Monday, July 7, 2008

More Worship in the Gopspel of Matthew

There are two incidents I want to cover here that English translations translate the word proskunesai with worship.

Matt. 22-33 – The disciples are out on the lake by themselves. A storm arises and frightens them. Jesus walks on the water to them. Peter also begins to walk but is distracted by the storm and sinks. Jesus rescues Peter and they climb into the boat. Those who were in the boat “worshiped” (proskunesai) him. This time they added the exclamation “Truly you are son of God.” It is important to note in the OT, it is Yahweh alone who controls the raging storms of the sea (cf. Jonah 1-2; Ps. 104.7; 107.23-32).

The worship of the disciples was in amazement over Jesus’ power of the natural (and supernatural). They bowed before him because of what they say he could do and in recognition that he was not an ordinary mortal. He was superior in essence and was worthy of them bowing down before him.

Matt. 28.9, 17 – This chapter records the post resurrection appearances of Jesus. First, when Jesus appears before the women, they clasped his feet and worshiped him. Later, when he appears before the disciples, they worshiped him (both times, forms of the word proskunesai). This could be the only response to the man who conquered the grave and came back as he said he would. This response would be to fall down before him, kneel, bow low or fall at his feet. The response is to pledge allegiance to their King and to their God. Proper worship is to bow before one’s God and pledge undying loyalty because he is worthy.

4 comments:

brandonmc said...

thats it! im not standing to worship (sing) anymore. im droping my face to the floor....i wonder how many would follow me to my ultra worshiping position. it would be funny.

billy v said...

It would be more in keeping with the meaning of the word. If you read my series and note the words and actions surrounding "worship" you will notice also that there is no mention of singing so far. (Maybe when we get to Revelation).

brandonmc said...

i know i was just blending actions surrounding worship, and what we think of worship today. think your making worship leaders angry?

billy v said...

I don't know if any read this. All of the language of worship in our culture is singing, so I don't know how this will impact them. I hope it makes them think.