When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near 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 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 called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Sadly by the end of the week, the crowd was calling “Crucify him!”
Is your worship from the heart, or the kind of worship that could go from mass hysteria to mob violence?
We are physical, spiritual, social creatures.
The emotions that we reflect at various times in our lives are a part of these different elements. When we are happy or depressed, joyous or sad, these emotions are the result of
- Our physical well being
- Our psychological outlook
- Our spiritual relationship with the Creator
In extreme stress due to sickness, loss of a loved one, financial difficulties, marital problems, our entire being – body, soul and spirit or physical, spiritual and social are affected.
Here is the scene – Jesus’ triumphal entry. There were those who knew this Jesus
- Mary Magdalene
- A blind man
- A crippled man
- A leper
- Others who had been touched in some way miraculously, wondrously by Jesus
- Then there were those who only cried out “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” along with those who really knew Him, who really had a relationship with Him, but were expecting a King, an earthly rule, a change from the Roman occupation they were experiencing. Expecting someone to set them free of Rome and its bondage. Their cries were “Hosanna”, but what did it really meant? Was it “What can I get out of this man being King – more money, more prosperity, an easier life style, a better job without Rome breathing down my neck? Wow! I could have a much easier life.”
Just a few days later those who were caught up in the emotional frenzy of the day – Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – would be equally caught up in the emotional frenzy of the crowd who would cry out, “Crucify him!”
Who do you suppose really loved Jesus, the ones who had experienced a change in their life, their body or those just momentarily caught up in the events of the day? It was hard to tell probably. Their voices were all raised; they all shouted praises; it all sounded great.
But there was a difference.
- The ones who had really experienced a change in their life, the sinner, Mary Magdalene, the beggar, the lame man, the blind, all now restored – their praise was from the heart.
- The others, part of the crowd, their emotional high was probably not too different to see, to hear, but there was a difference. Their cry of “Hosanna” was for selfish reasons, was for what they wanted.
Is it really any different today?
We come into the church; we worship, we sing praises. For those whose lives have really been touched by the Master, those whose sins have been forgiven, there is praise from the heart – the emotions of the heart, the soul, the spirit from way down deep inside. Rejoicing, praising and worshiping God for who He is and for what He has done in their life. Their worship is from the heart.
The others are giving lip service. There may be emotion, perhaps frenzied, perhaps on the whole appearing not different from others, but theirs is worship from the lips, from being in the church, from perhaps longing or desire. But their worship leaves them unchanged in their everyday life because there has not been a change in the inward man.
Their cry of praise, of worship could just as easily be cries of (do we dare say “crucify him”) for their life has not been touched by real change.
What kind is your worship?