14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” 17 Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.
Jesus demonstrated His authority by healing in the presence of religious leaders (21:14). This passage emphasizes the negative volition of religious leadership in Israel towards Jesus as the Messiah.
Then the blind and the lame [maimed] came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
Jesus made the temple, where profiteering and extortion ran rampant, into a place of healing. This was a demonstration of His authority.
But when the chief priests and scribes [experts in the law] saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children [literally boys] crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant
Religious leaders were indignant because children ascribed praise to Jesus for healing the blind and lame. The “Son of David” refers to Jesus as the Messianic king.
and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
This question by religious leaders implied that the praise children gave Jesus was not right. Their question implied that Jesus should have been upset about this, as they were: “You should be ashamed. These children are singing praises to you as the Messiah. This is blasphemy!” This claim by the children that Jesus was the Son of David, the Messianic king, threatened the leaders’ hold on the people. They had a closed-shop attitude about religion.
Many of these children had never been to Jerusalem or the temple. Many were there for their bar mitzvah to celebrate their first Passover as 12-year-olds.
And Jesus said to them, “Yes.
Jesus acknowledged that He both heard and agreed with the children singing His praise. It is ironic that children recognized Jesus as the Messiah while the religious leaders of Israel did not.
Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”
Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 in reply to the religious leaders. This messianic Psalm says that children praised their Messiah and He is that Messiah. By quoting this verse, Jesus claimed the right of worship. This was a stinging rebuke to religious leaders.
Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.
Jesus left the temple and went east two miles to the town of Bethany on the Mount of Olives. The home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was there. The crowding of the Passover required that Jesus stay there.
Praise acknowledges the need to worship.
The greater we understand the implications of who and what Jesus was, the more we worship.