One-Hit Wonders

The term “one-hit wonder” is most commonly used to designate musicians who had only one popular song. For example, one list of “The Greatest One-Hit Wonders of All Time” ranks the 1996 Los del Rios’ song, “Macarena,” at number one.

For purposes of this series, a “one-hit wonder” is a Bible character who is mentioned once, sometimes not even by name. Some of these characters play critical parts in important events, and some just give us an interesting glimpse into their world.

Because little is known about these minor characters, it is necessary to give them personalities that would be reasonable for the situation, then concentrate the episode of the Eyewitness Bible Series around events portrayed in the Bible.

As we often caution, we are not trying to add to what the Bible says; we are simply trying to add context that will help you understand the Bible better. We invite you to read the applicable Scriptures for these stories so you will know exactly what the Bible says.

Just as some one-hit wonder songs are a bit whimsical. Perhaps you will find some of these stories to be the same way. I hope you enjoy them, and learn some unexpected things.


The Need

Any careful reader of the Four Gospels notices they often give different details about the same events. This should be expected because Matthew and John were usually eyewitnesses, while Mark and Luke were usually repeating things they had heard from reliable sources.

In Matthew 21:1-11, Matthew opens the story by setting it near Bethpage, a small village on the east side of the Mount of Olives. Jesus sends two disciples ahead to get a donkey and her colt. He tells them to untie the animals and that if anyone questions this action, they should say Jesus needs them and they will be sent back right away. Jesus tells his followers this is to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. Matthew indicates that Jesus rode both the colt and its mother.

In Mark 11:1-11, Mark adds Jesus and his followers were approaching Bethpage and Bethany, the colt had not been ridden, Jesus said he would send the colt back, and that people did question the disciples when they untied the colt. Mark does not mention the colt’s mother.

Donkey Owner
Primary Scriptures:
Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:1-19
Story Summary:
Jesus needs a donkey to ride on Palm Sunday
Mount of Olives
Circa 30 AD