Worship According To Jesus…What’s Missing?

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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The word “Worship” is often defined with synonyms like love, adoration, passionate yearning, heartfelt devotion, and so on. Love is what many of us think about when we describe worship. Many of our Worship Songs today reflect this way of thinking. We sing about loving Him, adoring Him, longing for Him, being near Him, and the list goes on.

Singing and declaring our love for God fits the Bible pattern of Davidic style worship. A lot of our modern worship has some biblical basis in the way King David worshiped God when the Ark of the Covenant was in the Tent. It hasn’t always been this way. Beginning in the late 1940’s, a stronger emphasis upon Davidic style worship was re-introduced through the Charismatic-Pentecostal and Latter Rain Movements. Many in this movement believed that this was a fulfillment of both Amos 9:11 and Acts 15:16. Over time, this movement of the New Davidic Worship infiltrated most mainline denominations. As a result, you can walk into many Baptist churches today and you will see people raise their hands, clap, play drums, cymbals, tambourines, guitars, and sometimes even dance. It’s all in the Psalms. While I think it’s great to worship God in the biblical way that King David did, let’s not forget about the one who is called the Word and let’s see how He defined the worship of the Father.

Why Don’t We See More “Worship 101 According To Jesus” Classes?

Quick question before we move on: Why do most Worship Workshops/Conferences seem to emphasize the worship style of King David over the worship style of King Jesus? Where can we sign up for the “Worship 101 According To Jesus” class? Could it be because some may think that something is missing from Christ’s way of worship towards the Father? What is it? Let’s find out.

Personally, I believe Jesus was the greatest worshiper of the Father that ever lived on this planet. Jesus brought forward and taught on the greatest worship passages in the Bible. Jesus said that the Greatest Commands were: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. That is worship! He showed us how to do it. Jesus showed us both how to live, and how to love the Father. He would go away to spend time with the Father. He taught the disciples how to pray by starting with worship saying “Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…” He was in complete harmony with the Father’s will and purposes. The Father was greatly pleased with Jesus. Jesus perfectly worshiped the Father.

The Missing Part

Now, let’s take a look at a very unique passage. How unique is it? It is so unique that it is the only passage of its kind in the entire Bible. Let’s read John 14:28-31, “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave.”

So, what is so unique about this passage? (You might want to sit down first before reading any further). It is the ONLY place in the entire Bible where the greatest worshiper, Jesus, ever gives any kind of verbal indication that He even has love for the Father! He doesn’t even say it directly. There is no record anywhere of Jesus ever stating things like, “I love the Father”, “I adore my Father”, “I love you Lord”, “I love you Father”. Also, you will never find any prophetic passage in the Old Testament where it declares that the Messiah loves the Father. This passage is the closest that Jesus ever comes to verbally declaring his love for the Father. Again, I want you to notice that He doesn’t even say it directly; He says it very indirectly: “So that the world may know that I love the Father…” Does this surprise you like it did me?

How Do We Know?

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Jesus deeply and greatly loved the Father. And yet, you didn’t learn this through reading something where Jesus said “I love the Father”. You probably didn’t sit through a series of classes on “The Ways Jesus Expressed Love To The Father”. And, you obviously didn’t memorize a list of passages that describe Christ’s love for the Father. Friend, ask yourself this question: How did I know that Jesus loved the Father??? Did you memorize John 14:31? Is that where you learned it? Probably not! So why are you and I so very, very certain that Jesus loved the Father???

I believe that there are at least two answers.

1) We know that Jesus loved the Father…not by what He said, but by what He DID! Reader, His actions have spoken to you so clearly and so profoundly about His love for the Father that some of you reading this may have been shocked to learn that there is no written record of Him outright declaring His love for the Father! This is the power of Truth in action. Worship is more about what you do, than what you say. Worship is more about what you bring, than what you sing. Worship is more about the quality of the life that you bring to the worship table, than about the quality of song that you sing at the worship table. If you are “bringing it”, then you need to be “singing it”. Don’t neglect the singing either! Singing it will often remind you to “bring it”. Jesus sang in worship unto the Father. He probably sang Psalm 118 (Matt. 26:30). Not only was Jesus “bringing it” and “singing it”, but He brought it to the table. Jesus made it a habit to go to the synagogue every week (Luke 4:16). Jesus was a man of action, and His actions throughout His life spoke louder than words.

