Pokey the Little Burro

Text: based on Matthew 21:1-11

Props: Use the song written by Judy Raizor, “Pokey Was His Name-O” to teach to the children. It is sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O.

Summary: Jesus was humble on Palm Sunday when he was presented as Israel’s Messiah. We should be humble and not make fun of others less fortunate than ourselves. This sermon helps young children learn to accept the mentally disabled.

A long, long time ago in the land of Israel far away, there lived a man who loved God, called Zechariah. He was a prophet, which means he spoke important words that God told him to speak, to the people where he lived. One day he told of a day when Jesus the Savior would ride into Jerusalem with these words:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a burro, and upon a colt, the foal of a burro.

Now about 500 years later, Jesus was about to go up to a city called Jerusalem. He was going to the temple (a very big church). Many people loved Jesus so much that they thought he ought to be their King. They were tired of the Roman soldiers that lived in their land and refused to obey God. They were tired of being treated so badly by strangers who were cruel and mean.

Jesus enters JerusalemMeanwhile, in the nearby town of Bethphage, there lived a little burro with his mother. He was not as fast as the other little burros. When he brayed he did not sound a “hee haw” like the other burros. He just sort of said “haw” and that was all. The other little burros used to make fun of him. In fact, they called him Pokey because he was SO SLOW. The other burros jumped and bounced around whenever their owner tried to put things on their backs to carry down the road. But not Pokey, he was meek (that means gentle) and he would carry the burdens of his owner quietly without making even a peep of a bray.

“Momma,” Pokey said, “why do the other burros have to be so mean to me. I’m trying as hard as I can.” “I know you are, son,” said his mother, “and I love you very much, just the way you are.”

Now one day as Pokey and his mother were eating straw, two of Jesus’ friends came and untied them and started to take them away. “Stop!” said the owner. “Where are you taking my burros?” he asked. “The Lord has need of them,” they replied. “Oh, very well,” said the owner, “take them right away.”

Soon they came to a man in a long white robe. It was JESUS! One of the people who knew Jesus knelt down and whispered in Pokey’s long soft ear: “Hello, little burro. You see all these people standing here? Some of them think Jesus should ride into Jerusalem today on a big white horse like the military soldiers do. But he needs to show them how to be like you: humble and gentle, and willing to share other people’s burdens.”

“Oh, Momma!” said Pokey. “Did you hear that?” “Yes, son,” she replied, “I am so proud of you.” Then they put garments on Pokey’s back and Jesus sat on Pokey. Then Pokey followed beside his mother as Jesus held on. They walked slowly up the hill. The people cut palm tree branches and laid them along the path and shouted: Blessing and honor to the son of David; Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. Blessing and honor in the highest.

Now some of you boys and girls may see some children that are not as fast as others at school. They may talk differently or even look a little different, but they are trying just as hard as you. They are SPECIAL to God (mentally disabled), to show us how to be gentle and patient and willing to help others. Now I do not want you to make fun of them. Instead, remember the story of Pokey the little burro, and understand that God has made a special purpose for each one of us.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Special thanks to Judy Raizor for writing the words to her song “Pokey Was His Name-O” and giving permission to include it here.

Pokey Was His Name-Oby Judy Raizor (Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O)

Pokey was a humble colt,
Pokey was his name-o,
Pokey wasn’t fast,
Pokey wasn’t big,
Pokey sounded strange,
And Pokey was his name-o.

Jesus rode this little colt,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

This little colt was Jesus’ friend,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

He rode into Jerusalem,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

The people threw palm leaves around,
Pokey was his name-o.
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
Pokey went clop, clop,
And Pokey was his name-o.

We might meet some other folks,
Who are not quite like us,
They may be too small,
They may be too tall,
They may not like us,
But what would Jesus do?

Jesus would love them still,
Just like He loved Pokey,
Just like He loves you,
Just like He loves me,
Just love everyone,
And Jesus will be happy.

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