In previous blogs I have covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). Continuing now with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of which is ‘Worship’.
The definition of ‘Worship’ is to love, respect, and admire someone or something very much. In the Strong’s it is defined as an ‘adorer’.
They fell down and worshipped Him
The Magi were an old and powerful priestly caste among the Medes and Persians (modern-day Iran). They were exceptionally well educated for their day and had been anticipating the arrival of the Saviour for many years. Guided by a bright star they arrived at the place where the infant Jesus was and ‘they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him’. Matt 2:11
Years later when Jesus was being tempted for forty days in the wilderness, Satan showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Matt 4:9. It is an age-old tactic, that many fall prey to. Men may not overtly worship Satan, though there are a portion that do, but we may worship his offering: the allure of the shiny things – new phones, new TV, new car, bigger house etc.
It is written
Jesus replied with, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only,” Matt 4:10. It is written in the ten commandments and indeed covers the first two commandments: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God’. We may not actually bow down and worship these items, but in reality we can make it our life’s goal to ensure provision of these things and spend an inordinate amount of time using them and looking at them.
Even among those who proport to be religious today and in Jesus’ day, He said of them, ‘in vain do they worship Me, For they teach as doctrines the precepts of men’, Matt 15:9. We need to watch our doctrine (beliefs that are taught and accepted) and fully ensure they are correct and not just laid down by men and tradition.
What is the Father wanting? ‘True worshipers who worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers.’ John 4:23. Not an external form of worship with the use of prescribed repetitive words, but worship from the heart and imbedded in truth.
The choice of who and what we worship is the difference between life and death, where we will spend eternity. ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] shall be saved (rescued spiritually).’ Acts 2:21
First they come in at the eye
Henry says – Concerning Satan’s temptations, first they often come in at the eye, which is blinded to the things it should see, and dazzled with the vanities. The first sin began in the eye, (Gen. 3:6 the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she took some of its fruit and ate it). We have therefore need to make a covenant with our eyes, and to pray that God would turn them away from beholding vanity. That temptations commonly take rise from the world, and the things in it. The lust of the flesh, and of the eye, with the pride of life, are the topics from which the devil fetches most of his arguments.
He deceives, and so destroys
It is a great cheat which the devil puts upon poor souls, in his temptations. He deceives, and so destroys. Satan imposes upon men with shadows and fast colours. He shows the world and the glory of it and hides from men’s eyes the sin and sorrow and death which stain the pride of all this glory. Further the cares and calamities which attend great possessions. What he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give you, if thou will fall down and worship me’. How vain that promise was. All these things I will give you. “Come,” says he, “it seems that God whose Son you think yourself to be has deserted you, and starves you—a sign that He is not your Father. But if you will be ruled by me, I will provide better for you. Own me for your father, and ask my blessing, and I will give you all this.” Satan makes easy prey of men, when he can persuade them to think they have been abandoned by God.
What could be more hideous?
Firstly – what was all that? It was mere phantasm, that had nothing in it real or solid, and this he would give him. Multitudes lose the sight of that which is, by setting their eyes on that which is not. The devil’s baits are all a sham; they are shows and shadows with which he deceives them.
Secondly, How vile the condition was. If you will fall down, and worship me. What temptation could be more hideous, more black? The best of saints may be tempted to the worst of sins, especially when they are under the power of melancholy. See how Christ baffled the assault, and came off a conqueror. He rejected the proposal.
If the best friend we have in the world suggests such a thing as this to us, Go, serve other gods, he must not be heard. (Deut. 13:6-8 If your brother.. or your son or daughter.. or your friend who is as [precious to you as] your own life, entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’, the gods of the peoples who are around you.. you shall not consent to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him).
Whatever is an abominable thing, which we are sure the Lord hates, we must thus detest it. We should have nothing to do with it.
Worship is due to God only
Worship is due to God only, and must not be given to any other creature or created thing. It is a branch of God’s glory which He will not give to another. To show that Jesus was in His state of humiliation He was himself made under this law. As God, He was worshipped, yet, as Man, He worshipped God, both publicly and privately. Jesus came to ratify, confirm, and oblige us to the fact that God only is to be worshipped.
We have here the end of this combat, (Matt. 4:11 Then the devil left Him; and angels came and ministered to Him [bringing Him food and serving Him]). Though the children of God may be exercised with many and great temptations, yet God will not suffer them to be tempted above the strength which they have, or that they will be given, (1 Cor. 10:13 He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy])..
Resist the devil and he will flee
If we resist the devil, he will flee from us. The devil, though he is an enemy to all saints, is a conquered enemy. The Captain of our salvation has defeated and disarmed him; we have nothing to do but to pursue the victory.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Worship When victory is acclaimed Over internal strife When Jesus is really In control of my life. Then worship is true freedom In the spirits control Resurgent refreshment to The body and soul. There may be different forms Expressions and scenes But to feel in the heart That’s what worship means May I take joy in variety Let worship be very real May I be able to express How I truly feel. Yes we’re here first and foremost To worship You Then, to do the works You would have us do Worship is everything Not just a large part It is not controlled by the head Rather it flows from the heart. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, forgive me for any worship of any other thing than You. May my life be one of dedication to You. May I make a covenant with my eyes to not look upon anything that would tear me away from You. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.