2) If you are a real believer then you deeply KNOW inside that Jesus loved the Father. This “KNOWING” goes beyond the academic knowledge that you obtain through reading.  This “KNOWING” inside of you goes beyond what you have read in the Bible, doesn’t it? (I mean, there’s only one indirect verse). It’s like something that is deeply rooted and embedded inside you, isn’t it? The Bible tells us that the WORLD knows that Jesus loved the Father because Jesus followed the Father’s commands, but Jn. 17 says that you are NOT of this world, are you? Since the Bible doesn’t emphatically tell us over and over that Jesus loved the Father, then how did you know? What makes you so very, very certain of this love? You may be a person who needs facts stated over and over again, but yet you know that this is the truth. So why is this different? What is going on inside you ???

The Bible tells us that the Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. What does that mean? When you received the Spirit, you were filled with love, but that love didn’t come from you, did it? When you became a child of God, the Spirit brought you into the love that the Father and Son share with each other. Whether you realized it or not, the reason you deeply know that Jesus loved the Father is because you have experienced a portion of this love. When you got the Spirit you started loving the Father because the Christ in you loves Him. The Spirit has taught and shown you this love which no man can truly teach you (1 John 2:27). Nobody had to teach you that Jesus loved the Father…the Spirit revealed it to you through what you experienced (…taste and see that the Lord is God. In other words, Experience God!). There are some things that man can’t teach, but can only be revealed by the Spirit. The love of God is one of those things. You can talk about the love of God all day, but until you experience it, you will never really know it. It’s supernatural, it’s real, and it’s alive. He’s alive! Some of you may feel it stirring in you now as you read this. Let me remind you: The Father Loves you, He really loves YOU! (You ought to shout, “Hallelujah!”).

The Spirit wants to continually remind you of this love. But the enemy has fought against this from Day One and wants you to think that you can’t experience this love but just once. The more you experience the deepness of this love, the more you will worship and live effectively like Jesus did. If you will but wait in God’s presence and ask Him to show you more of His love, He will fill you again. The Spirit wants to bear witness with your Spirit AS OFTEN AS NEEDED. Blessed are the poor (needy) in spirit… They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…

In Part 2, we are going to see that the way Jesus worshiped the Father went BEYOND obedience. That’s right! Paul tells us how we can worship God in this manner as well. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, please do so and stay tuned for more as we seek to defrost the windows.

(For speaking engagements, contact defrostingwindows@gmail.com. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others!)

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About defrostingwindows

Husband, Father, Salesman, Veteran, Real Identity: Child of God
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9 Responses to Worship According To Jesus…What’s Missing?

  1. Matt Newell says:

    Dan, I like what you have to say.
    To much attention is taken off of Jesus and His ways.

    • defrostingwindows says:

      It’s really cool, comforting, and challenging to see the ways in which Jesus worshiped the Father. It really blew my mind when I realized that there was only one verse that even came close to talking about His love for the Father. I thought for sure that there had to be several verses that told of Jesus’ love for the Father. I’m really excited about sharing Part 2 on this subject. It’s going to take a week or two to put it together.

  2. Elmo Shangnaster says:

    I’ve heard you mention this passage before, and found it surprising then. Jesus knew that worship is best understood by what’s done rather than what’s said.

    As I consider this again what strikes me is how the verse before leads into it. “I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me; but that the world may know…” – John 14:30-31a. Matthew Henry’s Commentary has this to say: “Satan has something in us to perplex us with, for we have all sinned; but when he would disturb Christ, he found nothing sinful to help him. The best evidence of our love to the Father is, our doing as he has commanded us.” When it comes to worship, perhaps our “weakest link” to the Father is that satan finds something “sinful to help him” in us.

