The Bible never says explicitly whom Jesus worshiped, but it does say that Jesus glorified God (John 17:1, 4) which is very closely related to worship. Indeed, as God himself, Jesus deserves our worship (see Matthew 2:2; John 20:28).
No-one worships a religion
In general, no-one worships a religion, rather a religion teaches who we should worship. For example, Muslims don’t worship Islam but Allah of whom Islam teaches. In the same way, Jesus didn’t worship a religion, but rather the eternal God. Let’s explore this a bit further.
Jesus was born a Jew
Jesus was born a Jew (Matthew 1:1-17; Galatians 4:4; John 4:22), and as such, from a perspective of Jesus’ humanity, related to God through the law which Moses gave in the Old Testament (Galatians 4:4). To that extent, He didn’t worship Judaism, but He worshiped the God of Judaism – the God who revealed himself at the Exodus as “I AM” or “Yahweh” (generally written in English Bibles as “The LORD”) (Exodus 3:14).
All through the Old Testament God was revealing his plans and purposes to make a new people for himself, to bring them into a land under his rule and authority (Genesis 12:1-3). However, much of Israel’s actual experience was what the New Testament calls a “shadow,” (cf. Hebrews 8:5) that is, it was not the final reality of what God was going to do, but rather a picture, a bit like a model, if you like. Ultimately, the Old Testament ends looking forward to the reality of all that God had promised his people (Hebrews 11:39-40). For example, Hebrews 11:16 says that Abraham and Sarah were looking forward not to the physical land of Israel, but to “a better country – a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16)
Fulfillment in the New Testament
Therefore, when the New Testament begins, as readers we should have a great sense of expectation, of expecting to see the fulfillment of all that God had promised. And that’s exactly what we see. If you read Matthew’s gospel, you’ll be struck at how frequently he used the word “fulfill” or “fulfilled” (Matthew 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 3:15; 4:14; 5:17; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14, 35; 21:4; 26:54, 56; 27:9). Jesus came to fulfill all that God had promised in the Old Testament (2 Corinthians 1:20).
As well as Jesus fulfilling all God’s plans, He also reveals God to us more fully than He was known in the ages past in the Old Testament. For example, John writes:
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only [i.e. Jesus], who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:17-18).
Similarly, the author of Hebrews says:
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In other words, Jesus both reveals God to us more fully than He was known in the Old Testament, and He also fulfills all God’s plans and promises contained in the Old Testament.
Listen and follow Jesus Christ
Therefore, today, we must listen to and follow Jesus Christ, by whom we know God more fully. It is insufficient to be a Jew and read the Old Testament alone. If we want to know God as He has finally and more fully revealed himself, we must listen to and follow Jesus. In conclusion, Jesus glories his Father, Yahweh/I AM, and if we want to worship God, we must do so by listening to and following Jesus Christ.
What did you learn from the Bible this week?