Perfect Praise

How to Perfect Your Praise Ability

Matthew 21:1-16

DATE: 16 Jan, 2000   AM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Ps 107:8,15,21,31)


A.      What does it mean to praise the Lord, and How do you do it perfectly  - i.e., just like God wants?

B.       Well, we were made to praise the Lord (1Pet 2:9)

C.       But we get the idea that to praise the Lord requires great accomplishments on our part, loads of people, and great voices singing, and amazing testimonies!

D.      But when we read in Matthew 21:16, we learn that GOD knows best how to perfect our praise - let's learn from HIM how to best praise the Lord


II.       Message - Perfect Praise (Matthew 21:1-16)


A.      Perfect Praise Begins with Jesus (21:1)


1.        Jesus is on track. His destination: the cross

2.        Headed into Jerusalem - the week before the crucifixion

3.        And people are never going to be the same - because of Jesus


a.       This city of Jerusalem is going to experience such turmoil, and spiritual struggle over the next several weeks

b.       But through it all, the whole focus of attention will be upon Jesus


4.        If you want to have an attitude of praise, then think upon Jesus. Heb 12 says, "consider Him…" 1Sam 12;24 says, "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you."

5.        Don't you realise that the whole Bible is about Jesus? From the first words, to the first lambs, through the Red Sea, to the water from the rock, with the manna in the wilderness, and the cloud by day, and fire by night - Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the end!


B.       Perfect Praise is Based Upon Obedience (21:2-7)


1.        These disciples didn't know what was going to happen next

2.        But they knew Jesus knew what He was doing

3.        So, off these two disciples go, into the village of Bethphage


a.       To find a house at a cross road

b.       To then find two donkeys - a mother, and her colt - unbroken

c.       To take those two donkeys, and bring them to Jesus


4.        Do you realise that obedience brings praise to God?


a.       Not great accomplishment - king Saul learned THAT - obedience is better than sacrifice!

b.       If these disciples had not obeyed the Lord, there would have been no praise that day!

c.       When there is no heart in you to obey God, then you have shut off the main source of praise and rejoicing. God can't fill your heart with joy


C.       Perfect Praise Believes the Bible (21:4-9; Zech 9:9; Cf Lk 19:39,40)


1.        The people of the day were Bible believers - literalists - That means they took God's word literally - didn't constantly change the Bible because it didn't make sense to them


a.       That He created the world in 6 days - literally

b.       That God split the Red Sea and made it dry to pass through - literally

c.       That the King, the Messiah would come and reign in Jerusalem - literally, just as the Bible said - no "spiritual kingdom"

d.       Part of the Lord's model prayer is "Thy kingdom come…"  Not talking about some kingdom of popes and bishops, but with Jesus literally ruling and reigning here on earth!


2.        You see, we are supposed to believe what God says!


a.       Like Abraham did (Rom 8:18-22)

b.       Like Abraham did when asked to offer back his son Isaac - believed that God would raise him back up again - God HAD to!

c.       Like any sinner does when they understand that Jesus died to completely pay-off every sin and debt! I JUST BELIEVE THIS BOOK!


D.      Perfect Praise Boasts About Who Jesus is (21:9-11)


1.        Who is this in your life? In this Book? In your home? In your conversations? In your thoughts? In your worship?


a.       It's the promised Son of David - who would be King forever

b.       It is the King of Israel - not just of the church, or of Christians, but also of the Jews - remember his cross?

c.       It is the King of kings - bow Bertie Ahern! Bow Boris Yeltsin! Bow Bill Clinton! Bow King Fahad in Saudi Arabia! Bow King Hussain in Jordan! Bow Caesar in Rome! Bow Bill Gates!!!

d.       It is the promised Prophet that would come like Moses (Dt 18)

e.       It is Jesus - the Saviour - the Lamb of God


2.        The world has stopped asking who this "Jesus" is, not because they already know, but rather because they have not met Him


a.       They have not seen Him in YOUR life

b.       They have not heard His gracious words

c.       They have not learned of His substitutionary death in their place


3.        We bring great praise to God when we talk about Jesus


E.       Perfect Praise Blows Away the Competition (21:12,13)


1.        When Jesus comes into town, He headed right  for the Temple

2.        Once in the temple, He reached out and "touched" someone - pushing them out of their seats, and overturning tables

3.        In the Temple, the "competition" had taken over - just as today!


a.       Money had taken the place of prayer - people were making fortunes off of religion

b.       Animals were objects to buy and sell to the highest bidder instead of to give to die in the place of the sinner for their sins

c.       Moneychangers had taken the place of soul-winners - today, it is the same as people look more to the stock-markets for answers than to the Lord! People think about making money instead of making saints!

d.       The fancy ceremonies had taken the place of heart-worship, in spirit and in truth - not that we don’t need churches, but don't let them become objects of our worship - or even AIDS in our worship!!!


