The Greek word for “worship” is proskyneō and it is translated as “to kiss, to lower oneself in humility or reverence, to adore, to surrender completely to another”.
So, when Jesus let go of His equality with God [see Phil. 2] and humbled Himself and took on the form of a servant, and became nothing, He was doing exactly what anyone does when they worship something.
- Jesus “lowered himself in humility”
- Jesus became a servant to mankind.
- Jesus adored us and gave himself up for us.
- Jesus looked upon us and loved us.
- Jesus completely surrendered his life to us.
- Jesus placed his life, and safety in the hands of his earthly parents.
- Jesus gave us power over himself, even to the point of abusing him and putting him to death.
Jesus, in essence, went from being the One who was worshiped night and day by the cherubim of heaven to become a servant who washed the feet of his own disciples.
In his own words, Jesus declares that He did not come to be served – as a God should expect to be – but that He came to serve us. [See Mark 10:45]
Make no mistake: This was an act of worship.
Now, it is quite normal for us to think of God as someone that we should worship. We understand that God is God and that we are not. So, we naturally apply the term “worship” whenever we think of how we interact with God.
Today, worship is a multi-million-dollar industry. Record labels, artists, songwriters, conferences and even workshops are all devoted to worship. Usually, this worship is in the form of music, but scripturally-speaking, worship is really more about the way we live our lives in relationship to God.
In Romans 12, for example, Paul tells us that we should offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice and that this is holy and pleasing to God; calling it “our true and proper act of worship.”
Nothing about singing songs there; Simply laying our lives down at His feet in adoration and complete surrender.
In other words, when we give up our lives for Christ, this is what worship looks like.
Just the same way that Jesus gave Himself up for us, as Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:25, we should also give up our lives for Him, and for one another.
See, Jesus showed us what worship really looks like. When He stepped down from the throne and humbled Himself and became a servant to us, He was demonstrating to the entire Universe what worship really is.
So, on that basis, and by following His astounding example, we should also worship Him by giving up our lives as living sacrifices.
This is what honors God. This is what gives Him joy. When we understand that His love for us compelled Him to kneel down and serve us, and yes, to worship us with an absolute adoration that drove Him to the cross and exploded from the grave in victory, how else can we respond?
How can you not love a God who gave Himself up for you?
How can you not serve a God who first served you?
How can you not worship a God who would lay everything down and worship you until it killed Him?
There is no one like our God.
Let us worship.
Note: Special Thanks to Jordan Hathcock for inspiring this blog post.
Keith Giles is the author of several books, including “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”. He is the co-host of “The Heretic Happy Hour” podcast and lives in Orange, California with his wife and sons.