Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"The Stones Cry Out"
Mar. 3, 2018
Read Luke 19:37-40
He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
~ Luke 19:40 (ESV)
What a scene -- Jesus surrounded by people, all praising God with a loud voice and crying out, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!" What a celebration! Palm branches and cloaks and the sound of rejoicing -- and Jesus in the middle of it all, just as He ought to be. For once the human race got it right.
But there was one element that didn't belong. A little patch of sour-faced men said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke them. Tell them to be quiet!" Why? What did they have against joy?
Most likely their problem was with the reason for that joy: the crowds were rejoicing because God had sent the Messiah, Jesus, the Savior and King of Israel. The Pharisees didn't believe that; they wouldn't even consider that the crowd might be right. Instead, they tried to shut down the celebration. It was undignified. Incorrect. Wrong.
But Jesus wasn't having it. He answered, "If these people shut up, the stones themselves would start shouting!"
It is natural to rejoice in the presence of the Lord. It is right to give Him thanks and praise. As Amos put it, "The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8b) Joy, speech, praise -- these flow naturally when God comes to us. Even the stones would cry out.
Some stones, that is -- the natural stones. The Pharisees, with their unnatural stony hearts, could not join in the praise. The only words they could spit out were "Shut it down!"
There are far too many days when my heart is closer to that of the Pharisees than to that of the disciples. Cranky, grouchy, self-important, unwilling to recognize Christ standing in front of me -- I need help. We all do. And Jesus came to supply that help, to take our stony hearts and transform them into living, loving hearts of flesh that respond to God with joy. Within that very week He would do it, laying down His life for our sake and then rising again to live forever -- making the stones themselves, even us, cry out with joy.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You with all my heart for Your Son Jesus. Amen.
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