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how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

Larry Hurtado briefly on the question of whether Jesus demanded to be worshipped

Larry Hurtado has a clear and concise summary statement of his view regarding the emergence of what he calls “Jesus devotion”. He does not think that Jesus himself demanded to be worshipped, which is not quite the same as saying that Jesus did not claim to be God or act as though he thought he were God, but it’s close. Rather, the early church directed devotion towards Jesus as soon as it became apparent that God had exalted him to a position of glory and power at his right hand.

Essentially, I contend that a critical sifting of the evidence (in the NT Gospels) yields the conclusion that Jesus was treated with the sort of reverence that connoted respect for a teacher or prophet or holy man, especially by those who approached him for healing or exorcism, or for respectful dialogue over religious matters. But there is no indication that Jesus was given the sorts or level of devotion that so quickly erupted among early circles of Jesus-believers soon after his crucifixion. Nor is there evidence that Jesus demanded recognition as “divine” or demanded that he be given worship. We should not expect this of a devout Jew of his time, and the evidence conforms to this expectation.

So, one might ask, if Jesus never demanded such reverence, what is the justification for it? Why did early Jesus-believers practice such devotion to Jesus? The answer seems to be that they held the conviction that God had exalted Jesus to an exceptional place of heavenly glory (e.g., Acts 2:36; 1 Peter 1:21), had enthroned Jesus as universal ruler (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:20-28), had declared him to be “the son of God” (e.g., Rom 1:3-4), had given Jesus to share in the divine “name” (e.g., Philippians 2:9-11), and now required that Jesus be reverenced in an unprecedented manner (e.g., John 5:23). Indeed, these early believers appear to have felt that to refuse to give Jesus the devotion reflected in the early Christian sources would be to disobey God.

In short, the reason for treating Jesus as so central in their devotional practice was fundamentally theo-centric: God required it.

That last statement is an interesting one, but if Hurtado is saying that by exalting Jesus in this way God has demanded that people worship him, he may be saying too much.

There is clearly a requirement that both Jews and Gentiles, in different ways, should accept or confess that the authority to judge and save has been given to the Jesus who was crucified by the rulers in Jerusalem and raised from the dead. But this is consistently a matter of eschatology rather than of theology or worship or divine identity. The response could perhaps be construed as devotion in some looser sense, but that would still, I think, miss the point. What God appears actually to have required is, first, belief that he really has done this and, secondly, repentance “in the name of Jesus Christ”. I’m not sure I see where—for example, in Peter’s speeches in Acts—a demand that Jesus be worshipped is formulated on the basis of his exaltation.

Even in Philippians 2:9-11 the climax to the story of Jesus’ faithfulness and vindication is that the nations will confess that he is Lord, “to the glory of God the Father”, which then has immediate eschatological, rather than, say, ontological, implications: “work out your own salvation… holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ…” (Phil. 2:12, 16).

So the emphasis on what God has done in all this is absolutely right. But I would suggest that the argument about devotion or worship has, nevertheless, been determined by later christological concerns. Hurtado’s emphasis on the practice of devotion is a good way of retrojecting these concerns into the immediate historical circumstances of the early church, but I am not persuaded that it is the right category for making sense of how the first believers responded to the “fact” of Jesus’ exaltation.

Comments

Andrew,

I have watched for several years now as you have systematically argued away the reality of Jesus ontological divinity in first one section of Scripture and then another.

I also know from past experience that it is not likely to do one bit of good to bring up any specific Scriptures that I believe show beyond doubt that He is indeed the second person of the Trinity–eternally God from before the foundation of the world.

But I want to state once and for all that you have not convinced me. I see Him being spoken of as ontologially God from one end of the Bible to the other and profoundly so in many New Testament passages. I just read one of those passages earlier this a.m, and the fact of who He is jumped off the page and into my heart once again.

I can only echo what Thomas said after seeing the risen Lord and being convinced of the fact that He was indeed raised from the dead in the flesh. Thomas’ statement was, “My Lord and my God.” That is the cry of my heart and the confession I will stand on. So help me God.

