Stones Would Cry Out

Monday, March 2, 2015, 7:15 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “My Sheep.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 19:28-44 (ESV).

Go and Do

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”

If we are the Lord’s disciples we will listen to him and we will do what he says, even if it doesn’t make sense according to our human logic and reasoning. Notice Jesus did not give a full explanation as to why he needed the colt, so the disciples could have questioned his logic, and they could have felt the need to know what he needed it for before they agreed to do what he said. Notice also that the disciples didn’t appear to question this request at all. They didn’t seem to hesitate nor did they seem reserved at all about doing what Jesus asked them to do. It appears they trusted him fully, and that following him in obedience far outweighed any concerns they might have had. We do not have a record, at least, that they had any discussions about this among themselves, showing fear of what others might think of them, or wondering what would happen if things didn’t happen the way Jesus said.

They did, nonetheless, have the advantage of having Jesus with them in person, so they literally could hear with their physical ears the words Jesus spoke to them. We do, though, have Jesus’ words, too, as have been recorded for us in the books of the Bible. And, as his followers we are to also do what he says for us to do without hesitation and without fear of what others might think of us. What we know of Jesus’ revealed will for us found in scripture we should do. When he says “go” we should go. When he says to speak we should speak. We should do all of what he taught us to do, and what his apostles taught us to do. We may need someone to help us understand some of these teachings sometimes, and/or we may need to do some careful study of scripture to make certain we are handling the word of God correctly, but then we should do what we know his word says.

We have also been given the Holy Spirit within us to teach us all things about Jesus and about his will for our lives. For instance, my name is not mentioned in scripture, so there are no specific instructions for me there that are not the same as the ones for all of Christ’s followers. Yet scripture teaches us that we all have been given spiritual gifts of the Spirit of God and that the Holy Spirit has assigned each one of us parts within the body which we are to fulfill. So, these must be spiritually discerned. So, we need sensitivity to hear the voice of the Spirit within us and to know it is his voice speaking to us. So, this also involves testing the spirits against the word of truth, and against what we know of God and of his divine character, will and purpose for us in order to make certain that we are hearing our Lord correctly, and that we are not being led astray by deceiving spirits. Yet, we should not allow this need for discernment to make us afraid of the Spirit’s voice to us nor afraid to step out in faith and in obedience to what he directs, guides and empowers us to do.

Jesus had need of the colt, he asked his disciples to get it for him, and they did what he said.

If These Were Silent

And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

In Matthew’s gospel we are given this additional information:

“This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

‘Say to the daughter of Zion,
“Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”’”

I believe all this took place the beginning of the week of Jesus’ crucifixion. The purpose of all of this appears to be that Jesus was announcing to the Jews that he was their promised Messiah and that his kingdom had come. He rode on a donkey to show his humility. Jesus’ disciples loudly announced the arrival of their Messiah and King, but he was no ordinary king, and his kingdom was not like any earthly kingdom. His was a kingdom not of this earth, and his crown was not the crown of any human king. His was a crown of thorns. His robe was given in mockery and with people spitting on him. All of his followers eventually deserted him, one denied him strongly and another betrayed him. His kingdom rule and reign came via his death on a cross where he was hung to die as though he was a common criminal and via his resurrection back to life in which he conquered death, hell, Satan and sin on our behalf. So, riding on a donkey was very fitting for announcing his kingdom.

We, as Jesus’ followers today, are also called to announce his kingdom, to give him praise and honor, and to publicly acclaim him for all the mighty things he has done for us on our behalf. We are to announce to the world the wonders of his mighty salvation and to call people to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ. We are to make disciples of Jesus Christ of people of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded us. We are to be his witnesses throughout the earth in telling people what Jesus Christ did in dying on the cross for our sins so that we could be free from the penalty of sin, and so we could be free from slavery to sin, as well as free to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. We are to tell them, as well, that faith in Jesus Christ means dying with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, being resurrected with Christ to new lives in Christ, and to walking and living in victory over sin since Jesus has conquered sin for us.

Yet, we will also be faced with those who will criticize us and who will try to hush us and will want us to stop speaking in the name of Jesus Christ, particularly if we are sharing the truth of the gospel in calling people to turn from their sins and to walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Yet, we should obey God rather than humans, and we should not be silent or the rocks will have to cry out. We should never give in to intimidation of humans or be frightened by rejection and persecution, but we should be strong in the Lord and we should persevere in our faith and in giving testimony to God’s saving grace in our lives.

Would That You

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Not everyone will have faith. Many will reject the message of the gospel. Many who had once followed Jesus found his message to be too hard to follow, and so those who were not willing to go the distance with him deserted him, never to return. Many people today like the light and fluffy and feel-good messages that do not confront them with sin, and that require nothing of them in the way of holy living and following Jesus in obedience. They don’t like the hard truths of the gospel message, and so they reject it in favor of what makes them feel good. So, they will never know true peace, because they will not be at peace with God, because they continue to operate in the flesh of man, and they refuse to submit to the cross and to surrender their wills to the will of God for their lives. And, so their eyes are blinded to the truth. And, this should cause us to weep, too.

One day God will judge all people for what they did with Jesus Christ. If you have bought into the lies of Satan and have preferred a gospel message which requires nothing of you in the way of repentance, obedience, submission and holy living, then you must answer for that before God, and you may be in danger of hearing, “I never knew you. Depart from me.”

Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow him (obey him). He said if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives for his sake, then we will gain eternal life (See Lu. 9:23-25). He also said that his sheep know him, they listen to him and they follow (obey) him (See Jn. 10). So, I pray today that you will be one of his true sheep, and that you will listen to his voice speaking his truth to your hearts, and that you will follow him in obedience.

My Sheep / An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.