Why did Jesus say the stones will cry out?
“I tell you that if these [people] should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
These words, proceeding from the very lips of our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 19:40 tell us just how worthy He is to be praised.
His words paint so much more than stones with opened mouths shouting His praise; it shows our wonderful privilege as His people created in His image and likeness.
But why did He say these words? What can we learn from them? Let’s talk about that.
The day we stop praising Him
Jesus said these words as a response to some critics who envied Him. Let’s read the passage:
“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 mighty works they had seen, saying:
” ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”” (Luke 19:37-40)
At this point Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing that the time for His suffering and death on the cross was drawing near. As He made His way to Jerusalem, His followers praised Him.
On the other hand, the Pharisees, His critics, wanted His followers to shut up. They refuse to recognize Christ’s identity as the promised Messiah, and instead of respecting Him they mocked Him by telling Him to quiet His disciples.
In response, the Lord Jesus said that if His followers stop shouting His praise, inanimate stones would be the ones to shout in their place.
Why is this?
The Bible tells us that everything in creation was made for His glory. Colossians 1:16 tells us,
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
Everything we can see and cannot see is for His glory. Even the demons bring Him glory, knowing that He alone is God. James 2:19 tells us,
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!”
This simple means that everything in creation has to praise Him. Everything in creation has to declare His praise.
But as humans created in His own image and likeness (see Genesis 1:27), we are the ones who should glorify Him primarily. We are given this wonderful privilege of reflecting Him because we were made to reflect Him.
And if we refuse to do that, the stones will praise Him. To His glory, and to our shame.
Friends, we must realize and recognize that while all of creation glorifies God, we humans are the only ones given the privilege of glorifying Him by being made in His image and likeness.
We ought to glorify Him, then, non-stop.