And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.…
I. First, we shall observe here DELIGHTFUL PRAISE. In the thirty-seventh verse every word is significant, and deserves the careful notice of all who would learn aright the lesson of how to magnify the Saviour.
1. To begin with, the praise rendered to Christ was speedy praise. The happy choristers did not wait till He had entered the city, but "when He was come nigh, even now, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, they began to rejoice." It is well to have a quick eye to perceive occasions for gratitude.
2. It strikes us at once, also, that this was unanimous praise. Observe, not only the multitude, but the whole multitude of the disciples rejoiced, and praised Him; not one silent tongue among the disciples — not one who withheld his song. And yet, I suppose, those disciples had their trials as we have ours.
3. Next, it was multitudinous. "The whole multitude." There is something most inspiriting and exhilarating in the noise of a multitude singing God's praises.
4. Still it is worthy of observation that, while the praise was multitudinous, it was quite select. It was the whole multitude "of the disciples." The Pharisees did not praise Him — they were murmuring. All true praise must come from true hearts. If thou dost not. learn of Christ, thou canst not render to Him acceptable song.
5. Then, in the next place, you will observe that the praise they rendered was joyful praise. "The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice." I hope the doctrine that Christians ought to be gloomy will soon be driven out of the universe.
6. The next point we must mention is, that it was demonstrative praise. They praised Him with their voices, and with a loud voice. If not with loud voices actually in sound, yet we would make the praise of God loud by our actions, which speak louder than any words; we would extol Him by great deeds of kindness, and love, and self-denial, and zeal, that so our actions may assist our words.
7. The praise rendered, however, though very demonstrative, was very reasonable; the reason is given — "for all the mighty works that they had seen." We have seen many mighty works which Christ has done.
8. With another remark, I shall close this first head — the reason for their joy was a personal one. There is no praise to God so sweat as that which flows from the man who has tasted that the Lord is gracious.
II. I shall now lead you on to the second point — their praise found vent for itself in AN APPROPRIATE SONG. "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest."
1. It was an appropriate song, if you will remember that it had Christ for its subject.
2. This was an appropriate song, in the next place, because it had God for its object; they extolled God, God in Christ, when they thus lifted up their voices.
3. An appropriate song, because it had the universe for its scope. The multitude sung of peace in heaven, as though the angels were established in their peaceful seats by the Saviour, as though the war which God had waged with sin was over now, because the conquering King was come. Oh, let us seek after music which shall be fitted for other spheres! I would begin the music here, and so my soul should rise. Oh, for some heavenly notes to bear my passions to the skies! It was appropriate to the occasion, because the universe was its sphere.
4. And it seems also to have been most appropriate, because it had gratitude for its spirit.
III. Thirdly, and very briefly — for I am not going to give much time to these men — we have INTRUSIVE OBJECTIONS. "Master, rebuke Thy disciples." But why did these Pharisees object?
1. I suppose it was, first of all, because they thought there would be no praise for them.
2. They were jealous of the people.
3. They were jealous of Jesus.
IV. We come now to the last point, which is this — AN UNANSWERABLE ARGUMENT. He said, "If these should hold their peace, the very stones would cry out." Brethren, I think that is very much our case; if we were not to praise God, the very stones might cry out against us. We must praise the Lord. Woe is unto us if we do not! It is impossible for us to hold our tongues. Saved from hell and be silent! Secure of heaven and be ungrateful! Bought with precious blood, and hold our tongues! Filled with the Spirit and not speak!
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.