How many of you readers have ever heard of a war donkey? One site on the topic wrote, “When a donkey senses danger, his reaction is to freeze in place and assess the situation. In most cases, he will not move a step until he figures out the safest action. His habit of stopping and thinking, rather than running, is one of his survival means. This is what makes a donkey a trustworthy mount, especially on precarious trails. A tumbling rock or skittering snake makes him stop and think. The warhorse will bolt. ‘Better an ass rode than from a horse thrown.”
Most accuse the donkey of being stupid. This is because the donkey comes to different conclusions than people do. The donkey does not know the importance behind yellow stones. How many humans have died fighting over yellow stones. How many more have died charging into a nest of rattle snakes chasing yellow stones, not even there? Are people really stupid because they do not think the same as we do? Numbers 22:22-40 has the story of Balaam’s talking donkey. After Balaam beats his donkey three times he learns the donkey was right, not him. Is it wrong to learn from those we think are stupid? Sometimes they are the smart ones.
Both donkey’s and horses are peaceful animals. The difference is that the horse will charge when commanded. The donkey will say, “No thanks! They have spears and stuff over there. You can go if you want, but I think I will sit this one out.” The horse, blindly follows the herd and has no ethics of its own. The donkey thinks. The donkey therefore makes a terrible war animal.
Mark’s Triumphal Entry account has, “Some of the bystanders told them, “What are you doing, freeing the colt…?” They permitted them to do it.” They allowed the disciples to free the colt, and allowed the colt to be a colt, fulfill Zechariah’s words, “Behold: your king comes to you, a just savior. He comes humble and riding on a donkey, the son of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9
Verse 10 continues, “He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior’s bow he will banish, and proclaim peace to the nations.” Jesus is not the proud warhorse, and does not ride one. He rides the humble donkey.
Jesus chooses a donkey. He does not choose the proud warhorse, really just a creature following the herd, even to death. When a donkey senses danger, the first thing it does is think. It refuses to move until it is sure if there is danger, where it is, and how to avoid it. The donkey is therefore the animal of peace. If you want to get into the kingdom, you will be a person who thinks for yourself, and not follow the crowd. You will also be a person of peace. Do you want to be a person Jesus wants to choose? Do you want glory now, or glory later?