This recounts a significant event during Jesus' ministry when He entered the temple in Jerusalem. In these verses, we witness the reaction of the religious leaders and the praise of children in response to Jesus' teachings and miracles. We see a stark contrast between the religious leaders' response and the children's praise. The chief priests and scribes, who were supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the people, were filled with indignation at the children's praise of Jesus. They were offended by the acclaim given to Jesus as the "son of David," a Messianic title.
Applying this aspect of the verse to our lives, we are challenged to examine our own hearts and attitudes towards Jesus. Are we open to receiving Him with childlike faith and offering Him sincere praise, or do we allow skepticism and self-righteousness to hinder our worship?
The children, on the other hand, were uninhibited in expressing their praise and recognition of Jesus' true identity as the Messiah. They cried out, "Hosanna to the son of David!" The word "Hosanna" is a term of praise and adoration, meaning "save now" or "save, we pray." By using this term, the children were acknowledging Jesus as their Savior and Deliverer.
Applying this aspect of the verse to our lives, we are reminded of the significance of genuine praise and worship. Like the children, we should approach Jesus with hearts full of adoration and thanksgiving, recognizing Him as the one who saves and redeems us from sin.
Jesus' response to the religious leaders reveals an essential truth: God values sincere and heartfelt praise, even if it comes from the seemingly insignificant or unlikely sources. He quotes from Psalm 8:2, which says, "Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger."
Applying this aspect of the verse to our lives, we are encouraged to offer our worship to God with authenticity and sincerity. God delights in the praise of His people, regardless of their age or social status. Our worship has the power to silence the enemy's accusations and bring honor to God's name.
In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, Paul emphasizes a similar theme: "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him."
The children's praise and Jesus' response in Matthew 21:15-16 also challenge us to be humble and teachable, like children. In Matthew 18:3, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Applying this aspect of the verse to our lives, we are called to approach God with childlike faith—trustingly, humbly, and with a willingness to learn from Him. A child doesn't rely on their own understanding or knowledge but trusts the guidance and care of their parents. Similarly, we are to trust in God's wisdom and provision, submitting our lives to His guidance and leading.
In conclusion, Matthew 21:15-16 presents a profound scene where the religious leaders were indignant at the children's praise of Jesus. The contrast between the leaders' response and the children's sincere adoration reminds us of the importance of approaching Jesus with childlike faith and offering Him heartfelt praise. God values genuine worship, whether it comes from the most significant or seemingly insignificant sources. As we humble ourselves before God, acknowledging Jesus as our Savior and Deliverer, we can experience the fullness of His love and presence in our lives. May we learn from the example of the children and approach Jesus with hearts full of authentic praise and childlike faith.
Matthew 21:15-16. When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the son of David!” they were indignant, and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes. Did you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?’”