What should catch you completely by surprise is that notice the same Jesus who had just caused those who bought and sold and the money changers to flee for their lives in terror of His righteous indignation, is the same Jesus who drew the blind, the lame and the children to His love and grace! They could see something in Him that didn’t make them want to run in fear. They could see in His eyes an inexhaustible depth of love that poured out into their hearts like healing water and they were drawn. And this is what happens when we allow God to correct us like a loving Father in order to refocus us on Jesus…
People are Drawn, Healed and Praise Breaks Out
Today our son is joining the Adventurer club here in our church. But what many of you may or may not know is that just a few months ago, our son Tommy could barely walk. After a trip to outpatient care, children’s ER at Fairfax Hospital, several runs to different doctors and tests, we discovered Tommy had a dietary Rickets. Basically he was deficient in calcium and vitamin D, which resulted in bone and muscle weakness causing him to be so weak or in pain that he could barely walk. Those of you that are parents know that when things like this happen to your children, it wrings your heart and keeps you on your knees in dependance on Jesus. Deedre and I started praying for Tommy everyday. Around this same time we started to journey through the same chronological Bible reading plan together, which has deepened our relationship with Jesus and each other. Even as we gave Tommy the prescribed supplements to up his vitamin D and calcium levels, we were praying for Jesus to heal him and inviting others to do the same. And after the emotional roller coaster ride of several months, the last test result came in just this week and there is nothing wrong with Tommy. He is healthy, speed walking and climbing all over the place. All I can tell you is that praise began to break out in our home! Every time we see Tommy run into the room with excitement, Deedre and I look at each other and our hearts are lifted up in praise! You see, this situation caused Deedre and I to realize that it’s insufficient to depend on our own efforts to keep our son healthy. We had to refocus on Jesus at a deeper level and depend on Him for healing. And when He answered our prayers to heal our son, praise broke out!
As Jesus stood there in the Temple, those that were creating obstacles to His grace ran out in terror, while those who desperately needed His grace came in. The blind and the lame came pouring in and He healed them. Now watch this sad, yet very interesting contrast. Those focused on Jesus in the sanctuary gained access to God, healing and broke out in praise. Yet those that were merely religious and not focused on Jesus in the sanctuary, were indignant! What were they all upset about? The praise that broke out from the children. They were singing the same praise song that the people sang to Jesus the day before in His triumphal entry. And the lyric that really got them was the one were the children called Jesus “the Son of David”, which was a direct reference to Jesus as Messiah, the King, the very thing the chief priests and scribes refused to acknowledge. Notice they didn’t say anything when Jesus healed people, but once the children started adoring Him as Messiah, the King, they objected. Isn’t that what we do with Jesus. Heal us, but once You start to wanting to be King, Lord of how we live our lives, then we have a problem Jesus! But the children kept on singing and the healing continued to flow. Ellen, in the Desire of Ages says,
Family, this is what happens when we get rid of the obstacles to grace in our lives, our homes and our worship, and start to refocus on Jesus. You start getting serious about coming to Him and seeking Him through a close relationship. You start seeking Him for the healing that so desperately needs to flow through our marriages, our families, our bodies, our emotional wounds and our children. And then He starts to open up the floodgates of healing in our lives. And when this happens, it would be a sin to hold back the praise that would break out in our midst.
As a matter of fact, Jesus affirmed the praise that was flowing out of the hearts and mouths of the children by quoting Psalm 8:2, which described their song as perfect praise.
You see the children simply echoed the praise song they heard coming from the adults that were focused on Jesus. Maybe if our young people saw us focused more on Jesus and not merely ritualistic tradition or so called “high church”, they’d start focusing more on Jesus and breaking out in praise too. You see Jesus heard the song of the children and thought, “They get it.” I could just see Him closing His eyes in delight and just taking in the sweet sound that was rising up to His ears and saying, “Now that’s perfect.” We can have the same experience as these children. When obstacles to grace are removed, then we will experience healing, resulting in perfect praise.
I’m sure the sounds of perfect praise rising from these children gave Jesus strength as He was betrayed, mocked, abandoned and beaten. Maybe He could hear the song as the full weight of your sin crushed out His life while hanging on the cross. And He’s hoping that you’ll refocus your attention on the one thing the Sanctuary has been telling you all along… that Jesus poured out His grace for you upon the cross, securing your salvation, if you would just turn to Him and believe. Then you too can be healed and join the song of the children in offering up perfect praise.
Sermon starts at 2:08:49.