Jesus invites us to consider the importance of praising God. Praise has value far greater than many people realize, for it expresses something that needs to be expressed. When we praise God, it’s recognition of who He is—adoration—and what He does—apreciation. To have the relationship with Him that we have and to receive from Him what we’ve received means that praise is not optional; it’s a necessity.
Jesus had just entered the city of Jerusalem and was met by a host of people. They had heard about the marvelous healings and outstanding works He had done. They knew about His teaching and His promises of eternal life, and they raised their voices in praise of Him.
Within the crowd was a group of Pharisees that did not share the joy of the masses; they were angry and resentful about all that they saw. One of them said to Jesus, “Your followers are making too much noise. You ought to make them be quiet.” But Jesus said, “If they hold their peace, the very rocks and mountains will give an immediate reaction.” This response by Jesus sends a major message to us about the necessity of praise.
First, God demands praise. There are some requirements in the relationship between humanity and divinity that must be complied with. A sovereign God cannot be ignored. A servant who refuses to obey his Master cannot survive. Too many religious folk have held their peace too long about Jesus. The rocks of violence and the mountains of hatred are crying out all around us today. To silence them, we must speak out.
Then, we must praise because love always calls for a response. Jesus had left His home in glory to come to seek and save the lost. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life (John 3:16).” These people were not just out there having a good time; they were giving praise in response to His love.
We praise him for our being—for health in our bodies, clothes on our backs, money in our pockets; a roof over our heads, etc. We can never say, “Thank You,” enough for all that He has already done. Our praise is a response to His love.
A final reason to praise God is anticipatory. We praise God because we know that, through Jesus, the future is going to be greater than the past. The reason why Jesus came—why He died and was raised to life—was so that our fellowship with God could be restored: “See what amazing love the Father has given us! Because of it, we are called children of God. And that’s what we really are! The world doesn’t know us because it didn’t know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God. He still hasn’t let us know what we will be. But we know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him. That’s because we will see Him as He really is (I John 3:1, 2).”