Worship in Matthew’s gospel.
Matthew is the only gospel writer who gives Jesus the title Emmanuel – God with us. A provocative statement for his Jewish audience.
The reason it is provocative is shown in Jesus response to Satan in the final temptation. The climax is Satan asking Jesus to worship him, the clear reply is Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. What every good Jew would believe. Hence the provocation of saying Jesus is God with us.
This theme is developed with Jesus being worshiped, sometimes very clearly but also by people kneeling before him in act of worship. The fact that Jesus is worshiped is significant, but so also is the breadth of people who worship him. Both Jews and Gentiles, and a full cross section of society – wise men 2v2,11; a leper seeking healing (8:2), a ruler of the synagogue (9:18), the Canaanite woman (15:25), the mother of James and John (20:20), the two Marys who first encounter the risen Lord (28:9), and the disciples at the resurrection appearance on a mountain in Galilee (28:17).
Matthew wants us to know that Jesus is worthy of our worship, worthy of everyone’s worship whatever background we come from.
Amen to that!
Written by Tony Thompson