The praise of man, not worth living for

Posted on March 19, 2016 · Posted in Worldview, Worship

palms

I grew up in Miami, the land of palm trees. On the Saturday before Palm Sunday we went out to the back yard and collected as many palm fronds as we could carry and took them to church. On Sunday, when we arrived at church, the center aisle and the side aisles of the sanctuary were lined with palm fronds. As a child it was thrilling to think that Jesus also rode on green palm fronds as he entered Jerusalem to shouts of the crowds singing Hosanna.

It was not until years later that I considered the stark contrast between the celebration of Palm Sunday and the blasphemy of Good Friday. As a child, I never thought much about the throng of Good Friday that exchanged the cries of “hosanna”for the horrific chant of “crucify him!”

There is a message in this dramatic turn around. On Sunday, Jesus was celebrated as a King. Five days later the crowds screamed for his crucifixion. When Christ met the expectations of the crowd, he was their king. When he did not, they shouted for his death!

The lesson is clear.

2,000 years later not much has changed. When people get what they want everything is cool and praise abounds. When they don’t, things get ugly. Here is the point: you cannot understand the purposes of God by listening to the praises of men, no matter how impressive or lavish that praise may be. Man’s praise is fickle and his affections change in a heartbeat.

Learn the lesson of Palm Sunday. Do not be impressed by the praise of men.

Counseling One Another

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.