Worship the LORD and the King



When approaching the subject of who Jesus is, I have found that there are a few major misconceptions and missing elements from our initial view. It would be impossible to understand who Jesus was, without understanding who he was promised to be. The whole point of the accounts we have of the messianic character is to not tell us all about Jesus of Nazareth, and give us a detailed life story, but to guide us from the Hebrew Scriptures and prove to us beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is God’s anointed, the Messiah, the Christ.
To most twenty-first century Christians, this sits just fine. But unfortunately most stop at this,and let traditional and orthodox dogma take over and fill-in the blanks as to what it means to be the “Christ”.
As with everything else in the New Testament, would we not expect the (a) “christ” to be defined and rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures and not as a “new” first century idea as so predominately thought? Christ is not a name, it is a title. It comes from the Greek word christos, which is the equivalent to the Hebrew word mashiach (messiah). This simply means “anointed one”. There are many individuals who carry this title. What makes this one so special? In twenty-first century Christianity, we think we know the answers; I thought so too. The Kings of Israel were also “messiahs”.
Jesus is called the “King”. What does this mean, and where do we find our definition? Do we define it by our understanding of what a “king” means? Do we spiritualize and say, “he is the king of our hearts”, or do we go back and define it as a “king of Israel” has been defined. What did this mean to those who penned it, and those who heard it?
Jesus was called the “son of God”. He is not the first to be called this, not even the second, or third. Where do we find definition for why he is called this? Do we search for the Scripture’s definition and usage or do we merely subscribe ourselves to how our doctrine articulates? Most just don’t care that much, and would rather defend blindly what they have been taught to think.
Jesus also calls himself “son of man”. He is not the first to carry this title, nor the second. This title is drenched with prophetic implications as to not only his claims, but also the prototypes revealed therein.
Jesus is called “son of David”. What does this mean to us? Being of the lineage of David was not that uncommon in Jesus’ day; so what is the significance, and is it pertinent to Jesus’ claim to the throne? Why was the cry of a blind beggar tantamount to a declaration of faith in Jesus as the promised “anointed one” of Israel? Why don’t most of us know? Should this not give us reason to wonder why we know so little about the one whom we claim to defend and follow so adamantly? It has to do with the prophet’s declaration and the covenant of God to David. It is found all through the prophets. It is the unanimous message from the many voices that must be used as a background for Jesus to be “son of David”.
Paul claims he is the second Adam. Where does Paul get this, and what is the significance? Paul is not making it up. We miss the fact that Paul was a Hebrew. He was a Pharisee (of which he never recanted by the way), he thought like a Hebrew, wrote like a Hebrew, he spoke (like a) Hebrew. He had the Hebrew Bible memorized (in the tradition of his order). Do you think he knew the Hebrew Scriptures? You better believe he did. So maybe the answer lies there? It’s always “In the Text”.
Jesus’ person has been extracted and interpreted out of his context, and away from the titles that were given to tell part of the story. Naturally if we speak of a King, we will speak of “homage paid” to the king. When a “king” is not placed in his proper context we then say things along the lines of “Jesus being worshipped proves he was the God of Israel.” How do we figure this? It does no such thing. We assume this because we don’t know that “kings of Israel” are given worship as well. We often take the words of Jesus when he said, “you will worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” as though Jesus meant, “I am the Lord your God, worship me only”. This is an utter departure from the record and is not able to be supported. Then of course, we have the Hebrews 1:6 passage which is a quotation from the book of Psalms. The Lord commands, “Worship him all you gods (elohim)” (Ps. 97:7). To whom is YHVH (God) speaking, and about whom? What does Psalm 110:1 as the most frequently quoted passage in the NT mean? Does this have any bearing on “son of David” and “king of Israel”?
What does “worship” mean in these contexts? What does it mean in 1 Chron. 29:20 when it records, “Then David said to all the assembly, "Now bless the LORD [YHVH] your God." And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage [worshipped] to the LORD [YHVH] and to the king”? David was worshipped along side of the God of Israel? Didn’t they know they were blaspheming? The definition of worship comes out of the context in which it is used. Nothing is ever to be worshipped in place of YHVH, but there are those who receive worship on His behalf. There are those receiving “worship” along side of Him and those who receive “worship” “praise” for what they accomplished as well.
The word worship in Hebrew is shachah. It is used roughly 170 times and only about half of the time is the word used for God being worshipped as God. We don’t observe this, and most don’t speak about it because it is hidden in the translation. The translators use the word(s) “revere”, “reverence” “bow down” instead when worship is given men of esteem or angels, and save “worship” when attributed to God. This is making a distinction that the original text does not. It is then used to garner support that no one but God is worshipped, thus making Jesus “God”.
In Gen. 19:1 we find that Lot “worshipped” the two strangers that entered Sodom. In the context, Lot did not know they were more than mere men. Abraham “worshipped” certain leaders of the land where he dwelt (Gen 23:7). Jacob “worshipped” his brother Esau (Gen 33:3). Joseph’s brothers “worshipped” him as well (Gen 43:26). Moses “worshipped” his father-in-law (Ex. 18:7). Ruth worshipped Boaz (Ruth 2:10). David “worshipped Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:41), David “worshipped” King Saul (1 Sam 24:8), Mephibosheth prostrated himself and “worshipped” David. The criminalized David was “worshipped” by Abigail (1 Sam. 25:23, 41). There are many more that could be cited in the text. Because of translator’s choices, the false impression has been made, outside of scripture that men never receive(d) worship.
The Greek word proskyneo (worship) makes an important connection because in the Septuagint, we can observe that these passages (listed above - and many others) using this word for worship which proves that the word is not reserved for Jesus or God. In Rev. 3:9 for example it says of the saints, “I will make them come and bow down (proskyneo- worship) at your feet”. The same holds true in the OT and the NT.
Jesus cannot be extracted from the titles he and others had for him. These titles that have deep roots in the Hebrew Scriptures give the definition that Christianity has long forgotten. We run into trouble with our theories and theologies because we fail to see Jesus as a King of Israel. We view him as a “spiritual” savior (which he is) and leave it at that. We spiritualize everything else away that has major implications and meaning as to why Jesus is who he is.
Jesus has been interpreted in many different ways in many different times. It is obvious that man is prone to “creating a god in our own image”. Jesus takes on the “image” of the culture in which he is interpreted. This is not the “anointed one” of the pages of Scripture. 
When Jesus asked, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is", Peter replied, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matt16:13-17) There are many things about Jesus on which people disagree. There have been many battles fought, blood spilled, people shunned and excommunicated because of differing opinions about Jesus of Nazareth. Sadly, those who have claimed to follow him have neglected his message. They disprove their loyalty to the one they try to uphold. Jesus commanded, “…love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). What is it that sets us apart as followers of God’s anointed King of Israel? Our doctrine, or proper “Christology”? If so, whose perspective is correct?

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