I love the story that I’ve heard over and over since my childhood, the story found in Matthew 21:12-16 where a man’s man, John Wayne-type Jesus goes into the Temple and does some housecleaning. I know that you’ve also heard this story umpteen million times about Jesus turning over the money changer’s tables and kicking both the merchants and customers out of the Temple. Hearing about tables flying and people being chased out of church is every boy’s idea of an exciting story. But here’s the part of the story that your Sunday school teachers and children’s church leaders generally forgot to tell. Immediately after turning the Temple back into a house of prayer, Jesus shows a totally different type of power by turning around to demonstrate His love and power by healing the blind and the lame. I can’t even begin to imagine what the Temple’s atmosphere was like with the rejoicing by the healed. It was time to party and celebrate. The blind could now see and the crippled could now walk. In fact, Matthew tells that the rejoicing spread throughout the Temple. Even the little children joined in and began cry out their praises to Jesus. It wasn’t passive, you can barely distinguish that it’s happening singing. No. The children shouted out their praises. Their praise was so intense that it bothered (King James – sore displeased) the religious leaders.
As I read this story again a couple of weeks ago, the Holy Spirit challenged me to provide opportunities for Him to change the depth of our children’s praise and worship. It’s as we allow the Holy Spirit to once again showcase Jesus’ love and power in our services and provide opportunities for children to SEE something that they can’t deny and feel something that is heart-consuming that we will see singing and dancing that isn’t forced from a leader on a platform or actions driven by a video on the screen. Matthew’s account shows that when Jesus revealed His compassion and power, the atmosphere changed. The youngest in the room entered into a worship that had to be explained and defended to even the chief priests and scribes in the room.
Do you really want the children to enter into a new level of praise and worship? I challenge you to read Matthew’s account of this event over and over again. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you as He did with me. Then, get ready to do some explaining to parents and church leaders. Your children and the services will never be the same again!