The unnamed steward in Matthew 21 can teach us some valuable lessons about how to be a “God’s-kingdom-first” type of steward. We know that this steward was a male and had two donkeys.
We don’t know if Jesus talked to him earlier about this arrangement, if the donkeys were his only possessions, or even if Jesus would return them to the owner when He was done using them.
We do know that Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem to fulfill prophecy, and this man’s good stewardship helped accomplish that purpose. I’ve learned three lessons on stewardship from this donkey owner:
- Everything we own is God’s.
If the Lord needs something we own, it is rightly His in the first place, so don’t hold back anything from Him. This is a reminder to lightly grasp the things we possess. All stewards have a kingdom — will you be a steward of your own kingdom or God’s kingdom?
- Good stewardship meets the Lord’s needs.
In this case, the steward clearly knew his donkey was serving Jesus’ needs, because the disciples plainly told him. Sometimes, our acts of good stewardship will not always have such a clear purpose. In obedience, we can trust God’s larger purpose.
- Be a timely steward.
This man sent his donkeys when the time was right — right away. He did not hold onto them until it was convenient for him. If he had given the donkey to Jesus a month early, the gift would have become a burden as He had to feed and care for the animals.If it had come a month late, his donkeys couldn’t have been used at all. A gift’s timing is just as important as the gift itself.
“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael
Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away. — Matthew 21:2–3, NIV
Prayer: Lord, help us all to be good stewards for Your kingdom and recognize that everything comes from You.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jason Malinak is an Assistant Treasurer at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
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