21:3, "And if any man say ought unto you, ye
shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway
he will send them."
This morning, we find our thoughts in the midst of a difficult subject to comprehend and explain: the mind
of God. While we understand that fully knowing Him (the working of His mind) is impossible for finite creatures, we understand from Scriptures that we have been blessed to know Him to certain degrees. (Jeremiah 9:23-24) We are blessed if we can say that we understand and know Him, yet we do so with the
understanding that we do not fully know the mind of the Lord, nor have we been His counsellour. (Romans
11:33-34) So, when investigating thoughts, such as those before us this morning, we must always bow in
humble submission when we get to the point of not being able to traverse any further. Therefore, let us see what we may glean from the statement above to pull back some of the framework to see the beauty and glory of God in His workings and dealings in certain places.
In plain language above, the Holy Scriptures declare that the Lord had need of this colt to ride into Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Now, many times, we refer to the fact that the Lord does not need anything, but that He is all powerful, all knowing, and all sufficient. Indeed, the One that created the natural universe needs nothing, and the reason for there being a creation was to serve His good purpose and pleasure. Therefore, it behooves us to investigate what is being taught in Christ's language about the need of the Lord. What are we to make of this statement? In delving into this matter, we will soon find that the meaning of the phrase gives light and understanding about a number of other circumstances that revolve around the concept found in the verse from Matthew.
The simple truth (to understand) is that the Lord has need of nothing. A much harder truth (to understand) is that the Lord voluntarily subjects Himself to different things. This is not done out of weakness or coercion, but it is done out of purpose and pleasure. The Lord could very easily have spoken a colt into existence and ridden that colt into Jerusalem, but He chose to use a particular colt for the purpose. Since He did not have to use this particular one, we understand that there was no need in its basic sense. However, since He subjected
Himself to use that particular colt, we find that He placed the need upon Himself due to the purpose that He designed. To illustrate this point in other places, let us look briefly at some other things that the Lord subjected Himself to.
We find that Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 12 that His body would lay in the tomb for three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale's belly for three days and three nights. Was the Lord obligated (or have need) that His body lay there for that designated stretch of time? Was necessity laid upon Him by someone else to do it that way? Certainly, we understand the answer to be nay verily. He could very easily have proclaimed and prophesied that He would be resurrected moments after He gave up the ghost. He could have come back later than three days and three nights had His purpose been to do so. Yet, He laid necessity upon Himself to do it that way according to His own mind and purpose. So, we see that the Lord subjected Himself to time for the purpose of His own good pleasure. Time is something that does not hamper or bind God. A thousand years is as one day in His sight, but we find from time to time that the Lord does subject Himself to time for a particular purpose.
Another example of God subjecting Himself to time was when He prophesied when His Son would come into
the world and when He would lay down His life. Again, the Lord could have done and can still do anything
that pleases Him, but He chose to specify a particular time, lay the necessity upon Himself, to do it that particular way. When Daniel prophesied (by the Spirit) of the seventy weeks, we find that the Lord had designed an exact moment for Christ to come. When Christ was sought after by the rulers of the day to be put to death, we read over and over that His hour was not yet come. God would not suffer anything to happen before the time He appointed, but He also will not suffer it to lapse beyond the time. So, by necessity
(of Himself), these things happened at the specific time that He designed.
One final example of this is that the Lord has chosen vessels for particular purposes. The Lord told Ananias in Acts 9 that Saul (later Paul) was a chosen vessel for a particular purpose. This purpose was the taking of the gospel to the Gentile lands. Did God need Paul for this work? Could He have chosen anybody or nobody to do it? Indeed, had it pleased the Lord, He could endow all of His children with perfect, complete knowledge the moment after regeneration.