The Reason for Worship
Consider what Mary was hearing from Gabriel in Luke 1:31—“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” This was the greatest news the world would ever hear, and it was certainly the most important news Mary had ever been given. But if we put ourselves into her shoes we can understand why her response was not peaceful or joyful. Mary likely felt a good measure of fear as she asked, “How shall this be?” (v. 34).
Often when God is working in our lives, we won’t understand what’s going on or how He’s about to work. Therefore His ways can seem troubling. But just as Joseph had a choice, so did Mary when faced with a troubling time: to trust herself or to trust God. As she listened to the angel, Mary heard some things about Christ that would calm her fear and give her reason to worship.
A. Because of Christ’s presence.
The angel told Mary that the baby’s name was to be Jesus, which means “He will save.” I love the name of Jesus! It tells us who He is. Consider just a few of he characteristics of His name.
His name is easy. The Bible gives many names that are hard to pronounce and even harder to remember. How many people named Tilgathpilneser (1 Chronicles) or Maher shala hash bad (Isaiah) have you heard of? The name of Jesus is simple and memorable. Even those who hate the name of Jesus know it.
His name is esteemed. Jesus’ name and His work are known throughout the world. And Paul wrote that one day all will bow at the name of Jesus. In Philippians 2:9-11, the Bible says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
His name is enduring. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, Scripture declares the name of Jesus, which existed in eternity past and will continue forever. We read in Revelation 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
His name is exclusive. The name of Jesus is wonderful and more special than any other name because it is only through Jesus that we find salvation. Acts 4:12—“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
The name of Jesus is one we should love, protect, and exalt. Although we live in a society that treats His name carelessly as a curse word and takes offence when Christians pray in Jesus’ name, we worship when we hear the name of Jesus—even as Mary did as she heard the news of this wonderful name.
B. Because of Christ’s perfection.
Mary’s fears were calmed as she was told more about this Gift from God to the world. The Bible says in Luke 1:32-33—“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
When we consider Christ’s perfection, we are reminded first of His nature—
He is God. Notice John 1:14—“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The Word spoken of in this verse is Jesus, the eternally pre-existent Son of God. Genesis 1:1—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” John 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
He is fully God. Many people will acknowledge that Christ was a good person, or a great teacher, and some will go as far as to claim He was a powerful prophet. But the virgin birth and the way Christ came into this world testify that Jesus is much more than a teacher or prophet. He is God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, and fully God. The Bible says in Colossians 2:9—“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
He is called God. We may not fully understand the doctrine of the Trinity while we are on this side of heaven, but all we need to know is that in the Scriptures Jesus is called God, and we therefore believe He is. Hebrews 1:6-8—“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
Jesus Christ is God. To deny His name is to deny His deity. Also, when Christ came to earth, He was born of the house and lineage of David. The last half of verse 32 says, “the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Jesus’ nation was Israel, His tribe was Judah, and His family was of the house of David.
Matthew 1:1 says—“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” As one from the line of David, Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies made to David concerning the coming of an eternal kingdom. Along these lines, 2 Samuel 7:12-13 reads—“And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”
It’s true that Jesus did not establish an earthly kingdom. Those who should have bowed the knee rejected Him during His first coming. John 1:1 reminds us—“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” However, Revelation 19:16 is about the revealing of Jesus Christ as the King of kings. Those of us who know Jesus as Saviour are not waiting for Christ’s return to worship Him. We worship every day, and we enjoy the Christmas season to give focus on worshiping Him and thanking Him for coming to save us.
“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).