Palm sunday sussundenga mozambique 2015 01

IF PEOPLE KEEP QUIET, THE STONES WILL CRY OUT

BIBLE READING: LUKE 19: 29-40

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.

Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ”  Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.  As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”  They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.  As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.  When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”  “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

(NIV)

Dear fellow brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the name of Jesus-Christ! Thanks are to the Lord for this opportunity to share this sermon with you. Today’s theme is as follows: “IF PEOPLE KEEP QUIET, THE STONES WILL CRY OUT.”

In the previous sermon we talked about the spirit of Judas, which prevents people from praising God. (http://www.sehorana.com/pages/understand-the-piritual-behavior-of-the-politics-of-the-politics-of-the-politics.html) We have seen how the spirit of Satan entered in Judas Iscariot and how this one was nervous to see Mary pouring an expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiping his feet with her hair. (John 12: 1-8) Today we will see how this spirit of jealousy used the Pharisees and how they were saddened to hear a crowd of Jesus' disciples glorifying God saying: ““Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19: 38) Why Pharisees were jealous against Jesus?

The fact that Jesus went to Jerusalem on a donkey could mean that he was pretending to be a King (1 Kings 1: 33-40). The reaction of the masses reinforced the idea. Claiming Jesus to be the "son of David" underlined Jesus' right to rule (Luke 1: 31-33). Also, the fact that they used palm branches showed that they were submissive to Jesus' authority. (Revelation 7: 9-10) Of course, not everyone was happy to see Jesus portrayed in this way. The Pharisees were very angrily and said, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

Jesus' answer to the Pharisees was to tell them that even though they did not believe in him, the Gentiles will do it. God can convert Gentiles to believers, as John the Baptist said: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” (Luke 3: 8). Jesus had to proclaim the Gospel, whether people believed it or not. In any case, he had to carry out his plan as scheduled. It took great courage for Jesus to enter Jerusalem as prophesied by the prophet Zechariah. (Zech. 9: 9) He knew that by doing so he was provoking the anger of his enemies. Before his ascension to heaven, Jesus gave his disciples the commission to preach the Good News and to make disciples of people of all the nations. (Matt. 24:14; 28: 19-20). Doing this work also requires courage. Not everyone is happy to hear the Gospel. Some are not interested in it, others are against it; they want all the voices that speak of Jesus to be silent. Remember that we must preach the Gospel of Jesus, whether people hear it or not (Ezekiel 2: 7).

We should praise Jesus. The Bible tells us that all things were created in Jesus Christ and therefore they should glorify him: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) Every creature should praise Jesus. In particular, humans should take the initiative in praising God. We are created to praise God, and when we do not, the stones will do so and we shall be ashamed.

If humans refused to glorify God, other creatures will glorify him. When Nehemiah repaired the wall and the city gates, a message was written on the stones. The stones and the walls preached the gospel, and the gates cried out, “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.”(Psalms 24: 7). Today, too, it is not surprising to hear that things can glorify God (Robots, Radios, Televisions; etc). Sadly, on the other hand, today, there are some people who go forward just as the Pharisees did, wanting the disciples to be silent. Sometimes when the disciples wash their clothes and palm branches along the way, some people think it is a waste and foolishness. However God will always be glorified. If his chosen ones were silent, the stones themselves would cry out.

These days Satan has joined forces with the ungodly to oppose Christ and His glory. The spirit of Judas has deceived the people into believing that serving God is a waste of time. The voices that try to silence Jesus’ disciples are heard every day. You too may be silent. Yet even if you were silent Jesus’ Gospel would be proclaimed. Jesus is coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. (Revelation 3:11) The one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

I conclude by thanking you for taking the time to read this message. You can share it with others. May the peace of God which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be amongst us and remain with us forever. Amen.

Archdeacon SEHORANA Joseph