It’s nice to know you’re still around, at least. This post only addresses the particular argument that Hurtado puts forward, which has to do with the perceived link between the narrative of exaltation and the practice of worship or devotion. I’m just not sure it’s there. But apart from that, I am not trying to disprove or discount the divinity of Jesus. Some texts affirm the divinity of Jesus or something like. Other texts are often taken to affirm the divinity of Jesus but actually seem to be saying something else. I am simply interested in recovering what that “something else” is.

The trouble is Andrew, I have never seen you discuss a single text that you say affirms His deity. Everyone that you have discussed you say doesn’t show Him to be ontologically deity or you outright say that it shows something else. And I have read your disucssions on many passages.

Maybe I have missed something you have said recently. But I remember you stating at one point that the only text where the NT showed Him to be God was the Thomas quote that I spoke of above. And then you said that we can’t use that isolated text to form our whole theology of who He is. Am I remembering correctly?

And have I missed some place where you have discussed verses that show Him to be deity?

I think my position at the moment is roughly that the identification of Jesus with divine wisdom in the New Testament at least provided the basis for the unambiguous conclusion reached by the later post-Jewish church that Jesus participated in the ontology of the godhead. But as far as the New Testament is concerned, it seems to me that the relationship between Jesus and the Father is too subtle and too complex (for good and important reasons) to allow us to point to a verse that unambiguously and patently shows him to be “deity”, perhaps with one or two exceptions. The New Testament gives us a difficult post-resurrection narrative that is doing things that are probably more important than affirming the “deity” of Jesus in the sense that it came to be understood. But I’m open to being persuaded otherwise. This is not a dogmatic position.

Could I prevail upon you to annunciate for me what of your positions, if you actually have any, you DO hold with unassailable certainty? Is there such a thing?

I don’t really think that there is any such thing as unassailable certainty—I don’t hold to an epistemology that really allows for it. But practically speaking if I hold to my confession that Jesus died for the sins of his people and that God raised him from the dead and gave him the name which is above every name, etc., to my dying breath, then I think that probably amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Andrew said,

<i>But practically speaking if I hold to my confession that Jesus died for the sins of his people and that God raised him from the dead and gave him the name which is above every name, etc., to my dying breath, then I think that probably amounts to pretty much the same thing.</i>

That sounds like the same confession any Evangelical or protestant Christian would give. However, I know from what you have said in the past that what you mean by that statement may not be at all the same thing most folks would think you were meaning. Again, unless you have changed your mind from what you seemed to be saying in the past.

In the past you have said that the Messiah did not have to be divine but could be a <b>man</b> anointed by God to be the Messiah. And that this Man was then elevated to the position of Lordship by God after His death and resurrection. That is the way you have understood the Scriptures that have been discussed. That is my condensed version of what I have understood you to be saying. I am not trying to mis represent you here in any way, so if I have that wrong in any way, please do clarify.

My main point in saying all that is to make it clear to anyone reading that when you speak of Jesus having died for the sins of His people and being given the name that is above every name, you may not at all be talking about the same things they are when they use those same words. You may not at all be talking about a belief in Jesus as being ontologically God.

This really illustrates why I would so like answers to the questions I asked. Thinking we are talking about the same thing when we are maybe discussing the proverbial apples and oranges is never a helpful thing!

I submit that you, like every other human being ever spawned from father Adam, live every second of your life utterly pickled in unassailable certainty. The God who actually exists would never allow you or I or any other of His image bearing criters any other exscuse inducing option. Please do carry on with your other visitors though. I have too much to do already. I appreciate your time.

…like every other human being ever spawned from father Adam

Now there’s a statement that I know not to be an unassailable certainty. Not everyone was/is spawned from Adam.

Andrew,

Thank you for your reply.

Obviously you are under no obligation to me to answer the question I am about to ask. I know it has been asked before in one way or another and I am wondering where your studies have led you since then.

