DAILY READING: Luke 19:28–40

FOCUS PASSAGE: After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and 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 untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. (Luke 19:28–32)

In Mark 14:12–16, Jesus prepared to eat the Passover with his disciples. When they inquired about a place in which to eat the meal, Jesus instructed them to go into the city and follow a man carrying a jar of water. When the man entered a house, they were to find the owner of the house and simply say, “The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” After the owner showed them a large upper room, they were to prepare the feast.

The method was very cryptic, and typical of Jesus.

Today’s text from Luke’s Gospel is equally cryptic, not in terms of finding a room in which to share the Passover, but related to finding an animal for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem.

There are all sorts of unresolved questions in the text.

Would the owner of the colt be okay with Jesus using it?

How would the two disciples know if it had ever been ridden or not?

Would an “anyone” who asked about the behavior of the disciples really know who “the Lord” was who needed it?

It would be easy to get lost in unresolved questions. In fact, many times our efforts at personal or group Bible study get stuck in the bogs of such issues. Some of us have a hyper-developed “need-to-know,” so we can’t get beyond the questions and details. Yet, in texts like these we are given few answers.

What we are given, instead, is an image of Jesus who has a depth of spiritual attentiveness and intuition that others do not have. It was his nature as the Son of Humanity (my language for the “Son of Man” of the Bible), a human being fully developed, mature, integrated, and aware. Jesus saw what others could not see because his filters for seeing were God’s filters. His own rational, emotional, and psychological filters were so purified and translucent that he saw life, others, and the world as God sees.

One result of Jesus’ spiritual attentiveness was that he knew things other people did not know. He saw what others missed. He knew beneath and above, front and back. His depth of experience went beyond those around him.

The spiritual intuition that resided in Jesus is also available to God’s people as a gift of the Holy Spirit. It may sound hard to believe, but in truth, God’s Spirit makes accessible to every one of us what was available in Jesus.

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk and spiritual guide, who wrote: “In Christ, everything that is divine and supernatural becomes accessible on the human level to every person. . . .” [New Seeds of Contemplation, (New York: New Directions, 1961), p. 150].

Merton was right. The intuition available to Jesus is also available to us.

The Lent Weekly Devotional series is written by Jerry Webber, Community Pastor, The Center for Christian Spirituality/Contemplative Worship.