Worthy of worship – Matt 2:1-2, 11

When the “wise men” or magi came from the east, they came to worship the king of the Jews.  To all but Christians this may seem odd since the Jews never worshiped their kings.  They were not a people whose religion allowed for the worship of humans, angels, anyone or anything else but the one true God.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (ESV throughout)

This non-worship of others besides God continued into the Christian era.  Take this example of Peter when he meets the Roman centurion Cornelius in Acts 10:24-26.

24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

Paul and Barnabas react similarly to Peter in a similar situation.

11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”

In Revelation John gets reprimanded not once, but twice by an angel for giving him excessive honor.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev 19:9-10)

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Rev 22:8-9)

Back to the magi.  In Matt 2:11, they follow through on their mission.

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Only God is worthy of our worship.  Jesus is worthy of our worship.  Jesus is God.

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Quietly at work – Matthew 1:1-17

Sometimes God works clearly, obviously and quickly.  Sometimes he does not.  Please keep reading

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

All of those names.  This can feel like a tedious passage – unless you enjoy reading the unfamiliar names of unfamiliar people.   All of those names remind us that God is always quietly at work. 

In Genesis 12:3 God gave a promise to Abraham that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed.  And then God worked while Abraham waited.  And God kept working long after Isaac was born and Abraham died.  About 1000 years later he gave another promise.  Maybe he just wanted to show people he was still there and hadn’t forgotten.

In 2 Samuel 7 God gave a promise to David of an offspring whose kingdom would be established.  This kingdom, throne, this dynasty would be made sure forever.  And then God kept working while David just went on for a while being king.  And then David died, his son Solomon died, and so on.  About 1000 years later we come to Matthew 1.

It can be very encouraging when God works suddenly and decisively.  It is also wonderful to know that he remains faithful to his promises – to promises that can take thousands of years to fulfill.  Oh how impatient I am when I want God to do something today.  It took about 2000 years to get from Abraham to Christ, but how encouraging that Christ finally came.  

Matthew 1 Verse by Verse

Matt photoIn this first chapter Matthew give us some foundational material regarding Jesus Christ the son of David, son of Abraham, our Savior.

Matthew 01.pdf                 

Matthew 01.mp3

A Shared Eternity: The New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem – Revelation 21-22

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 14 of 14

The Bible ends with a movie-trailer glimpse of eternity.  We get only enough information to make us want to experience it for ourselves.

A Shared Eternity Revelation 21-22.pdf                   

A Shared Eternity Revelation 21-22.mp3

A Shared High Priest: Melchizedek’s Meaning – Genesis 14, Psalm 110 & Hebrews 5 – 7

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 13 of 14

Melchizedek may not take up a lot of space in the biblical story, but the priesthood he represents has eternal significance.

A Shared High Priest Gen, Psa, Heb 5-7.pdf                   

A Shared High Priest Gen, Psa, Heb 5-7.mp3

A Shared Citizenship: Reconciling of Jew and Gentile – Ephesians 2:11-22

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 12 of 14

For about 2000 years, God’s people were separated ethnically, culturally and religiously from the nations of the world.  Then God began creating a new humanity, building them into the church.

.A Shared Citizenship Eph 2.11-22.pdf                   

A Shared Citizenship Eph 2.11-22.mp3

A Shared Spirit: Uniting of Jew and Gentile – Acts 2, 10 – 13

Unity, Diversity and Our Identity in Christdiversity
Part 10 of 14

The Holy Spirit comes upon the first followers of Jesus. He begins to unite in Christ people who had no reason to be united about anything before.

A Shared Spirit Acts 2, 10 – 13.pdf

A Shared Assignment Matt Luke Acts.mp3