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Seek His presence in obedience

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | October 10, 2023 | Matthew 28:16-17

KEY VERSE:

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

"Eleven disciples," a number with a sombre undertone, especially with one having met a tragic end by his own hands. The significance of eleven paled in comparison to the sacred twelve, a number deeply rooted in the history of God's people. Now, with only eleven remaining, it served as a stark reminder of their vulnerability without the presence of Jesus. Despite the triumph of Jesus, their number reflected the fragility of their faith in his absence.


However, their unwavering obedience to Jesus' instructions shone through amidst this fragility. They ascended the mountain as directed by Jesus, fulfilling his commands. When they encountered Jesus, they instinctively worshipped Him. Yet, even with the resurrection appearances and the testimonies of those who had witnessed Him, doubt lingered. The reality of Jesus' resurrection was challenging to grasp after all they had endured—it almost seemed too good to be true. But the turnaround made by this wounded and incomplete group of eleven failures testifies that their encounters with Jesus after his resurrection changed them forever. Jesus' resurrection and command gave them a sense of purpose, certainty, hope, and destiny that they had not enjoyed even before the cross. And now, they could trust He would go with them. Given His triumph over death, it's only fitting to worship Jesus as our primary response.

By worshipping Jesus, we can rediscover our purpose and find hope. He is not only the object of our worship but also our Lord who accompanies us on our journey. Through obedience to His divine instructions, we can experience His presence. Obedience brings blessings. The disciples were present at the appointed place and witnessed the appearance of the Lord Jesus. They journeyed far to behold this sight. Upon seeing Him, they were moved to worship. Those who encounter the Risen Lord with faith are called to prostrate themselves in worship. Jesus is worthy of all honour and glory.

FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE

We must learn to obey Christ’s commands and not object to them – not kick against His best for our lives – even when it seems unusual. Those who desire to keep up their fellowship with Christ must go where He appoints and do what He commands. All of God’s commandments are for our good and His glory, and Jesus sends forth showers of blessings as we seek His presence in obedience.


PRAYER

Dear God, we come before you today with hearts full of gratitude for your presence in our lives. We are reminded by your Word of the importance of seeking your presence through obedience. May you grant us the wisdom and strength to follow your will obediently in all aspects of our lives. May we walk in obedience to your Word, not out of duty, but out of a deep desire to be in your presence. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ___ DAILY word study: WORSHIPPED The Word "Worshipped" is translated from the following Greek word: "προσεκύνησαν" (prosekynēsan). This is derived from "pros" (towards) and "kynēo" (to kiss). It denotes an act of profound reverence, often involving prostration or bowing down.


The Greek word "prosekynēsan" is used throughout the New Testament to describe acts of worship, particularly directed towards God or Jesus:

  • Worship of Jesus: It is frequently used to describe people bowing down or prostrating themselves before Jesus, recognizing Him as Lord (Matthew 2:2, 8, 14:33).

  • Worship of God: The term is also used in broader contexts of worship, often directed towards God (Matthew 4:10, John 4:23).

  • Revelation of Worship in Heaven: In the book of Revelation, this term is used to describe heavenly worship scenes, indicating the universal and eternal nature of worship (Revelation 4:10, 5:14, 7:11).

In Matthew 28:17, the disciples' act of worship is a response to encountering the risen Jesus. However, the mention of doubt among some emphasizes the complex emotions and varied responses to this profound event. From this verse, we learn about:

  1. Recognition of Divinity: The act of worship signifies the disciples' recognition of the divinity of Jesus. Their prostration is an acknowledgement that Jesus is not merely a teacher or a prophet but the risen Lord.

  2. Coexistence of Doubt: The mention of doubt adds a layer of humanity to the narrative. It acknowledges that encountering the resurrected Christ was an extraordinary and challenging experience, prompting a range of emotional responses.

  3. Transformation Through Worship: Despite the doubt, the disciples worshipped. This suggests that worship, in this context, becomes a transformative act. It aligns the worshiper with a higher reality, even in the midst of uncertainty.

Contemplating the word "worshipped" invites us to explore the profound nature of encounters with the risen Christ. It challenges us to approach moments of doubt with an openness to transformative worship, recognizing that bowing before the Lord has the power to reshape our understanding and align our hearts with divine truth.


Reflections: How does worship serve as a transformative practice, aligning your heart with the reality of Jesus' divinity and lordship?




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