bonar crump

bonar crump
husband - father - reader - runner - picker - grinner - lover - sinner

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why Worship Jesus?

I’ve really been ruminating on something for a couple weeks now that is close to becoming an obsession. Plainly stated it is this: Where in scripture does Jesus direct us to worship Him?

I’ve often thought about why, in John 7, Jesus didn’t perform a miracle. He’s at the temple, rumors are swirling among the crowd about this man that’s been stirring up trouble amongst the religious folk, and, finaly, as Jesus gets up to teach, he addresses the folks about who he is and tries to put the rumors to rest. If he’s the Son of God then why doesn’t he call angels down to hoist him above the crowd to do his teachings? If Jesus is who he says he is then why not, with a ready crowd at hand, amaze them with a spectacular feat of supernatural activity to prove to these people and to generations to come that he is indeed the Messiah they’ve been looking for? I just don’t get it…I’ve always thought he missed his opportunity with that one. As Jesus’s publicist and PR director, I would have staged an elaborate affair in that moment complete with angels, trumpets, brilliant lighting, and possibly an earthquake thrown in for good measure. He blew it!

All my life as a protestant evangelical I’ve been guided to worship Jesus. I’ve sung songs about “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…There’s just something about that name…” I’ve knelt at the foot of decorative crosses, both big and small, meant to represent the death of Christ for our sins. I’ve read books upon books about the best ways to honor Jesus and the sacrifices he made on our behalf. I’ve gone to foreign countries with the primary intent to introduce, clarify, and present Jesus to financially less fortunate people than myself. I’ve listened to pastors, teachers, laypeople, scholars, professors, and friends profess undying gratefulness to Jesus through prayer, fasting, and lives lived with a keen eye toward avoidance of sin and wrongful lifestyles. It all seems very reverent. It all seems very well-intentioned. It all seems quite holy.

Let me repeat my question I’m becoming obsessed with: Where in scripture does Jesus direct us to worship Him?

I can’t find it anywhere. I can find lots and lots of red letters directing us to live lives of love even towards our enemies, but I can’t find any red letters telling me I should worship Jesus. I can infer this meaning by connecting the dots but Jesus seems to have had a tendency to be quite direct about the simple ways in which we should function and facilitate our love for God and others…why not be direct, candid, and forthcoming about worshipping himself if that had been a primary concern for us?

What if the teachings of Jesus are more important than the person of Jesus? What if the images of Jesus, icons representing Jesus, and songs sung in praise of Jesus weren’t all that important? What if, instead, it’s the instructions of Jesus that are to be held aloft as the banner of our cause? What if our professed love, praise, and worship of Jesus were nothing more than the body paint of an Australian Aborigine…distinctive and undeniably denoting a “christian-like” person, but quite silly and useless if you don’t live in the Outback?

My theory is this: As we busy ourselves with all the ways that we can make ourselves holy, righteous, and blameless via the worship, reverence, and praise of the person of Jesus that in a very very very devious way we are ultimately blinded to the fact that we’re not living in the Outback. That we are made impotent by our overwhelming well-intentioned desire to honor the person we call Jesus…to know him better…to walk with him longer…to have a deeper more sophisticated relationship with him via workshops, prayer, and study.

I would love to hear some people’s take on this subject…

Series--> part 2--part 3--part 4--part 5