Let me start with a disclaimer.
The intent of this writing is not to endorse whether preachers should ride on a private jet or not. This is simply to address the common statement some people use to justify ownership of private jet by Pastors. Let it be noted that I have not said it is right or wrong for Pastors to own Private jets, I am only here to clarify a certain story in the Bible in Matthew 21:1-11, which many private jet owners and their supporters use to justify it which to me is very wrong and a misrepresentation of who Jesus is and what He stands for.
It is a common thing to hear people say “if Jesus was on earth today, He would not ride a donkey but a private Jet.” But I think that statement does not represent Jesus or the significance of His entry into Jerusalem. To make such a statement would mean that Jesus was looking for luxury or convenience when He rode a donkey but that is not true and in fact, we would be surprised to find out from the Bible that the opposite is the case. Here are some few facts I would want us to note down before we continue.
- Jesus wasn’t riding on a donkey, He rode on the donkey just on the occasion of entering Jerusalem.
- Jesus didn’t own the donkey. The donkey was borrowed for His use.
- Jesus used the donkey for a reason opposite of what people assume in this modern age. He wasn’t looking for luxury.
“To make such a statement would mean that Jesus was looking for luxury or convenience when He rode a donkey but that is not true and in fact, we would be surprised to find out from the Bible that the opposite is the case.”
What exactly does Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem on donkey signify? In Israel, kings and warriors rode on horses and horses were very expensive at those times. They only ride on donkeys when they are coming in peace so as not to send wrong signals of war. The donkey was usually for agricultural purposes and also for ease of transport among common people. What many people don’t know today is that donkeys at those times were lowly animals and never in any way showcased luxury. If Jesus wanted a luxurious entrance into Jerusalem, He wouldn’t ride on a donkey but on a horse or even chariot!
Concerning Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, Zechariah made a prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 which says “Behold, your king comes to you, triumphant and victorious. He is humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” I want us to note something very important here. He said the king comes triumphant and victorious but then He said: “He is humble and riding on an ass…” The coming of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey was a display of humility and not a showcase of greatness as the world will want to interpret it. In verse 10 of the same passage we see something very significant again which says “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Let’s understand this in a few points.
Jesus came in humility which the donkey signifies. His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a horse signified peace. He wasn’t coming to conquer, He was coming with Peace as He is the King of Peace. Riding on a donkey also showed He came to connect with common people instead of kings and religious leaders. But there is another significant aspect of this story that we have not looked at before.
“Jesus came in humility which the donkey signifies. His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a horse signified peace.”
We know that certain things in the Old Testament were types and shadows of what Christ was coming to do (Colossians 2:17). Isaac in the Bible was a type of Jesus and when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only begotten son, Isaac rode on a donkey with his father to be sacrificed (Genesis 22:3). We also know the story of the good Samaritan who of course represents Jesus, the Bible says he rode on a donkey. Jesus wasn’t riding on a donkey to showcase wealth or even showcase kingship in the way earthly kings would. Everything about Jesus riding on a donkey exemplified humility, peace and acceptance of common people.
To say that Jesus would ride a private Jet today because He rode on a donkey in those days is a careless statement and gross misinterpretation of the message of the Bible. Jesus showcased a life of humility that is opposite of what many people experience today and if today was to be that day in which Jesus rode a donkey, He would still ride on a donkey. I also understand that people are meant to believe that Jesus was poor that we might be rich and so some would want to interpret it that way saying “since Jesus rode on a lowly donkey, He did it so that we might ride on a private jet.” That is still not true because Jesus becoming poor that we might be rich means something different. Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” It was in the laying down of His life that we might live that He became poor that we might become rich. The Bible wasn’t talking about material prosperity.
“To say that Jesus would ride a private Jet today because He rode on a donkey in those days is a careless statement and gross misinterpretation of the message of the Bible.”
Jesus didn’t ride on a donkey with the view of having the luxury of life. If Jesus wanted to enjoy comfort, He surely would have used the money in the treasury to get a full chariot of horses but no! Jesus rode on a borrowed donkey to showcase humility! He didn’t borrow this donkey while He was going about preaching in very far places, He didn’t want comfort as He taught and acted the message of the kingdom! He rode into Jerusalem to fulfil a prophecy. When Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He asked them to showcase the same level of humility to others.
Now, it is clear that if Jesus was on earth; if today was that day that He triumphantly entered Jerusalem which led to His crucifixion, He would still ride on a borrowed lowly animal and not on a horse, a chariot, a G-wagon or even a private jet. Is it wrong to ride on a jet? I have not said that; at least not yet but it is absolutely wrong and deceitful to say that the reason some should ride Jet as preachers even while so many people under them are hungry is that Jesus rode on a donkey and would ride on a jet if He was on earth today.
Jesus showed us the path of humility and we have to imitate Him in that regard. This may not be a popular opinion but of course, the truth isn’t always a popular opinion.
~ God bless you.