Jesus answered, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.” Luke 19:40 (GNT)
Yesterday, in the devotion of Luke 17:18-19 I shared the ultimate result of Jesus’ coming to earth. Those things were to share the Good News with the poor. To proclaim that Captives will be released, the blind see, the oppressed set free and that the Lord’s favor was here. In this account of what happened according to Luke, the people were crying out, “God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!” the Pharisees get upset at this ruckus and complain to Jesus to get his followers to be quiet. Jesus, replies with the verse.
I don’t personally think the Pharisees were always being antagonistic.
I think sometimes, they legit just didn’t agree with something, or thought something was improper.
In this case, the cries of the people were literally treasonous to the Roman government.
And if Jesus was a normal person (as the Pharisee’s believed) it’s not out of line to want to avoid the attention of the Romans.
I see two ways of interpreting this verse. The first is an extremely positive one that creation testifies to the truth of Jesus. That no matter what God will accomplish his desires and use whatever means to do it – whether it be rocks or like in Number 22:21-39, a donkey.
The second, and potentially more controversial one is an admonition to Christians. Because sometimes non-Christians act more like Christ than we do, and it’s demoralizing – especially when it speaks to something that is at the core of Christianity and the devil uses this type of technique all the time. An innate desire within humans is to be loved, be accepted, and be able to live in the freedom of who we were meant to be – these desires transcend religion, race, culture, and gender. And I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen someone struggling with a sin that isn’t one of the ignored sins like lust, pornography, anger, jealousy, or some sort of over indulgence be rejected and condemned by the church instead of loved and encouraged to find their identity in Christ who alone can help them overcome their sin. Because of this they seek to be accepted and loved by others, who oftentimes encourage the individual to find their identity in their sin. See, in cases like this the stones are crying out, and the devil is using it to his advantage. The individual struggling with the sin doesn’t realize their identity, based in sin, is a shallow husk of their true identity in Christ, and because of how they were treated they aren’t going to be interested in learning more about that.
Another instance where the rocks cry out because the church won’t/isn’t stepping up in situations of charity. Consider a situation where a church may spend a few million dollars on a new building with mahogany wood trim when there’s a homeless/resource crisis going on and that money could have been used to help the poor instead. In cases like this, the church isn’t necessarily in sin, but if the church isn’t going to help the people in the community, God will raise up a secular charity to do so.
We as Christians have to stand up and take our rightful place back from the rocks. We have the resurrected Son of God living within us, able to do more than we could ever imagine and when we decide to join him in his desire to proclaim good news and freedom we get to see and be part of God’s work here on earth in ways we’d never be able to guess.