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We Have Come to Worship Him

Where is He that is born King of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him.     Matthew 2:2 (KJV)

The wise men (or magi) had come to Jerusalem with a burning question: “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?”  In Greek the emphasis is on the word born.  It’s a contrast to Herod, who grasped his position through political manipulation.  Jesus, on the other hand, was “born” king of the Jews.  They said, “We’ve comes to bow before Him in worship.”  Indeed, as we read on through Matthew 2 we discover that they were provided with the opportunity to worship.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold and frankincense and myrrh.     Matthew 2:11

What is the meaning of the word “worship”?  How can their experience enhance your worship?  In the original Greek it is proskuneo – a word which comes from the Greek words pros (‘to’ or ‘toward’) and kuneo (‘to kiss’).  It literally means ‘to kiss the hand (toward) someone in token of reverence’.  It means ‘to prostrate oneself, to lay on the floor in homage’.  Among the Orientals, especially the Persians, it portrays subject bowing in honour at the feet of their king – an expression of profound reverence and submission.  Our word ‘worship’ comes from the Old English ‘weorthscipe’, which means worthiness.  We worship someone because they are worth the respect they receive.  Worship is the only fitting response to the King of kings.

For the magi, worship was their sole intention, the purpose of their journey.  Distance wasn’t a barrier to them.  They came expecting to encounter.  They came prepared for worship.  They were overjoyed at the encounter.  They came prepared for worship.  They were overjoyed at the prospect of it.  When the magi saw that the star had come to a stop right over the house where the child was, they were overjoyed.  In the original Greek, four different words are used to express their joy, which cannot be adequately expressed in English.  As the Revised Standard Version translated verse 10:

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy…     Matthew 2:10 (RSV)

A modern paraphrase put it this way:

…they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy.     Matthew 2:10 (TPT)

Is this a description of our worship?  We join with heaven in singing His praise.  Today He is seated in the place of honour.  Revelation says:

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for the pleasure they are and were created.     Revelation 4:10 (KJV)

Come, let us worship Him.

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