“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: ‘People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.’”
Acts 17:22-23 (NIV)
We live in a world where people worship things—what our hearts desire, we must have! People also worship celebrities—ironically, these are normally people who can’t do anything to notably improve our lives.
Christians proclaim that, in this confusion of faith and spirituality, there is one who is worthy of our worship: “Jesus Who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34). Jesus has influence far beyond any celebrity, politician or ruler on this Earth.
We could consider the power that the resurrected Jesus has today; the power shown once to his disciples while praying on a mountain: “as he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:29). This is the appearance of Jesus today, the Resplendent One (see Revelation 1:12-18). In Matthew 11:27 Jesus says, “All things have been committed to me by my Father.” There is nothing in this world beyond Jesus’ authority and influence.
This power is not something that Jesus keeps to himself. He offers this power to bring change in our lives today: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Real rest. Not just the satisfaction of owning the latest gadget, which is far too quickly superseded. Jesus offers something far deeper, far more meaningful than that. Something more substantial than just following the latest trends set by our favourite celebrities. Our gadgets and our celebrities may have the ‘touch of glamour’, but none have the glory of Jesus.
The Resplendent One desires to shine his glory into our troubled hearts and minds: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30). Jesus invites us to take him on board, to trust in Him as the true Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
It is in our lives, in our actions, that we demonstrate what we really worship in our hearts. So in praise, in our reality, let us worship the Resplendent One.
Please Father, help us to worship your Son in Spirit and in truth. We ask this In Jesus’ holy name.
Study by John Merchant, Nottingham Grace Communion
See more studies at http://www.daybyday.org.uk/