Matthew 21:16 - (Jesus said) "'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise.'"
After Jesus cleared the temple of the people who were selling animals, people who were blind or lame started coming to Him to be healed. There were little children in the temple that day, too, probably there with their parents to worship. The little ones began shouting praise to Jesus: "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
This got the religious leaders upset. "Do You hear what they're saying?" they asked Jesus. Apparently, they wanted Him to stop the children. But Jesus quoted from the book of Psalms, asking, "Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise'?"
The second "You" Jesus mentioned is God Himself, God who has called even babies and children to praise Him. It seems strange that God would want praise from the weakest and lowliest of people—from children. But He does. He treasures it. In God's eyes, "the last will be first, and the first last" (Matthew 20:16).
This is good news for us, too, because if we admit the truth about ourselves, we are just as weak and lowly as little children are. More so, perhaps, because we are more experienced in wickedness. We may have more years than they do, but we have not used those years wisely. We desperately need a Savior.
And so with the little children we cry out "Hosanna!" The word "hosanna" has become an expression of praise, but in Hebrew it literally means, "Please save us." Jesus hears our cry. Through His suffering, death, and resurrection, He has become our Savior. And now we cry out in glad joy, praising Him along with the children—and with all creation.
THE PRAYER: Lord God, we praise You for being our Savior. Amen.
What is the most recent thing you recall praising God for?
Can you recall a time when you were deeply impressed by a child's praise or words about God? If so, tell the story.
Why do you think praise is part of what Christians do?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"