Summary: Become living stones of praise!
Luke 19:37-40 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying: " ’Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." 40 But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
Jesus by this time was a popular figure. Many recognized Him as He descended the Mount of Olives on a beast of burden. Those who walked along side Him began to make known His coming.
We can sense the intensity of the moment as the people thinking and expecting Jesus to reveal Himself fully in power and glory as their Messiah-King, begin to spread their garments before Him in acceptance.
"Spontaneously and irresistibly they now give vent to their excitement and greatest expectations by praising God exultantly for the mighty deeds which He has done through Jesus in Galilee and elsewhere …" (NIC, Luke)
As the voices of praise grew louder the irritation grew larger in the hearts of the Pharisees (those steeped in tradition to the point of hindering their relationship with God). They demand of Jesus an immediate silencing of His disciples and thus the praising crowd. His response is filled with the unexpected.
Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
Creation does and will cry out to the glory and praise of God.
Romans 1:20a For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
So if creation will praise God why shouldn’t we, as His highest act of creation praise Him?
"Praise ought to appear on our lips and in our hearts. We who understand His deliverance in the power of His resurrection, we who have tasted Him, how should we be silent?" (Rev. Herman Hoeksema, Irrepressible Praise)
The stones teach us to understand and gain the purpose, point, position and power of the act of praise.
1. Purpose of Praise … God’s Mighty Works
Luke 19: 37b the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
The peoples praise began as a cheerful gladness as others told the stories of the miraculous this man Jesus had performed.
Most recent and fresh upon their minds were the healing of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46) and the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
John 12:17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
His mighty works showed plainly He had come from God above. And the words of their witness turned to words of loud praise of this Man of mighty works.
What have you praised Jesus about lately? Salvation of long ago we should, but also of what He is doing in our lives today. He is doing something isn’t He?
· Do we question His mighty works?
· And in questioning do we miss His mighty works?
Matthew 13:54 And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Matthew 13:58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
The mighty (dunamis) works of Jesus speak to His ability and strength to work in our lives, but also to the wonder of His work.
Lingering Thought: The purpose of praise is not to be ecstatically excited … but a clear focus on who (God) is doing the mighty works.
2. Point of Praise … God’s Son Savior
Luke 19:38a saying: " ’Blessed is the King"
The point of the peoples praise was in the fact they were looking for a Messiah-King … one who would conquer and control in their favor. And they gave that recognition to Jesus.
Though many missed the emphasis of His Kingship … nevertheless He did come to conquer sin and control sin in the life of the believer.
· Point of praise is to bring about a confession of who Jesus is and the work He has accomplished.
· From darkness to light (1 Peter 2:9)
· From once far off to being brought near (Eph 2:13)
· From sinful to forgiven (Romans 4:7)
· From stranger to citizens (Eph 2:19)
· From insecurity to security (John 10:28-29)
We the born again have reason to praise the saving work of the Son. Let the point of our praise be to the Son, Jesus.