DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
WHO WILL BE ASHAMED?
There is such a powerful story told in Luke chapter 19 when Jesus used a simple act of riding a colt into Jerusalem to paint a spiritual picture of the one of the most important events in human history. His followers were excited with His teachings about the Kingdom of God and the supernatural manifestations they had witnessed. With this seemingly small event Jesus was being revealed as the Messiah, the Savior of the world and a type and shadow of His future return as the triumphant King of all Kings. Let us pick up the story in verse 32. “And they that were sent went their way, and found everything as He had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, why do you loose the colt? And they said, the Lord has need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they put their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way.” Laying branches and their garments down on the ground as a path for Jesus would be the equivalent of rolling out the “red carpet” so to speak for the arrival of the King as he rode into the city. Verse 37 say’s, “And when He was come near, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the WHOLE multitude of the disciples began to REJOICE and praise God with a LOUD voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;”
Can you picture the excitement, expectation and exuberance? They are cheering just like people at a basketball game when the score is tied and there’s 10 seconds left. I can see bright eyes and smiling faces because their King is coming and they are not ashamed to shout, jump, dance and release their enthusiasm. So why are the churches of today quiet and why do the people seem bored? Where is the anticipation and excitement about the coming King? In verse 38 we see what they were shouting; “Saying, blessed is the King that comes in the Name of the Lord: peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” What a perfect example of an amazing worship service! Psalm 118, verse 28 say’s, “Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt thee.” They were not ashamed to be identified with their Lord and Master. They did not care about who was watching, (neighbors, bosses, storekeepers, friends, family), they were uninhibited, fearless and overflowing with the kind of joy that all of us experienced when we first became born-again. But evidently the “wise” elders of the religious world were watching and talking negatively among themselves. Verse 39, “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, REBUKE your disciples.” Sadly they were insulted with the commotion and all the attention this gathering is causing over an independent, rebel bible teacher. Their pride is causing them to become very uncomfortable just like many church “leaders” feel today when someone gets too emotional in their worship. Have you ever noticed when someone becomes lost in their freedom in the spirit and does not care what anyone thinks about them, that many who are not focused on the Lord will stare and make critical judgments against them?
People who must have perfect organization and cannot depart from tradition will always have a difficult time when God steps in. Religion leans on the mental ability to create structured programs and legal agendas and no room for the unusual. These distinguished gentlemen thought more of their personal respect and integrity than to stop for a moment and ask God what was happening. They reasoned in their flesh this scenario was out of order and ruled this was not in compliance with how worship was to be “performed” (besides being jealous of the new kid on the block.) They did not perceive they were in the presence of the Alpha and Omega, the creator of the universe, the author of all things including the Bible whom they claimed to obey to the letter.
Have you ever thought how that Jesus could have played the role of a diplomat and responded to the Pharisees like this; “Yes you are right this is an excitable bunch of extremist and I do apologize for making such a parade. I agree that the laying down of clothes and palm branches is a little over the top and I do realize it must be a bit awkward to hear them connect me with all those Messianic prophesies. Let me see if I can calm them down from acting so silly.” But of course He does nothing of the sort. Jesus knew they were blind and that many did not comprehend but proceeded to make a point to declare a spiritual truth that touches me deeply every time I think about it. Instead of trying to control the excitement He affirms the crowd’s gestures of heartfelt respect and worship. This very interesting comment from Jesus should make a profound impression in everyone’s life that professes to be a follower of Christ! Verse 40 say’s, “And he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” All glory to His name forever! What an awesome vision of the power and majesty of The Almighty God who is worthy of all praise! This is such a perfect example of God’s unyielding sovereignty to ensure the gospel would be proclaimed throughout the entire world and explains our purpose in life to never cease exalting Him and revealing His Kingdom gospel through the obedience of our lives. How much clearer could it be that we are not to hold back our expression of love and adoration no matter what the world thinks or how the religious system criticizes us. May we never be influenced by pride and the fear of man’s criticism that would prevent us from expressing our joy for the God of our salvation! Let us SHOUT His glorious attributes from the housetops because we love him! He is worthy of all honor, allegiance, adoration and glory, as we will praise and worship Him for all eternity. Revelation chapter 7, verse 12, “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever amen.”
Do people who will not reveal their joy in public, release their expressions in private? It seems many churches have adopted the idea that being quiet is the same as reverence? Many have been deceived in thinking that stuffy dignity is the same as keeping everything decent and in order! But the Christian life is not hiding in the shadows of an emotional comfort zone. “The Way” demands the flame within our heart to be a testimony so that all can see Jesus! We will be an unusual, “peculiar” people when we lay down our pride and become BOLD to stand for God no matter what it cost. When the believer chooses to lay down their embarrassment and become spiritual “salt” God can use them to represent and increase His Kingdom. Lord, may we never be ashamed of you but join in the awareness of your constant presence as the seas and earth and sky bow before you. The mighty rushing of the wind roars His Words of judgment, as the gentle breeze whispers His peace. The lightning flashes His awesome power and the thunder echoes His omnipotence. The trees raise their branches to the heavens as they praise Him and the waters like the voices of many choirs sing of His authority and holiness. The warmness of the sun reminds us of His eternal security and the moon like a lit candle, chases away the fear and darkness of the night.