“The Lord needs it.”
This statement rings of ultimate power, absolute authority. Jesus sent his disciples into the village to untie a donkey and her foal with clear instructions. They were not to ask permission to take the animals—which were not theirs—nor even to notify the owner. Only if an explanation was demanded were they to say these words, and only these words. Nor were they told what to say or do if this rehearsed line was not accepted. There was no plan B because none was needed.
In the mouth of anyone else, the command to take the rightful owner’s property without so much as a “please, may I” or a simple “thank you” to acknowledge ownership would have been theft, and, given the value of these animals, a serious crime.
But the Lord who sent the disciples spoke from a position of authority that transcended all other claims of ownership. This was the Creator speaking. He owned the donkeys as unquestionably as he owned every creature, the world they stood on and the life they breathed. His claim of ownership predated every title and when he asserted his claim, no laws were broken.
The scribes placed their careful trap, “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
“Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”
“Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
To that conversation, Ravi Zacharias posits a follow-up question, “Whose image is stamped on you?” At creation, God said, “Let us make man in our own image.”
The Creator rightfully claims every aspect of us. When we give back to him what is his—which is all that we are—we die to our own self-ness and live dead in his life.
Then we are sent with the authority to boldly loose bonds and lead men to Christ.
They are his.
Larry Hall, September, 2017