But in light of your last reply to me, I would really like to know what <b>you</b> personally believe. Have you come to the same unambiguous conclusion to which the post Jewish church came? Do you believe personally that there is basis in the New Testament for you to believe that Jesus is ontologically a part of the Godhead? Is that an affirmation that you personally can make?

Or is “the jury still out” for you in this matter?

I need an edit feature here! I see that I used some poor wording in my question to you. I said, “Do you believe personally that there is basis in the New Testament for you to believe that Jesus is ontologically a part of the Godhead?” As someone kindly pointed out, the Godhead has no parts. So let me just restate my question in this way, “Do you believe personally that there is basis in the New Testament for you to believe that Jesus is ontologically God, an eternal member of the Godhead?”

Cherylu, I think I’ve said something along these lines before. I confess what the New Testament asks me to confess, namely that Jesus died for the sins of his people and that God raised him from the dead, gave him the name which is above every name, etc. There is much more that the New Testament says about Jesus, and I am personally committed to understanding that material as best I can. I have also been baptized into a people that has come to express orthodoxy in ways which, to my mind, do not do justice to the narratives and arguments of the New Testament. In particular, the recent shift in New Testament studies towards what I call a narrative-historical reading has exposed the inadequacy of some theological definitions—and perhaps of the theological method in general. We are in the process of trying to understand and resolve that tension. But that does not alter the fact that I have committed myself through baptism and confession to the life and witness of the people of God in Christ.

I would also stress the point that what I believe is not really the point. That’s not what this site is about. It’s about what the New Testament says, how best to read it. I fully respect the concerns that you have, but it irritates me somewhat that neither you nor Tiribulus have attempted to address the points made either by Hurtado or me in the post. It simply reinforces the impression—fairly or otherwise—that your “faith” is grounded not in the scriptures but in church dogma. Tradition is not to be recklessly discounted, and I’ve said before that I think the church fathers were right to express the relation between Father, Son and Spirit in the way that they did. But tradition should not prevent us from reading the New Testament on its own terms, as a collection of Jewish texts determined by historical parameters.

Hi again Andrew,

I am sorry that I have irritated you. However, I have read enough on this blog to know that going into the points addressed by you in this post was probably not going to get us anywhere. You see one thing, I see something else completely. So do a lot of other folks.

And more to the point at the moment, what a person personally believes IS important. I think it is the rare person indeed that can be perfectly unbiased in their reading and study. Our personal belief systems very often have a huge amount of sway in how we see what we are reading/studying and the conclusions we will come to. We all have our sets of presuppositions. And we can not completely get away from operating within them no matter how hard we try.

Therefore it seems to me that is is not at all unreasonable to ask someone that is teaching what their beliefs and presuppositions are. And I think that in matters of faith/belief that people hold to be of such inportance that they have eternal impact for us, it is not only reasonable to ask such questions, but that it is down right imperative. And Christology is certainly one of those areas.

I hope that at least helps to clarify my thinking on this matter and my consequent actions a bit for you.

And more to the point at the moment, what a person personally believes IS important. I think it is the rare person indeed that can be perfectly unbiased in their reading and study. Our personal belief systems very often have a huge amount of sway in how we see what we are reading/studying and the conclusions we will come to. We all have our sets of presuppositions. And we can not completely get away from operating within them no matter how hard we try.

These are sensible comments. But I wonder if this isn’t actually a good reason for shifting the emphasis away from what we believe to what we confess or what we are concretely and practically committed to.

But I still want to insist that the exegesis is important. I don’t at the moment see the reasons for reaching the conclusion that Hurtado reaches from those texts which speak of the exaltation of Jesus to the right hand of God, etc. There are some very important things that are said in that connection, but is there evidence in the text that this was considered grounds for devotion or worship? Maybe. I would just appreciate it if the defenders of orthodoxy took the time to consider the details. I’m not of a fixed mind on this. I am happy to be persuaded otherwise.

