“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” - Luke 19:40
This month we have been discovering that there are many ways the Bible uses word pictures about rocks and stones. Rocks are symbolic of God’s character and of our character. In our reading from Luke today, Jesus talks about stones that will cry out. But it’s worth asking, “Which stones—and what are they saying?”
If we read this passage carefully, we’ll see that Jesus was riding a colt on a road coming down the Mount of Olives. It’s possible that Jesus pointed to stones along the road while he was talking, emphasizing how all of creation points to his power and authority. If the religious leaders would not let Jesus’ followers praise him, then even the creation itself would cry out. And in its own way, it already does! (See Psalm 19.)
Jesus may also be referring to the stones of the walls of Jerusalem. For as he approaches the city, he weeps over it and predicts that enemies will tear its walls down. This may be an echo of Habakkuk 2:11-12, which says, “The stones of the wall will cry out. . . . Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice.”
Jesus defended people who were powerless and oppressed, and he was declaring that one day his authority will be made known and the structures of oppressive societies will come crashing down. Then all of creation will join together to proclaim Jesus as Lord of all.