! They don't ask how or why. They just go and do what He says. By this point in their life with Him, they'd already been given so many strange instructions, one more wasn't worth complaining about.

Because that's true, isn't it? Think of some of the things He said to them: "Hand out this bread to the crowd" (even though it was totally clear five loaves wasn't enough to go around); "Go into that Samaritan village and get ready for My arrival" (as if there wasn't a huge history of racism between the Jews and Samaritans!); and to Peter, "Go, throw a fishing line in the lake and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. Take the money you find there and pay the temple tax" (Matthew 14:16-19; Luke 9:52; Matthew 17:27) After three years with Jesus, almost nothing would surprise them anymore.

So they don't argue, they just do it. They borrow the colt and bring it to Jesus. And all unexpectedly, they find they are fulfilling the prophecy of the Messiah coming into Jerusalem! (See Zechariah 9:9.)

We, too, get strange instructions from Jesus sometimes. "Take, eat; this is My body" (Matthew 26:26b). He says. "Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant" (Matthew 26:27b-28a). And we do it because He has told us to, not because we understand it. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6:27b)—and we try to do that too, leaning heavily on the Holy Spirit, and this isn't natural to us as sinful people. Best of all, He says to us, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). And we come to Him—trusting in Him, the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. If Jesus loves us enough to die and rise again for our sakes, it's okay if we don't understand everything He tells us to do. We know it will turn out for our blessing in the end.

WE PRAY: Lord Jesus, help me to hear what You want me to do and to do it gladly. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Reflection Questions:

1. Do you find it easy or hard to obey when you don't understand your instructions? Why?

2. What is the hardest thing God has ever told you to do?

3. What is the strangest?