Children: Hearts of Praise

To the conservative rabbi’s and chief priests, Jesus of Nazareth was an unabashed liberal. They branded him a false teacher and a blasphemer. 

They didn’t like him. The more public his ministry became, the more people followed him. As the number of his followers increased, so did the jealousy of his detractors.

One of the things that galled them most was his affinity for children. Here is an example. It was Passover week, and he had already come down the Mount of Olives on the donkey. There was much celebration, joyous rapture, and unbounded praise. The people shouted, 

“Hosanna to the son of David! Hosanna in the highest.” 

Hosanna is a Hebrew word meaning save or salvation. It was a word of fantastic adoration and praise. Later, in the temple courts, some children were running about and shouting, 

“Hosanna to the Son of David”

That offended the chief priests and rabbis, and they accosted Jesus for what the children were saying. They wanted him to silence them. But instead, Jesus responded with this, 

“Have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise?”

In a culture that told children to sit still and be quiet, Jesus dared to be different. He stood up to those who disliked what the children were shouting and what they were shouting about. He stood up with Psalm 8:2:

“From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

King David’s words addressed his enemies, saying that the Lord would ordain the lips of children with praise. In doing so, their words of divine origin would silence David’s foes. 

In quoting Psalm 8:2, Jesus was saying this to the chief priests and rabbis: 

“You want me to silence these children, to have them stop proclaiming praise to me. But I will not, for what they are saying has been ordained by God, and I cannot silence them.” 

YESTERDAY MORNING

At the beginning of 2nd service, a little girl was in one of the isles dancing to the songs. She clapped her hands, waved her arms, and was captured by the praise music. I think she two or three years old. 

I watched her for a couple of minutes and was transfixed by her complete lack of inhibition or hesitation. She was free and was freely expressing her joy, and that was all that mattered. 

She was beautiful.  

IN CLOSING

Jesus lined up on the opposite side of the religious elite on just about everything. And they hated him for it. But their hatred didn’t discourage or even distract him.

Much like the little girl, Jesus didn’t know hesitation or inhibition. He was free, and he freely expressed his joy, and that was all that mattered. And by the way, I beleive those children knew that he loved them, for Jesus loved all the little children of the world.

He was beautiful too.  

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