4.        But when Jesus comes, He changes everything! AMEN! On purpose!


a.       There is no competition when Jesus comes into your life, and into your home! No TV programme, or movie, or special dinner can outdo just the presence of Jesus!

b.       The reason many people's lives are in a turmoil since meeting Jesus is because He is trying to do a "clean-up!"


5.        There is no praise in staying the same - If you have never experienced such transformation, then you have never been saved!

6.        But if you have been saved:


a.       Your life will be different - clean, and holy

b.       You hunger will be for prayer, and fellowship with Jesus

c.       You home will have room for ministering to anybody!


F.       Perfect Praise Blends so Many Lives (21:14,15) - no other way to bring so many people-groups and cultures together, than by Jesus!


1.        Notice that this "church" meeting was not very orderly, and conducive to meditation


a.       There was Jesus teaching, and healing broken lives

b.       There were kids crying

c.       There were moms and dads verbally praising the Son of David

d.       There were people moving around trying to get in closer


2.        All these people:


a.       The disciples

b.       The lame and the blind - no hopers!

c.       Families, and especially the children

d.       All of them were praising God - blended together, they sounded better than all the hosts of heaven! Gal 3:28  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

e.       That is what heaven is going to be like (Rev 7:9,10)!!!


G.       Perfect Praise Battles with the Religious (21:15,16a)


1.        These Pharisees became quite upset at all that was happening - why?


a.       Because it was out of their control - under the control of Jesus

b.       Because all their ability to make profit was now gone

c.       Because of all the noise in the normally quiet Temple

d.       Because Jesus the Lamb was being worshipped instead of the Law. If there was one thing that upsets the religious, it is Jesus! Just talk about only Jesus at the dinner table, or in even a religious conversation, and you will quickly see if the person you are talking to is saved, or only religious!!!


2.        If you are truly worshipping Jesus (Cf John 4:24, in spirit and in truth), you won't be going on all these pilgrimages, and thinking God is worshipped better in fancy church buildings


a.       You will know that praise is free, and cannot be sold, or worked-up

b.       You will know that you don't have to have all this hierarchical structure to praise the Lord

c.       You will know that no religion can't make money off of it

d.       And once you take the money-making part out of Christianity, you definitely will upset some folks


H.      Perfect Praise is Best When from Children (21:16)


1.        Oh, how Jesus hits low, "HAVE YE NEVER READ?"

2.        And then Jesus quotes two Scriptures verses together in Psalms and Isaiah

3.        Out of the mouth of: Not the highly educated, Not the wealthy, Not the mighty, Not the swift, Not the aged, Not the leaders

4.        But, out of the mouth of Babes, and sucklings - children!


a.       Who is Jesus referring to? He was pointing to everyone in the Temple (besides the Pharisees) and calling them children! See Mt 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1Cor 1:17-21, 26,27)

b.       Jesus said every adult in here MUST start all over - become like little children and be converted - if you want to be saved!


1)       Be converted from your religious good works and ceremonies

2)       Be converted from all the focus on yourself

3)       Be converted from sin's dominance


c.       These are the ones whom God perfects praise in!


III.     Conclusion -


A.      Perfect Praise Begins with Jesus (21:1)

B.       Perfect Praise is Based Upon Obedience (21:2-7)

C.       Perfect Praise Believes the Bible (21:4-9; Zech 9:9; Cf Lk 19:39,40)

D.      Perfect Praise Boasts About Who Jesus is (21:9-11)

E.       Perfect Praise Blows Away the Competition (21:12,13)

F.       Perfect Praise Blends so Many Lives (21:14,15) - no other way to bring so many people-groups and cultures together, than by Jesus!

G.       Perfect Praise Battles with the Religious (21:15,16a)

H.      Perfect Praise is Best When from Children (21:16)