LESSON 4: WORSHIPING WITHOUT RESTRAINT
MAIN IDEA: God shows up when His people immerse themselves in worship!
In this class we have been studying the story of the Seventy found in Luke 10, but I’d like to suggest that the story doesn’t end there. We will now hear “the rest of the story,” which teaches us something about completely unrestrained worship; and we will consider how the full story illustrates two foundational truths about worship — truths we have affirmed throughout our study:
• Worship is our response to God’s revelation of who He is and what He has done.
• Our worship provides a place of meeting with God — He has promised to inhabit our praises.
“Don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the Seventy that their names were written in heaven. This alone could have been enough for them — but there was more. They had responded to God’s revelation by joining Him in His work as they fulfilled their mission, and now they were about to experience God in all His glory as they worshiped while the King of kings entered Jerusalem:
Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!
Though the Scriptures do not say specifically that the Seventy were part of “the whole multitude of the disciples,” it is logical to assume that these devoted followers responded to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to worship Jesus as He entered the city to fulfill His destiny.
As Jesus came into the city, the Seventy — and the entire multitude — weren’t sitting quietly and waiting for someone to ask them to rise and sing verses one, two, and four! They were shouting, singing, waving palm branches, and running alongside the Savior of the world. Their worship was unrestrained. They were proclaiming to all who would listen that the King had arrived, that sins could be forgiven, and that we can live at peace with God as a result. Now that is experiencing God in worship!
Revelation, Worship, and God’s Presence
The Seventy had spent time with Jesus, and they knew He was the Son of God. They knew He had come to set the captives free. Jesus was and is the Lamb who was slain to forever provide a way to the Father.
These disciples had a revelation of God and had seen what He had done in their midst; their response on this day was unrestrained worship. God Himself fulfilled His promise to be present with them as they worshiped! God always inhabits the praises of His people.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem that day, He came in the midst of His disciples’ intense, loud, and unceasing worship. Imagine the scene with me.
Perhaps you are one in the crowd who doesn’t really know what’s going on, but you sense something amazing is unfolding before your eyes. You can hear the noise of all the people begin to swell. Someone special is coming. You can hear the shouts of praise and acclamation.
Surely it is the king or a member of the royal family. Why else would the people be so unrestrained in their praise and adulation? As you strain to catch a glimpse of this royal moment, you are confronted with true royalty — the High King of all time. And He is riding a donkey, just as you have read about in the Holy Scriptures.
Now, it’s decision time for you. If Jesus really is who they say He is — if He really is the Son of God come to set us free from sin — then you must respond! The worship of His disciples is overwhelming …
“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38, NKJV
Surely it is Him! There is no way to stop the worship. The religious leaders have lost control. If the people stop praising Him, the stones will start to cry out. And at that moment you make the decision in your heart: Jesus is Lord! There is none other like Him in all of heaven and earth!
Your heart has been captured in your moment of revelation, and you lift your voice — your own expression of unhindered worship — in unison with the others, shouting, “Blessed is the King … blessed is the King … glory in the highest!” God Himself is present, and you will never, ever be the same!
The presence of God in Christ Jesus at that moment provides an indelible living image of God’s promise to be present when His people worship Him. God always inhabits the praises of His people! And when God is present — when the revelation of God increases — complete and unrestrained worship is our only reasonable response.
Are you picturing yourself in this joyous situation? What would you be doing? How would you be feeling? What do you think it would have been like to be one of the Seventy?
Tell Daughter Zion, “See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” Matthew 21:5
[Jesus] answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!” Luke 19:40
As we approach the end of our study together, I pray that the message of this lesson has given you a simple yet profound vision of real worship — unhindered worship in response to who God is and what He has done in your life.
I often wonder just how different our corporate worship times would be if each service began with a clear proclamation of God’s goodness and mercy toward us — before the first word of the first hymn or worship chorus was sung.
I encourage you to do that as you begin the next worship service at your church. If not from the platform, at least in your heart begin to focus on the revelation of God in your life — even as you sing. Then join in with the Seventy and all the precious saints around the throne of God and raise your own expression of worship. You are His beloved child, and He wants to hear your voice of praise and adoration more than you could ever imagine.
LESSON 4 REVIEW
• What statement or Scripture you read in this lesson was most meaningful?
• Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response.
• What does God want you to do in response to this lesson?