By Paul Leavens
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant. Matthew 21:15
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day did not like the fact that children were shouting praises to him. The Scriptures tell us they were indignant. The Greek word translated indignant is an old word that originally brought together two words: much and grieve. I’m sure you get the picture. The term was often used to describe physical pain. Matthew 21:15 uses indignant to tell us how greatly annoyed the priests and scribes were with the hosannas coming from the lips of children for Jesus. Hosanna comes from a Hebrew word that means “save, please!” In the Gospels, hosanna is used as a shout of joy recognizing that salvation has come. The old saying “Children should be seen and not heard” must have been a favorite of these dour leaders.
Children have a knack for saying things that the rest of us are thinking. Years ago, while I was preaching, my daughter, seated on my wife’s lap, cried out, “Daddy, my buns hurt:’ (She said some other things too that I won’t repeat in this devotional reflection.) My sermon had gone way too long. Everyone was thinking it; she said it. After the laughter died down, I prayed, and that was that. Children speak.
During my years as a Jesus-follower, I have watched with absolute amazement at the number of times children said the most remarkable things at just the right time in just the right way. I know there are those embarrassing moments when we wish they were silent. However, God – the great Designer intended for them to speak their hearts. It is a beautiful thing when they speak of Jesus.
Dr. Paul Leavens is Minister of the Christian Church in Lindsay, 120 N. Frazier Ave. To contact him, call 559-562-3743 or visit www.lindsaychristianchurch.org.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.