Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Worthy of Worship

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him … (Matthew 2:11)

The magi that trekked many difficult and dangerous miles across the hot, arid desert in search of “he that is born King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2) were possibly part of the left over remnant that remained in Babylon after the Jews returned to their land. Perhaps they were pagans trained in the school of the Prophet Daniel. At any rate, they were familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures and the prophecies of the coming Messiah. So, they acted in faith on the Word of God, and came in search of the promised King.

When they found the child, they did an astonishing thing. They fell down and worshiped Him! What a scandalous thing, especially if they were Jewish; for in the first of the Ten Commandments God emphatically states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). In the second commandment, God prohibits idol worship and says, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). The Greek word translated “worship” in our text is proskunéo, and it means to prostrate oneself in homage or to do reverence to or adore (someone or something). Such a display of reverence is reserved only for God. Neither men nor angels can rightfully accept the worship of men (Acts 10:25; 14:11-15; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). Yet here, neither Mary nor Joseph protested the magnanimous display of reverence lavished upon this small child. For here, though small, helpless and in need of care and protection, was God Incarnate. This was Emmanuel, God with us, deserving and worthy of worship. EEC

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