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December 25, 2019

The Lowly Donkey

Jennifer Baker

At Christmas time, let us not forget the lowly donkey. The lowly donkey carried Mary and her precious cargo from Nazareth to Bethlehem. A 90-mile journey that would take four to seven days on foot.

When no room could be found in an inn, it was the lowly donkey that gave up its bed and manger for a mother and her baby with none of their own.

As the star of Bethlehem shined brightly above the lowly donkey bore witness to the promise of God’s love with the Messiah’s arrival. The lowly donkey saw the angels appear to announce the birth and watched as shepherds provided swaddling clothes for the baby, which were the discarded priestly garments from the temple. The same priestly garments He would take on 30 years later.

In great haste, the lowly donkey once again set the course after the birth of Jesus for safe passage to Egypt before soldiers came to Bethlehem looking for the child. Through dead of night, with little food or water for days the lowly donkey travelled another 40 miles to Egypt until the new family could safely return to Nazareth.

At the end of Jesus’ life on earth another lowly donkey carried Him to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday where shortly after Jesus paid the price for our sins. It is said the lowly donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem followed Him to Calvary and turned away at the sight of the cross on the hill. The lowly donkey though could not leave.

It is then told the shadow of the cross fell upon the lowly donkey at Calvary, forever marking him as testimony to the love and devotion of this humble beast of burden.

It is that same cross we see on donkey’s backs today.

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