It’s a New Season to Give God Praise, So Let’s Worship Together!

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In John 12: 20-22, there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. This very familiar passage is one of my favorites because it tells the story of those who are looking to worship and then reveals the importance of worship.

I truly believe there are specific times in a believer’s life where he or she is invited to meet others who are hungry and are looking to meet Jesus. Most believers who are already following him oftentimes forget how desirable he is. It is in these fresh encounters that you and I can be reminded we have a savior worth meeting, worth seeking, worth touching and worth getting next too. In every area of our lives, we can’t forget that our purpose and our calling is to seek out and worship the one who has made all things possible.

According to the passage above, it’s the day after the great celebration and Jesus has just completed his triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. The Passover feast is underway and the Lamb of God who is to be slain for the sins of the world is making his way to the altar! The crowds were cheering because they saw him conquer death in Bethany by raising Lazarus. The Old Testament Prophet Zachariah had foreseen the event hundreds of years earlier and prophesied Jesus would come riding on a donkey into the city, and that the people would cry out, “Hosanna-Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

It was good news to see Jesus coming into the city. It was in his arriving that we discovered God was on the move, because Jesus was fulfilling his plan of redemption. The verse says, “Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.” [1]

Here we see just how universal this worship gathering was and how far its impact spread across the gentile world. Greeks from outside the region had migrated with those Jewish worshippers coming back home for this yearly celebration of the Passover feast. However, as they travelled they were not like most Greeks, or even some Greeks, these were “certain Greeks.” They were Greeks of distinction, Greeks of another sort that would make the archives of Scripture. These Greeks were head and shoulders above others. Real Greeks, not Greek-speaking Jews (Hellenists, Acts 6:1), but Greeks like those in Antioch (Acts 11:20) [2].

Their culture had many gods, for their culture gave the world Greek mythology, the study and plurality of ancient gods. They were also known for seeking wisdom and being desirous of new philosophies, yet they came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus to worship him. They came with purpose in their hearts. The phrase in this verse says, “those who came up to worship at the feast.” [3] This statement is a purpose clause, it denotes a reason for doing what they were doing. I believe the Gospel of John wants you to know they were not just there, they were not just haphazardly following the crowd, they were on a mission and their mission was to worship.

The word worship [proskuneō] is the Greek verb to kiss the hand in reverence, to bow the knee in reverence and worship. (It’s what my dog Lucy used to do to me when I entered the house.) This is what they came to do to Jesus. They came to say thank you, they came to give reverence and they came to say how much they loved God. This was authentic worship.

I mentioned my dog Lucy. She was a special member of the family. Out of all the Wilsons, Lucy and I had a special relationship: I was her master and she was my pet. Every day when I would come home, Lucy would meet me on the back stairs. As I climbed the stairwell, she would lay prostrate wagging her tail and bowing her head. It was my cue to gently rub her and say I see you, and after rubbing her head, she would instantly kiss my hand repeatedly until I removed it from her reach. It was worship. I was grateful, and she was thankful for all that I had done for her. Lucy taught me how precious it is to be loved by God, and how blessed I am to have a master who cares for my every need. In worship I do for God what Lucy would do for me. (Praise and thank him for who he is, and what he has done for me.) This semester, join me as we worship the one who is worthy of all our praise.

[1] NKJV, New King James Version, The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson, Nashville TN 1994
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid, John 12:20-22