Do you know the story? Jesus enters town, Jerusalem, and the disciples are carrying on rejoicing and shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the lord! Peace in Heaven and Glory in the highest!” (Lk. 19:38*) Of course the Pharisees try to shut them down as if to say, “Certainly these common folk lack any dignity. We would not think of allowing them in our great humility to give such a demonstration for us”.
In my austere German background, I wish I could have learned growing up, the attitude and freedom of rejoicing. We were warm and friendly but excitable was limited to the Detroit Tigers winning the World Series. And that was a long time ago. I wish I could be less sincere and more triumphant like these disciples in my Christian expression.
Jesus without doubt did not approve of the stifling religious folks that day. In verse 40 He responds with,” If you don’t let these folks express themselves, I will let the rocks cry out!” Obviously this is my paraphrase. It’s a curious statement to me that inanimate lifeless rocks could cry out. In Habakkuk 2:11, not only do the rocks cry out but the timbers respond. These are materials used venerably to build the Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem no doubt.
Jesus’ rebuke here in Luke seems to say, “If you self righteous smug religious people or you unbelievers without marvel of your Creator will not give Me praise or allow My people to give Me praise; then I will allow the material of this earth from which I created you to breathe life and be able to praise God!”
Or maybe we could say today, if you folks stiff in your traditions do not want to rejoice and give to me honor, how about letting the redeemed young blood with all their excitement bring new life to your worship? As an aging baby boomer I realize that it’s time to turn over God’s work to a passionate younger group of disciples. They may do it different, but they have more right than the rocks to cry out the name of our coming Savior!
Give praise to God, maker of heaven and earth – Redeemer of His creation!
*NET Bible – bible.org