Because Jesus is all glorious, then exuberant praise is always appropriate.
Luke 19:37 – 38
37 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:
38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’
The Lord Jesus is seen entering Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. He is the King coming to his capital but, of course, not with the pomposity of earthly monarchs but with the humility of the suffering servant of the Lord. His appearance evokes a reaction from the crowds, some are excited, and others are offended by the excitement. It all depended on what their attitude was to the revelation of God’s grace in Jesus.
The ones who are rejoicing here are doing that because they saw the miracles Jesus performed. The miracles show the power or perhaps better the authority of Jesus. They were simply acknowledging that Jesus has authority from God. Whether many understood at this stage that it was because he is God is not clear. Their response is very appropriate, they praised God with rejoicing.
It is important to see that their praise of God was not just a display of reverence, tinged with terror, for one who is awesomely powerful. They recognised in Jesus that the Lord is good, compassionate, merciful and loving. Therefore, they praised with joy and “a great voice” which means it was very exuberant. This raises for us a question of our attitude to our God. He is not one we should step away from in timidity or discouragement. He is to be approached with excitement and delight because all his power and authority is for his people. He holds out great mercy and blessing. As these people would see in the coming days, Jesus as the authoritative Son of God would give himself for his people at the cross. We can look back to these events and with all confidence know that the love and mercy of God for us is displayed in Jesus. We can join the people in joyful praise, perhaps with a loud voice but at least with a sense of exuberance.
They certainly recognised Jesus as their King, God’s appointed King who was coming in the name of the Lord. They were, in this act of praise, also submitting themselves to his reign over their lives, at least for that day. Many would change later in the week. In ascribing blessing to their King, they made two requests in their praise. One was for “peace in heaven” and the other “glory in the highest.” Glory in the highest is simply a desire for all creation to acknowledge the glory of the Lord and his Messiah. The desire for peace in heaven is a request that all would be able to approach the throne of God and experience no hostility. We all need that!
Head: Understand the greatness of our humble king.
Heart: Be moved by the wonder of all that he has done for us.
Hands: Engage in exuberant praise of the one who is worthy of all praise and adoration.
Prayer: Father, help us to better understand our Lord Jesus and his great work, his authority and his merciful love, so that we can bring truly exuberant praise to you. We pray too for glory to you our God in the highest and that we might all know peace in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: You Are My King (Amazing Love)
Living Church – Creek Road