Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,17 saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
– Revelation 11:15-18 [ESV]
There is an idea suggested by some biblical scholars that the Gospel of Mark heightens the mysterious nature of Jesus’ ministry, especially the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah of God. A simple explanation is offered on Wikipedia: The “Messianic secret was invented in order to conceal the fact that the disciples only came to believe in Jesus as Messiah when they had become convinced of the truth of His Resurrection.”
It is clear that the 12 disciples really didn’t have a full grasp of Jesus’ identity or mission. They didn’t believe that he was going to die, much less that he would actually rise from the dead. Jesus would chide them for their hardness of heart and unwillingness to believe. On one occasion they asked, “Who is this that even the wind and the seas obey him?” (Cf. Matthew 8:27)
But there will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And here we have a vision of that. And there is no holding back. When it comes to proclaiming that “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever,” there is no holding back. They cry out with a loud voice.
Pride is a – if not the – primal sin. It is the root of all evil. But in the spirit of Galatians 6:14, we lay aside all boasting in favor of boasting in Jesus Christ. And that is exactly what these worshipers are doing.
So now the question: Do you boast in your favorite sports team? Your children or grandchildren? Your address? Your stock portfolio (though not likely these days!). Are you as vocal as that when it comes to your praise of God? Do you sing out in worship – even if it is more a joyful noise than truly singing? Are you loud and proud of Jesus?
I am deeply distressed in the notion of pride of any kind. Even of being an American, a Christian, a Lutheran, a Texan, or even a public servant. And the idea of pride over sinful lifestyles is beyond me. But proudly claim Jesus as Lord is a secret of which we need never be ashamed.