What Does God Need?

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. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.” (Luke 19:28-34)

What does Jesus need? One might believe that Jesus doesn’t need anything. But one day, a week before Passover, Jesus needed a colt and he had his disciples procure it.

Why would someone allow strangers to take a colt simply by saying that the Lord needed it? The word translated “Lord” is a word that in the first century was used by Jewish people to refer to God. So when the disciples asked to borrow the colt for “the Lord,” its owner would believe it was needed for a religious purpose.

Nevertheless, the story about the colt is presented as a miracle: Jesus knew beforehand what would happen. And ordinarily, people do not give property to strangers who ask for it.
But Jesus is God and since God “owns the cattle on a thousand hills,” the animal was his regardless. The story once again reminds us that Jesus is more than just a man. And if Jesus wants something, he will get it. Jesus had the power to heal the sick, and he had the power to borrow something if he needed it, when he needed it. Jesus needed a colt. He couldn’t do without it.

The Bible tells us that God loves you. So what is love? What does it mean he “loves” you?

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy e unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned. (Song of Songs 8:6-7)

So what does God need?

He needs you. He can’t do without you. As much as the lover needs the beloved. As much as a father or mother loves their children.

Don’t imagine that God can go on without you. Don’t think that he can find someone else. That’s what Jonah thought when God asked him to go to Nineveh. He ran away, had himself tossed into the sea. Was willing to die rather than do what God asked him. But look where he ended up: after he got out of the fish, he did exactly what God wanted after all.

God needed Jonah.

God needs you.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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