KEY: "Do you hear what these children are saying?" the chief priests and teachers asked Jesus. "Yes," replied Jesus, "and have you never read, 'From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'?" = Matthew 21:16. Here Jesus is quoting from Psalm 8:2, a Psalm that his hearers certainly knew.
NOTE the double sarcasm in one verse, first from the chief priests and teachers, and then from Jesus' own lips!
Jesus had often entered Jerusalem, but on Palm Sunday he entered as the focus of a truly grand parade! Many men, women, and children shouted praises for Jesus. Then Jesus entered the Temple and cleaned the corrupt money changers out. There he also taught people and healed the blind and lame. All the while, the children continued to honor him, loudly crying out their praises in the Temple courts.
The leading priests and teachers (1) saw the parade, (2) saw Jesus' direct action against their thieving Temple "businesses," (3) saw Jesus teaching crowds, and (4) saw Jesus' healing the blind and the lame. However, what bothered the Temple leaders - the chief priests and the teachers of the law - the most was (5) seeing and hearing the children in the Temple shouting strong praise for Jesus!
1. Why was the children's joyful praise to Jesus bothering the leaders so much? ...even more than anything else bothered them!
2. How can we learn from those leaders' - the chief priests' and teachers of the law's - terrible mistake?
3. What does Jesus want us to learn from the children shouting joyfully in the Temple on Palm Sunday? What does King David want us to learn from the children and infants praising the Lord, in Psalm 8:2? How are joyful children at worship a "stronghold" against enemies? How do they "silence the foe and the avenger"?
4. Can we mature adults be also child-like in spontaneous, joyful, contagious praise for the Lord Jesus - without completely trashing our precious adult wisdom, self-discipline, and spiritual propriety?