Donkeyology: embrace the ordinary

Donkeyology: embrace the ordinary

Donkeyology: The theology of Donkeys – why God chooses to use ordinary things for His extraordinary purposes and not special things. God chose a donkey to carry His presence into Jerusalem and God chooses you to carry His presence into your city, for His Glory. In the message Dave Gilpin outlines the 7 keys of Donkeyology. Prepare to be empowered.


There’s a really good question that James and John asked Jesus. They asked him if they could sit next to him in heaven, to his right and left, and rule the kingdom with him.

I quite like that, because it shows their confidence, their audacity and the mentality they had that they felt they could be candidates to sit next to Jesus Christ – these guys were just uneducated, ordinary fisherman!

When we read this story, we can get it so wrong, because we think those seats will be taken up by the likes of Mother Teresa and Billy Graham.

We rule ourselves out for that place next to Jesus as we think that we’re far too ordinary, far too normal and far too sinful.

We exclude ourselves from being a candidate because we’re always measuring our success according to our works, or according to our own lack of self worth. So I kind of like James and John being cheeky enough to ask!

But I want to say: it could be anyone.
It could be a mother of three from Motherwell.
It could be an accountant from Accra.
It could be a school teacher from Sheffield.
It could even be a fireman from Frankfurt(!)

I’ve got a feeling that seated to the right and left of Jesus, it’s more likely to be someone quite ordinary because God loves ordinary. He loves ordinary people.

When Jesus decided to do his first miracle, he used six ORDINARY water jars – not silver, gold or platinum jars. He filled six ordinary jars with water and turned it into wine. He did it that way to show how much he’s attracted to ordinariness.

When he chose to do the miracle of feeding 5000 people, he decided to get one little boy’s ordinary lunch and multiply it in front of every persons eyes.

When God chose Samson to strike down the Philistines, the enemy of that time, he didn’t pick up a silver javelin or a golden sword. He picked up the jawbone of a donkey and slayed a thousand people – because God loves ORDINARY.

God has never done anything in the whole of human history outside of using ordinary people for extraordinary purposes.

David used an ordinary smooth stone when he slayed Goliath.

When it was time for Jesus make his grand entrance into Jerusalem, he chose to ride on a donkey. Not a stallion. Not a diamond encrusted chariot. Not an Aston Martin. He chose a donkey – the Skoda of the horse world.

Our culture wraps itself up in celebrity for one reason: because it cannot handle ordinary. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of an extraordinary world. Everyone wants to be an extraordinary person in an extraordinary world. Everyone wants to be associated with extraordinary. But God doesn’t. He wants to be associated with ordinary.

He’s not into celebrity. That’s why he rode on a donkey.

He’s into using ordinary people for extraordinary purposes. He’s into you.

How ordinary are you? Your ordinary makes you a candidate for the presence of God – to be used by him – to be the donkey that carries his presence into our city.

Most scratch cards and lottery tickets are bought to escape the ordinary, because most people dream of becoming extraordinary.

But God dreams of your life – as ordinary as it is – being wrapped up in his extraordinary.

He changed water into wine but he started with the ordinary.
He used the donkey to carry his presence and purpose into a city.

Being ordinary makes you a candidate to carrying the presence of God into the city. God wants to use you just as you are. No improvements necessary.

He wants to use you NOW. The best is NOW.

He wants to use you as you are. You are good enough for God. He’s not ruled you out. In fact, your flaws rule you IN.

When you ride into your city, it ought to be obvious who the donkey is and who God is. God wants people to look at you and think ‘it must be God’.

He loves to use your ordinary for extraordinary purposes.

Dave Gilpin (From the Vault)
Dave Gilpin (From the Vault)
Donkeyology: embrace the ordinary

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