Mark 11:1-8. As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
The most significant things are those right in front of you.
Has there ever been something in your life that you had thought was so important but it no longer seems as important? On the flip side, has something small and simple ever become more significant than you thought? Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, my brother and I were fans of the kids’ show “Land of the Lost,” which tells the fictional story of a family on vacation who unexpectedly falls through a crack in the earth and into a secret prehistoric land where dinosaurs roam. In an instant, everything changes; the family goes from all the creature comforts of modern (think 1980’s) society to having to build their own house, hunt for food, and defend themselves from predators. Sibling rivalries and car ride complaints now take a backseat to the things that they used to take for granted.
While none of us will ever have to worry about an earthquake transporting us back in time to face dinosaurs, there are things in life that do shift our priorities and change our perspective on what is most significant. By his very actions and character, Jesus himself constantly challenges the world’s perspective of what is most important. About to make his most significant public appearance in Jerusalem, the King of Kings shifts everyone’s focus from the grand and mighty to the simple and common. Jesus goes by way of two little towns on the east side of the Mount of Olives-- small and insignificant villages known more for their closeness to the big city and for the figs and dates they produced than anything else. Then he asks his disciples to locate not a stallion but an insignificant colt for him to ride—a borrowed one, at that. And when he finally makes his way into Jerusalem, the common people line the road, taking off their cloaks and cutting branches from the fields to lay on his path.
Jesus turns everyone’s eyes towards what was easily overlooked or taken for granted.
And he makes it significant. He makes it holy.
We often expect life to be about big, grand things, all the while Jesus is pointing us to what is simple and common and usually in front of our noses. But we do not have to wait for the things we think matter so much to fall to the wayside before the little things come into focus. In this moment we can experience a shift in priorities to begin to see what Jesus sees. In this moment, we can allow him to show us true significance.
On Today's Road: What is something that was important to you in the past that no longer seems important? What change in your life caused a shift in your priorities? What “colt” does Jesus need you to see right now, right in front of you?