7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. 9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” 12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
I think if Jesus were still on Earth in human form today, He would be quite upset with how much we worship Him. Throughout His ministry, Jesus continually encouraged people to give glory to God the Father, not the Himself. Yes, He proclaimed that He was the Son of Man and the Son of God (fulfilling prophecy and revealing that He was the Messiah), but He didn’t come to be served, He came to serve. In Matthew 20, the mother of the sons of Zebedee (the disciples James and John) asked for Jesus to place them at the right and left hand sides of His throne in heaven. Jesus rebuked the woman by making it clear that it isn’t His decision and it shouldn’t be their focus to have places of honor:
[quote]25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [/quote]
We too often look at Jesus God instead of an example. We look at Him as deity instead of an empowering force in our lives. This isn’t to say He isn’t God; it is to say it wasn’t why He came here to be with us. One day, as we read in the scriptures, every knee will bow and confess Him as Lord. He doesn’t need our approval or worship. He asks for our compliance and following of His example. His disciples, who became apostles, would be just as ashamed at how we have created religion out of worshipping Jesus as the Christ. Being the Messiah wasn’t about being worshipped, but creating a direct pathway for us to be in communion with God. Even Jesus’ resurrection, the bible teaches, wasn’t a result of Jesus’ accord, but of God the Father.
I recognize this is very confronting to our religion of Christianity, especially since the majority of it is about worshipping Jesus. I also know that by technicality, worshipping God the Father is similar to worshipping Jesus the Christ, as they are each God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). My point in writing these things is that sometimes we get so caught up in our worship of Jesus in conventional ways, we completely neglect to follow His example. We look at Him as an all-powerful deity and psychologically (whether we recognize it or not) we put a block in our minds that it is impossible to follow in His footsteps. In John 14, Jesus is briefing His disciples just before the time for His crucifixion and He has this discussion with them:
[quote]7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.[/quote]
In following Jesus’ example of abiding in the father and believing that He is the Son of God, they too were able to witness the power of the Holy Spirit and do even more things than He accomplished on earth. It wasn’t of Jesus’ own accord they did these things, but of God the Father. So then why do we worship Jesus more than the Father? Maybe it seems like simple semantics, but it was important enough for Jesus to make the distinction, therefore it should be important for us to make the distinction as well.