Our Leader Rode A Donkey

Written by Burt Braunius /
March 18, 2016


Our Leader Rode A Donkey

Yesterday we celebrated Palm Sunday.  The event takes place during a time when Roman leaders mounted steeds and stallions and Jewish leaders proceeded with pomp and pageantry, yet our leader rode a donkey.

Excerpts from the Palm Sunday story include Jesus instructing two disciples, “’Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me’ …  The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on” (Matthew 21:2-7).

I wonder what leadership lessons might be represented in this story about Jesus and the donkey?

Some characteristics that are associated with donkeys are these: Donkeys are symbols of peace; Donkeys bear burdens; Donkeys are there for the journey.

Donkeys are symbols of peace.
Peace is represented in Zechariah 9:9 and repeated in Matthew 21:5. “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey…” Here Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace rather than as captain of an aggressive army. Leadership lesson 1: Leaders bring peace.

Donkeys bear burdens.
In fact, donkeys are referred to as beasts of burden. The images in Scripture include carrying firewood, grain, straw, bread and other provisions. It is said of Jesus, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…” (Isaiah 53:4).  Leadership lesson 2: Leaders bear the weight of responsibility for their followers and the mission of their ministry.

Donkeys travel through difficult places.
Donkeys lack the speed and status of horses. They don’t have the size or endurance of camels. But, they were the most common form of transportation in biblical times. They carried people and possessions, day and night in cities, deserts, and places in between. Even today, tourists walking the road to Jericho are met by hawkers offering donkey rides. Leadership lesson 3: Leaders show stamina in journeying through all sort of situations, even those that are unimaginable.Church Leadership Center gratefully acknowledges the uniqueness of our Lord and King who chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Church Leadership Center gratefully acknowledges the uniqueness of our Lord and King who chose to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.


We intentionally equip leaders in ways that may not fit the status quo or traditional education models. Instead, our donkey-like approach speaks of mentors rather than instructors, facilitators rather than professors, and participants rather than students. We use e-portfolios not transcripts, develop personalized training plans instead of having everyone take the same courses, and our emphasis is on meeting competencies through selected activities and content. Feel free to contact us for more information.
Reference: http://www.bible-history.com/links.php?cat=39&sub=442&cat_name=Manners+%26+Customs&subcat_name=Donkeys


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