Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’(Luke 19:39).

Some people can’t be happy if someone else is happy.

The Pharisees didn’t like all the people cheering as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. It was too raucous, too spontaneous, and way over the top. Even the children were cheering for Jesus.

And what’s up with those palm fronds?

No doubt the final straw was hearing the people cry out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” That bordered on blasphemy, or so they thought. That’s why the Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke his disciples.

But he didn’t.

The cheering crowds warmed his heart because it meant they understood why he had entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. If they didn’t know everything about him, they knew he was more than a regular rabbi. He entered Jerusalem like a king!

Jesus’ response teaches us something important: “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (v. 40). This is God’s world, and he will be praised by the world he has made. If men and women will not do it, the rocks themselves will sing praise to the Lord.

We all understand that public displays of faith are frowned upon by the powers that be. They are fine if we praise the Lord behind closed doors, but don’t you dare take it to the streets. Keep your songs to yourself, hold down the noise, and don’t disturb the peace.

If you do make a ruckus, you might find yourself in court. Or perhaps in jail.

There is nothing new under the sun. When Jesus was born, Herod tried to kill him, and if not for a midnight flight to Egypt, he might have succeeded. People hated Jesus then, and they hate him now.

But Jesus paid no attention to the Pharisees.
He welcomed the praise of the children.

Our God deserves praise. Loud praise! Public praise! Exuberant praise! If we will not do our part, the rocks will cry out in praise to the Lord, because all creation declares the glory of God.

If some people don’t like your praise, don’t let them bully you into silence.
Open your mouth and sing to the Lord!

As he enters and exits the world, Jesus is both attacked and praised. Let’s make sure we stand with those who praise him openly.

If you believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, come with an open heart, bow down before the Lord Jesus, and worship him. As the hymn says, “Come and worship. Come and worship. Worship Christ the newborn King.”

Spirit of God, give us the simple faith of a child that we too might openly sing the praises of Jesus. Amen.

Musical bonus: Planetshakers produced a beautiful version of a familiar carol. Let’s listen to O Holy Night.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?