Receiving a Calling
Politics and Christianity

Offended By Worship

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the might works they had seen...And some of the Pharisees callled to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."~Luke 19:37,39 NIV

When I look around the room during our Sunday morning church service, I always enjoy the different ways people express their appreciation for God.   Some quietly listen to the music, others sing at the top of their voice.  Some raise their hands or clap, some keep them at their sides or on the pew in front of them.  Some people pray aloud while others pray silently.  If heartfelt, all forms of praise are pleasing to God.  However, not all people appreciate this variety of expression and some would probably prefer that it not take place at all. 

Giving praise to God was not always appreciated in Jesus' day either.  In Luke 19:37-39, Jesus was making his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and the disciples were ecstatic.  I can picture the multitudes lining the streets as they would for the a popular parade, erupting with cheers and clapping as Jesus passed by.  The Pharisee's didn't like what was going on and asked Jesus to rebuke the crowd.

I've wondered why the loud praise would matter to the Pharisees.  Why were they offended?  Were they afraid?  Was it disturbing their nap time?  What did it matter to them at all?  I'm going to speculate that the praise given to Jesus made them uncomfortable because they didn't understand the reason for it.  Unbelievers can't possibly understand the motive behind worship, and that's what the Pharisees were.  For that matter, depending on their level of spiritual maturity, some believers might feel the same as the Pharisees.

No matter how its expressed, worship for our Creator and Savior cannot be squelched by man.  As Jesus said, even if the people are silenced, the rocks would still cry out. How do you feel about the way different people express their personal worship around you?