“. . . Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest”
Something that man, throughout the ages, has loved to experience is the praise and applause of his fellowman. We love to be recognized and rewarded for what we do. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be. Sadly, some people will do whatever they have to—right or wrong—in order to receive recognition.
Often times we read of organizations taking a poll on an individual in order to determine his or her approval rating. They’ll ask 100 people to answer questions on behalf of the rest of the population. If only 36% of the people approve of what he’s doing, then obviously, he must be wrong in what he is doing. With all due respect, may I say, “Approval ratings mean next to nothing.” I believe we can learn that truth in the life of Jesus.
Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, while on His way to Calvary. The people, excited and hoping that He would become their King began to shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9). We can say that Jesus’ approval rating was quite high on that day. However, as people came to learn that Jesus would not become their King the way they had hoped, many of them would no longer be shouting words of praise. Instead, in just five days, many of these same people would be shouting words of death, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Answer: He stayed the course (Hebrews 12:2).
Jesus didn’t change. He came into Jerusalem with the specific purpose of going to Calvary. He came to do the Fathers will. He would let nothing stop Him from doing what He knew needed to be done. He would not let the Roman government stop Him. He would not let the religious leaders stop Him. He would not let the applause of the people stop Him. Jesus didn’t care what mankind thought. He only cared about what His Father thought. What about us?
Let us all continue to do our work, whether in the public sector or private sector, to the best of our ability and for the glory of God. Let us not do it for the applause of man, but rather, for the applause of God. It’s been said, “Leaders act on conviction, performers act on applause.” Jesus wasn’t some Hollywood Oscar nominee acting for the applause of man. His applause would come later as He ascended to heaven. The same is true for you and I.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”
On earth the applause will never last, but in heaven the applause will never stop,