    As a side note, one thing I never noticed until recently (a truly ‘duh’ moment for me), is when Jesus in John 4:23,24 spoke of those who worship in spirit and truth He was speaking in the plural. I hadn’t taken careful note that when He spoke to the woman at the well He was talking about the spirit among believers, the fellowship of the saints, as true worship. I suppose that goes to your point about obedience as well; being in good fellowship with each other as a demonstration of worship of Christ.

    • defrostingwindows says:

      Elmo, excellent insight as always. I never thought about it in plural terms before either. I’m going to have to really ponder on that. Y0u really should start blogging again!

  3. Amy says:

    When I think of Jesus going to the synagogue every week, in my mind I don’t see him going to a “worship service” as we know it today. I wonder how much of worship is actually confused with emotionalism. Today’s modern day worship service is planned event to manipulate an emotional response. No one needs to be lead into worshiping God. Is that term even biblical? Worship leader? That sure is quite the scary title to me. Today’s modern day worship is show to me. I have always watched other people “worship” and wondered if they had some kind of direct or better connection to God than I did because their hands were in the air and they were blubbering and crying. A lot of it is fake, emotional and boasting. Look at ME and how I love God!! Ugh,, prayer is used in the same way, and Jesus told us to go pray in private… I used to listen to people pray in their very best KJV voice and have the same thoughts… “was that prayer to God or to impress me?”

    • defrostingwindows says:

      My Dad used to pray in the King James English at the supper table. As soon as he was finished, he’d revert to his native northern accent. We kids had a lot of fun with that. I wonder if he proposed to my Mother that way?…

    • Elmo Shangnaster says:

      Amy, I’d recommend a book called “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola, if you haven’t read it already. It follows a vein similar to that which you’ve expressed. In it, Viola essentially dismantles everything about the contemporary institutional church experience. I’d give you one caution, though. Be prepared to have your view and consideration of church shaken to the core. At the end of the book the question becomes, “If not that, then what?” For the answer to that you’ll have to read his follow-up church reconstruction called “Reimagining Church”, but it’s well worth it.

      Essentially, I agree with you, and I’ve been a worship leader at a small church. I never liked that title, by the way, and preferred song leader, which more accurately approached my job description. A saying paraphrased goes , “You can lead a horse to water, and if you can’t make him drink, at least you can salt his oats.” I tried to handle it like that. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn’t. People won’t be led to demonstrate worship if they don’t want.

      On the other hand, I won’t be quick to discount the many whose knowledge and experience of worship has been engaged, developed and enhanced by their church involvement. I know I have. There is some good that comes of it, in spite of the self-imposed limitations. Dan’s article is good for the simple reason he states, “Worship is more about the quality of the life that you bring to the worship table, than about the quality of song that you sing at the worship table.” If our place in heaven depended on our vocal ability, we might end up with a bunch of self-indulgent, ego-centric virtuoso singers. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll live my life for Christ and crow a tune for Jesus.

  4. Amy says:

    Thank you Elmo,,, I have that book from Frank on my dresser, but have not read it yet. There is a whole lot that goes on in the church that is just plain not Biblical and wrong, but no one questions it cuz it’s tradition and She’s the church. I think that some people can help you get closer to the heart of God and they probably would be defined as by today’s standars “worship leaders”.. That, I can certainly appreciate. But all too often the worship leaders become the idols and are the ones being worshiped, everyone gets all starry eyed when someone is gifted with muscal talent. Church isn’t working, and church knows this and now I am watching church try to reinvent herself by actually calling herself names and repackaging her look… it looks so exhausting to me. Church will work when the gospel is back to it’s original simple form and given to the people and man’s sin management (religion) takes a back seat and perhaps just never speaks again. Control and manipulation only produces rebellion and that’s what we have today, a bunch of angry and judgemental Christians that hate themselves cuz they go to church every Sunday and hear about how bad they are. I have no doubt that there are churchs out there that will use no manipulative practices to get the people to tithe, serve, worship or whatever, but haven’t seen it yet. One day I was driving, looking for a church and all of a sudden I just saw them as boxes and haven’t went back since. I can’t wait to read Frank’s book and I will certainly read the other one too. I turned off the TV a little over two years ago and have just dove into some serious research about church and everything. It’s been great! Thank you!

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