Saturday, 01 April 2023
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Him. “Yes” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?” –Matthew 21: 16
Today’s reading starts with Jesus Christ on His triumphal entry to Jerusalem on the way to the Cross. We see Jesus’ passion for the temple of God when He saw “the house of prayer” was made into a “den of robbers” by people. Jesus Himself cleanses the Temple (V.12), an act that invited immediate criticism from the chief priests and scribes. Their reaction to Him turns out to be one of indignation – they became furious at the children who were still shouting hosanna to the Son of David. They were even angry that Jesus was healing people in the Temple! (Vs.14-16). The Priests and Scribes obviously failed to see the Messiah in Jesus!
Jesus responds in verse 16 by quoting Psalm 8:2 - a portion of the Scripture that was well-known to them, that through the shouting children, God had prepared praises to Himself. Jesus in other words is saying that the revelation of Christ was given to the Children and from whose mouth, the praise of God is ordained.
Why did the Children praise God and not the Chief priest and teachers of the Law? The Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law could not realize that Jesus was the Christ. Hence, we see the condition of their hearts – full of indignation and spiritual blindness!
Jesus said in Matthew 15:19 that from our heart comes out all evil things and evil acts. Our heart is the place where God should be enthroned. When that place is occupied with greed the result is the type of robbers that occupied the Temple. A robber or thief is explained in John10:10 as the devil. The Temple of God turned into a den of robbers is symbolic to the fact that even we, the Temple of God (as given in 1 Cor.3:16) can become the operating place of the devil (robber), if our hearts are filled with evil thoughts and actions.
When the children were able to praise God with their mouths and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of David and Messiah, the chief priests and scribes were unable to do so, because of the condition of their hearts! Jesus said in Mark 10:15, that if we will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child, we will never enter it.
There are truths which only the simple in heart can perceive - these are hidden from the wise and the learned and the intelligent (Matthew 11:25).There are times when heaven is nearer to a child than it is to the cleverest among us.
For the revelation of Christ to be received:
1. The Heart should be pure: A Child’s heart is innocent whereas the hearts of chief priests and lawyers were indignant and not receptive.
2. The Heart should be simple: Children simply trust due to their innocence. Others are complicated in thinking with their own cleverness and understanding.
3. The Heart should be humble: The Chief priest and the teachers of the law were proud – but God gives grace to the humble.
Are we having the heart of a child? - for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such; only in them praise is ordained by God. If not, let us come back to Jesus Christ who is able to make us pure and holy by His precious blood whereby we can trust Him and believe in Him.
Prayer: Almighty Father I acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. You are my Savior and the Lord over my life. May You rule and reign in my life all throughout till I meet you. Amen