Sunday, 4 September 2011

Worthy of Our Worship

The theme of this entry is simply this: Jesus is worthy of our worship!

To begin, let us define "worship".  The main Hebrew word used in the Old Testament for "worship", hishtahvah, means to bow down before someone with reverence.  The main Greek word used in the New Testament, proskuneo, means to kneel or prostrate oneself before someone, in order to express respect or to beg favour.

So, worship is not primarily about singing songs (though it may involve singing songs at times).  It is entering the Presence of God, our Holy and awesome King, with reverence, respect, awe, love and gratitude in our hearts.

Now, the New Testament makes it clear that we are supposed to worship Jesus in this way!  Consider, for example, the following verses from the Gospel of Matthew:
  • Matt 2:10-11: When they [the Magi] saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him
  • Matt 8:2: A leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
  • Matt 9:18: While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
  • Matt 14:33: Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
  • Matt 15:25: Then she [the woman from Canaan] came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
  • Matt 20:20: Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.
  • Matt 28:9: And as they [Mary Magdelene and Mary the mother of Jesus] went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
  • Matt 28:17: When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
So, it is Biblical to worship Jesus, in addition to worshipping God the Father.  (Interestingly, the Jehovah's Witnesses, a cult that denies the deity of Jesus, mis-translates the word proskuneo as "to give obeisance to" rather than "worship" whenever Jesus is involved.)

The fact is that every angel in heaven, and every person on the planet, will one day bow down before Jesus:
  • Phil 2:8-11: Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Rev 5:11-14: Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”  The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
If you are a Christian who finds worship difficult, why not ask God to reveal more of Himself to you, to show you just how awesome, holy and majestic, yet merciful and loving, He really is?  You are missing out on the most delightful and fulfilling experience there is: doing what you were created to do!  You are also missing out on the opportunity to bring delight to your heavenly Father!

If you are not a Christian, I urge to you to find out more about the Christian message as soon as you can.  The best place to start is probably simply to read through the four Gospels.

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