The Proper Response to Christ

This passage is redolent with the fragrance of the Old Testament, and rich in meaning for us today. Jesus had just expelled the money changers from the Temple, and reminded the people that this was to be a house of prayer. Now the blind and lame are coming to him, praying for healing, and finding sight and the strength to walk, in fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5-6, a passage to which Jesus had alluded when John the Baptist had doubted His mission (Matthew 11:5). Naturally, people respond with praise, including children, who hailed Jesus with an acclamation packed with significance: “Hosanna” originally meant, “Save, Lord,” but came to be used as a paean of praise, echoed by the crowds who had welcomed Jesus earlier that day when He entered Jerusalem (21:9). The little children now repeat what they have heard their elders shout, including the ascription to Him of the title, “Son of David.” In the context, this must have been a reference to the hopes of the people for the long-promised Messiah, the descendant of King David, who would come to save them (2 Samuel 7:12-13). “Hosanna” comes originally from Psalm 118:22, which prophesies that “the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and which Jesus would quote against His critics the next day (Matthew 21:42). No wonder the Jewish leaders are angry! Their abuse of God’s house had been rebuked, a source of income cut off, the impotence of their own ministry contrasted to Jesus’ healing power and persuasive teaching, and their unpopularity highlighted by the adulation of Jesus by the multitudes. Naturally, they protest the implication that Jesus is, indeed, the coming King. But our Lord shames them further by citing Psalm 8:2, which – as we discover later – serves as a prophecy of His victorious rule amidst His enemies (Psalm 8:2, 4-8; Hebrews 2:5-9). In the midst of His own enemies, the Son of Man, who is the Son of David and the Son of God, the anointed Savior of His people, will accept adoration from God’s people, even little ones, for He deserves such worship. Though fickle, this crowd offered two proper responses to Jesus: Prayer for help, and praise. In contrast, the envious religious leaders rejected Him. Whom shall we imitate?