When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” – Luke 19:37-40 NIV
Many people in our world today are opposed to public expressions of faith. They will speak out against public prayer, reading the Bible, witnessing, or even the wearing of a crucifix. They will claim that subjecting other people to my religious beliefs is a violation of their freedom. Although they themselves are not the least bit hesitant to expresses their own beliefs and opinions.
The Pharisees in this account remind me of those folks. They were not opposed to all public expressions of faith. At least so long as it was not contrary to their own. But they took exception to the crowd’s expression of praise directed toward Jesus. Especially in their identification of him as a king. And they charged Jesus with putting a stop to it.
But Jesus refused to discourage his followers. Instead his words were actually an encouragement to them to continue their joyful praise to God. It is good and appropriate to praise God for all he has done. But if we fail to praise him, the very stones themselves will take our place. How can stones cry out? To those who have the ears to hear it, all of creation bears witness to the power and majesty of it’s creator (Psalm 19:1-4).
Don’t let the creation take your place in praising the Lord. Get excited about him and what he has done in your life. Proclaim it aloud. Be joyful in worship. Don’t let the rocks out do you!