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Thursday: Worshiping at His Feet — 5 Comments

  1. I fully agree with what the Sabbath School Lesson says with two exceptions.

    Mark 7:7, I would not have used this text for a proof that Jesus was being worshiped because Jesus was answering an objection the Pharisees voiced concerning one of their traditions. “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" (Mark 7:5 NKJV). His answer was a paraphrase of Isaiah 29:13. “Therefore the Lord said: ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men’” (Isa 29:13 NKJV). I suppose that you could say that He was speaking of Himself but the subject matter was not about people worshipping Jesus furthermore the reference to Isaiah is to something God was saying with reference to Himself not the Messiah per se.

    Luke 19:37-40, “The multitude hailed Him as Messiah, their King. Jesus now accepted the homage which He had never before permitted” (DA 570.1). Concerning this quote from Ellen White I have a few questions to ask.

    1) What about all those texts that were listed that said that people worshipped Him? Besides, Luke 19 is at the end of His ministry not at the start so what do those texts really say? Did bowing down always signify worship the way we think of it? What about those who bow to rulers and kings out of respect rather than worship?

    2) What was their concept of the Messiah? Did they really understand that Jesus was God and were they worshipping Him on that basis? Look at what a couple of disciples told Jesus on the road to Emmaus, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people . . . But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:19,21 NKJV). They don’t even mention Him as the Messiah or God. To them He was a prophet like Elijah with the power of Elijah that came from God who was going to set Israel up as an independent state. Finishing the quote above from the Desire of Ages: “and the disciples received this as proof that their glad hopes were to be realized by seeing Him established on the throne. The multitude were convinced that the hour of their emancipation was at hand. In imagination they saw the Roman armies driven from Jerusalem, and Israel once more an independent nation. All were happy and excited; the people vied with one another in paying Him homage” (DA 570.1). Again I need to ask what were they actually doing and why? Were they worshipping Him in the same way they would worship Jehovah? Certainly Jesus permitted it, He knew who He was but did they?

    To me the divinity of Jesus is without question and relatively easy to prove. For instance the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus was the creator, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3 NKJV). Not only that but it also eliminates Jesus as a product of God’s creation.

    Then there is the sticky question that Jesus asked the Pharisees in Mat 22:41-44 that He ended by asking, “If David then calls Him`Lord,' how is He his Son?” (Mat 22:45 NKJV). There is also the business about the ‘I AM’ who was before Abraham.

    Also consider the statement of Jesus, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17-18 NKJV) Only God could do such a thing.

    Then what about Isaiah’s prophesy, “And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6 NKJV). And the matter of worship, “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him’” (Heb 1:6 NKJV, The entire chapter is interesting in this respect).

    • Tyler, I appreciate your interesting and helpful thoughts. About Mark 7:7, right on! I can't see that Matthew 4:10 works either. The question had to do with whom Jesus Himself (as a man) ought to worship. Satan demanded that Jesus worship him, but Jesus quoted the Scriptures to the effect that man ought only to worship Jehovah. One must go elsewhere in the Scriptures in order to demonstrate that Jesus Himself is in fact Jehovah. As you pointed out, the divinity of Christ is easy to prove from the Scriptures. Why should we weaken the point by citing passages that don't work?

      You have raised an interesting question, Tyler. While Jesus understood His divinity, was that always the case with those who bowed down before Him? First of all, the fact that He allowed them to bow down so reverentially is powerful evidence that He claimed divinity. In combination with His own statements, it totally rules out the old "Jesus was just a good man" idea. Good men don't claim divinity unless they actually possess it. That said, I'll have to admit that those who bowed down to Jesus may have had varying degrees of understanding regarding the full significance of what they were doing. Nevertheless, I can think of a some examples where it seems clear enough that they certainly did know what they were doing.

      I believe that the magi, from reading the prophecies, and from the supernatural way in which they had been led, had a very good idea that the newborn King was divine. At the beginning of Jesus' ministry, Nathanael said, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Then there was the man born blind, whom Jesus had healed, and who had been "cast out of the synagogue" for his testimony. Jesus met him in the temple, and now introduced Himself as "the Son of God." As a result, "he worshiped Him."

      Then, after the resurrection, there was Thomas, when Jesus showed that He was intimately acquainted with everything Thomas had been thinking and saying. His response: "My Lord and My God!" I guess it doesn't get much more explicit than that!

      May God bless you, brother!

      • After reading your comments I thought to myself, R.G. has stated things pretty well, why say anything additional. But after a while I changed my mind and feel that I could add a few comments (not arguments) that would be helpful.

        I generally think you are right that there was varying degrees of understanding among the disciples. What gets me to wonder is the apparent casual attitude of the disciples when around Jesus. Would a Jew in that culture be like that if they knew Jesus was God? Even in our culture, would we?

        Thomas is an interesting fellow to say the least, for many reasons and his response seems to be a product of the realization that Jesus was more than he thought. After the resurrection I do think the disciples began to see things from a different perspective especially after Jesus explained from scripture what had taken place. I believe that point of view caused them to diverge increasingly from their national pride as time went on and by the time many of the letters from Paul were circulated the disciples had a much clearer understanding of the divinity of Christ to the point that towards the end of the first century John was able to write with immense strength on that topic in order to battle the Gnostic philosophy.

        What is sad to me is the fact that foreigners from a pagan culture (Magi) had more understanding than most of the Jewish leaders had. I hope that we are not repeating that sad note.

        • Tyler, you seem to be a bit sensitive to the possibility of being charged with "arguing." From my point of view, brother, I can see nothing wrong with a person making (or attempting to make) sound arguments. Bible truth is a wonderful thing, and I'm convinced that promoting it (as kindly as possible) can only do good.

          However, I believe that there needs to be a manifest love for truth, sufficient to motivate one to change his mind when shown to be mistaken. This requires enough humility to frankly admit the mistake, rather than argue in order to save face.

          I'm convinced that we should love and welcome truth, and that it shouldn't matter who came up with it. With the Bible, in particular, there is no such thing as originality. We understand what the Spirit teaches us, and nothing more.

          I realize that we are all different, brother, our minds do not all work alike, we all make plenty of mistakes, and we need to cut each other a lot of slack. Please do not take my remarks too personally. If they prove helpful, praise the Lord! If not, kindly disregard them.



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