28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 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:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
There are a few aspects of this passage that really drew my attention. The first is that Jesus knows the location of this colt AND that by saying, "The Lord needs it" is going to bring peace to the owners and allow them to take the colt...without knowing whether it will be returned or not. It reminds me...is even a huge, blinking neon sign that Jesus is God, the Almighty, the All-knowing. It nudges me to look back at all the stories that I have read before, to read them again knowing that Jesus knows what the woman at the well is thinking, what she has done and will do; he knows every doubt, every fear, every hope that arises in the thoughts of his disciples; he knows every question the religious leaders will ask...and he knows what answer will be heard deep down in the very depths of their hearts.
..."The Lord needs it"...not because he is tired, not because his shoes are worn out...he is prophesy fulfilled. Time has been moving toward this very moment of proclamation: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
The whole crowd of disciples bursts into songs of praise...not just "the twelve", but all who were following him: men, women, children. Many who had seen numerous miracles performed, clung to the words that Jesus spoke...and had their eyes opened to Truth...finally understanding who Jesus really was and shouting it out to the whole world.
In our day and age, we have the technology to shout pretty much anything for an incredibly wide audience to hear...even this blog reaches across borders. And I can't seem to help but think that we, too, have our Pharisees, people who rebuke praises and proclamations of the truth telling those who want to live like Jesus that they are bigots, intolerant...and needing to be silenced and even jailed for holding to certain opinions. In a world where freedom of religion (Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976)) is considered universal, it amazes and concerns me to watch Christian values being buried and constrained when what it is that Jesus offers is freedom.
Not that I want the voices of Christians to be silenced, but I marvel at verse 40: “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
The stones, hard, cold, inanimate stones will cry out praising Jesus, lifting his name high, if we are silent.
I know I need to praise more, to thank more, to change my heart to not fear the Pharisees and praise him no matter where I am or who I am with...I fear the voice of the stones...for that would mean the Pharisees are winning.
Don't let them win...Praise Jesus!!!!