Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trying to Wrap Up proskunesai

It may be helpful to take a glance into other usages of the word proskunesai in Matthew to get a fuller picture of how it this term is used. (See previous posts).

Matt. 8.2 – a man with leprosy comes to Jesus and kneels before him (proskunesai). The man knows that only Jesus can do what he needs in order to be clean so he bows as a subordinate asking a king to grant him a request.

This is very similar to the synagogue ruler (Matt. 9.2) who asks Jesus to raise his daughter. He asks an important man a seemingly impossible request. With no other hope, he bows before the one who can give him what he needs.

In Matthew 15, a Canaanite woman kneels before Jesus (proskunesai), begging him to answer her plea. Her answer to Jesus’ question shows she has put her faith in the one who can give her what she needs.

All three of these episodes (although not translated as worship) show supplicants beseeching the Lord as subjects might ask a request from a king. Their faith in Him is not misguided as the one who ushers in the Kingdom is mighty to save (and heal) and is worthy of respect and the humility (worship) they show before him.

2 comments:

north church said...

have you look at the roots of this word? i just looked at them and they are:

pros which means to the advantage of, and pros is from the simple preposition pro which is above, ahead or before.

and kuon which is a dog and a metaphor for a man of impure mind or and impudent man.

billy v said...

I have only looked at the word as a whole, I did not look at the components. Good idea, though.