title: “If these were silent”
date: March 25, 2018
teacher: Jacob Bender
scriptures: Luke 19:28-40, Luke 19:40 (main verse), Zechariah 9:9-12, Romans 5:3-5, Habakkuk 2:11, Isaiah 55:12, Esther 4:14, Romans 10:14-15.
How we allow others to be treated, matters. Jesus knew this mattered. That is why after his triumphal entry into the city on Sunday, he stirred up the whole town on Monday when he turned tables in the temple, because it ran rampant with injustice. That is why the prophecy he fulfilled in that moment (the Triumphal Entry) said that this King of peace has had it with war, and bloodshed, and people hurting each other.
There are basic human needs that we can’t ignore and then just think that if we are Spiritual enough then we won’t have to do anything to physically help alleviate it. Jesus was never like that! He was always willing to get dirty to meet a need, to touch a leper to heal them, to turn tables to point out injustice.
But NOTHING in this story of the triumphal entry could be more gripping than the final words Jesus says in response to the Pharisees telling him to silence his followers, when he says “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Because as important as the many causes in our world are, NONE OF IT MATTERS MORE THAN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
and here is why I believe this:
Jesus is the only one who can go into the broken places of our hearts and start putting the pieces back together. He is the only one who can take a calloused heart, that has become numb to what is right and what is wrong, and he can wake you back up.
The only thing that truly transforms a person is HOPE.
Hope that there is a life that is better than the one that you have right now. Hope that the ounce of love that person showed you today was genuine.
if you wake up in the morning, and you have nothing that indicates that there is any chance that today will be better than yesterday, then you will start your day already defeated… and as the day goes on and things happen and it only gets worse, you will stay silent, because it won’t surprise you.
That is why I think that Romans 5:3-5 is so important:
Paul says that when we suffer, if we suffer well, it produces endurance, which develops our character and leads to hope, which will not disappoint. Think about it, IF you let suffering silence you, then YOU HAVE LOST AT SUFFERING!
But if you persevere through it, realizing that life is not designed to be this way, but understanding that you have a role to play in making it better, then as you persevere, you start developing the character that is required to actually BE the change… because you are seeing all of ways injustice is causing pain, and its showing you areas that NEED to change. And as character is produced in you, it leads to hope… and hope will never disappoint you. and hope only comes by the gospel.
If a teenager understands the gospel, then as it takes shape in his life, he will stop bullying the other kids at school.
If the victim of sexual abuse understands the gospel, suddenly she realizes that though an incredible injustice was done to her, her WORTH was not taken from her… Jesus died for her because of how valuable He thinks she is. She is worth the highest price.
if a legalistic Christian finally understands the gospel, he realizes that all of his attempts at earning salvation will forever fall short… and suddenly there is that moment of freedom, when he realizes he doesn’t have to live his whole life in bondage, earning everything… after Jesus died to set him free.
If a person we love dies in Christ, though we are left here broken and sometimes feeling like we were left all alone, the Gospel gives us the Hope of knowing that we absolutely will see that person again.
The Gospel Changes EVERYTHING.