Journal Matt 21 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them.
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!!” they were indignant—and they said to (Jesus), “Do you hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read:
Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
You have prepared praise?”” (Matt 21:14-16, Old testament reference Ps 8:2)
Observation: The Gospel is counter to the world’s view of propriety. At times the response to the Gospel is counter to the Church’s view of propriety. What shall we do, what shall we do?
Analysis: Any good and biblical response to the Gospel is going to find resistance.
I remember Matt 13 and the Parable of the Sower to see one side of that resistance (conscious or not). The above is the other side: that of the Establishment fussing.
Reviewing this chapter, Jesus:
- Colt riding into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday;
- Tossing money changers and sacrifice vendors out of the temple, and then;
- Healing the lame and the sick.
Jesus can make an entrance.
The leaders of the Temple had issues. “Are you going to let them yell praises and not correct them? That’s just not right…”
Of course, Jesus didn’t correct the children, he corrected the Priests and Scribes. Why? Because they are missing the boat, establishing their own sense of propriety (how to act) in place of what is a biblically demonstrated response.
I miss the boat…often. Why? A lot of self-consciousness I suppose. And laziness. It is hard to lift my hands lately. If no one else is doing, why not slide into the greyness of the crowd. Sing? Blend–don’t stand out. Shout? Isn’t happening—I might get a “look” from someone.
It is way too easy to merge into the background. I spend too much thinking about a demonstration of pride in “drawing attention to myself.” That kind of self-examination is good, talking to the face in the mirror, but I don’t think at the expense of the biblical mandate.
Acting for the “audience of One” is a proper attitude. There is a point that I must be primarily a “Servant of the Most High God”—to the expense of my pride, becoming a “fool for Christ”, and witnessing for the change in my heart.
Prayer: Father, I think this passage has more to do with my imagining what other folks might be thinking (like the observation of the priests and scribes—so-called leaders of the congregation), than what You think.
Please give me freedom from looking over my shoulder for the approval of others. Set me free from this, O God.
Bring revival. AMEN