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Four Living Creatures 23

Holding Golden Bowls

Jesus blessing the peopleDuring the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus asserted his deity when he said to Satan in Matthew 4.10, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" This is possibly derived from a verse in Deuteronomy 6.13, "Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name." After Jesus had miraculously calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee we read in Matthew 14.33, "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'" After his resurrection as recorded in Matthew 28.9, "Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him." These are three independent occasions when Jesus was worshipped.

Jesus' Teaching

Wall Painting of Four Living CreaturesJesus' teaching too affirmed his equality with the Father. He insisted in John 5.23, "That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews 1.6 asserts the same truth, "Again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." In the Heavenly realm in Revelation 5.8-11 we read of Jesus, "The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people. And they sang a new song, saying, 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language, and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign [some manuscripts "they reign"] on the earth.'"

Four Evangelists

Interestingly, the Third Century saint Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 AD) identifies the four living creatures in his writings as the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He was also remembered as the patron saint of horses due in part no doubt to the tradition that he was dragged to his death by wild horses!✞

"Worship Honor Jesus"
©1990 - 2017
by Ron Meacock

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