02/01/17 Do You Hear the Children?

READING: Exodus 27-28, Matthew 21:1-22

“Do You hear what these children are saying?”

Matthew 21:16

I love listening to children as they talk about God or worship Him. Sure, they don’t understand all the terms we adults use. They can’t fully comprehend all that faith entails. Sometimes they only imitate what we do, singing when we sing and raising their hands when we raise ours. Still, though, children can teach us much.

As we’ve seen previously in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus loved the children. He drew a child into His midst and pointed to him as an example of what faith ought to be (Matt. 18:2-4). He laid His hands on children and blessed them, even while His own disciples tried to send them away (Matt. 19:13-15). In today’s reading, the children praised Jesus as He came into Jerusalem: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matt. 21:15). Maybe they, too, were simply imitating the previous cries of their parents, but the children’s praise nevertheless stressed out the religious leaders. Out of the mouths of babes (Psalm 8:2) came praise to Jesus, and the leaders stood indignant at their honoring Him. They simply saw no room for believing Jesus was the Son of God.

It’s unlikely that the children fully understood what they were saying – yet they were speaking truth. Unknowingly, they were wiser than the religious leaders of the day. Jesus did indeed have a right to receive their worship. He still does, in fact, and sometimes children model that truth better than we adults do.

Even when children don’t always understand everything, their passion for celebrating Jesus often puts ours to shame. It is right for us to raise our voices like a child uninhibited, lift our hands without regard for who’s watching, and join happily in praise of the Son of God. I imagine children who run and leap with excitement and who shout with abandon. Their glee is infectious, and their enthusiasm spreads. It’s hard not to want to join them in their praise (and perhaps that’s another reason the religious leaders were upset at the children – they might have influenced others to follow Jesus). 

Are you training your children and grandchildren to praise Jesus? Will the world hear them sing His song?   

  • Sing God’s praise all day long. If you have children in your home, invite them to join you in singing.
  • If your children or grandchildren mimicked everything you say, would you be pleased with that? If not, re-think the words you use and the conversations you have.

PRAYER: “God, let me praise You like the children did.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Exodus 29-30, Matthew 21:23-45