So do you believe that today’s church is wrong in its rather blatant Christocentric worship? Should it be theocentric - especially to the Father?

“today’s church

What does that mean?

And who are you adressing and what on earth are you talking about in relation to the topic at hand with the rest of your comment?

It doesn’t seem an unreasonable question to me—the common orientation of much modern worship towards a particular “image” of Jesus seems to me a departure from the New Testament pattern. But it’s a difficult one issue, and I’m not going to attempt an answer this late in the day. 

Andrew,

I’m just wondering if you saw my questions or if they got missed in the shuffle?

Thanks - it does seem an important issue to me if one is going to be consistent in narrative-historical - eschatological rendering of what has been revealed…

Andrew,

I would like to hear your translation of John 1.

Thanks

Darren

Greg I think you have taken my comment to refer to your in comment discussion. I am addressing Andrew’s observation in his opening blog re “Today’s church” - fair enough. What I mean is that a typical western civilization suburban arminian or calvinistic protestant evangelical church seems to “worship” the Son more than the Father. “Worship” in modern day evangelical circles is directed to Him (the Son) rather than His Father. This does seem to relate to the topic at hand as Andrew hismself has commented below. Greg sorry to upset your feathers. I see that you are strongly Reformed and as such your experince of church may be that of Father centred worship….

My apologies to you Scott. I thought you were a different “Scott” that I had just talked to earlier and who frequents this site. No need to worry about my feathers either LOL!

My/our worship throughout history has been GOD centered. We believe “In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”

Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the subsatnce. None is more or less worthy of alone all worship, adoration, glory and honor.

Dear Mr. Perriman,

It has come to our attention that you have not filled out the Evangelical Bloggers Alliance Acceptable Orthodox Doctrine Questionnaire in sufficient or satisfactory detail. In order for your arguments and ideas to be taken seriously you must fill out this document in total and in detail.

While acknowledging that the internet can be a place of wide open debate and the free exchange of ideas, the EBA prefers to nip any potential heretics in the bud, as it were, and nail down any philosophical, doctrinal or historical contingencies, complexities or vagaries through the use of our loyalty oath, ahem, I mean questionnaire.

Once said document is filled out to our satisfaction you may then precede with any arguments or questions you may have knowing that evangelicals in good standing and of high discernment have approved of your doctrinal stances and will refrain from questioning your motives, purposes and intelligence.

I am afraid refusal to complete said document in a satisfactory fashion may result in comments of an accusatory nature and passive aggressive engagement from those who have the gift of discernment you so clearly lack.

With best regards,

Reginald B. Orthodoxical

Legal Counsel, Evangelical Bloggers Alliance

^^^^Excellent… well put Kevin, oops sorry, “Reginald B. Orthodoxical”. :)

Very good indeed. You sir have here exhibited a command of the language, sharpness of wit and keen sense of sardonic condescension that is truly a thing of beauty to behold. I fancy myself by the grace of God a fellow practitioner of some capability and hence feel that I am uniquely qualified to appreciate your obvious gift. Well said guvnuh. (I actually am being quite serious btw)

However, I’m afraid there is one hemorrhaging canker on this artful piece of yours. A libelous and slanderous obloquy for which you most certainly should be spat upon by all who would gain knowledge of the impious and unholy act. I have NEVER, and I do mean NEVER denigrated another man’s intelligence. A thing for which I would voluntarily submit to being spat upon myself by all who would gain knowledge of the impious and unholy act.

I do not need anybody to be stupid to be wrong. As I have many times said. The more powerful the mind the more potential for truly spectacular and monumental error. Some of the most titanic intellects ever to curse the face of God’s green earth have been 200 proof Christ hating pagans and foaming rabid bible butchering heretics.

I will look forward with eager anticipation to your next offering of smooth and skillful abuse aimed at me and folks like me. Such well crafted loquacity is a rare treat indeed. Maybe I could persuade you to come to my site and further bless me with more of your delicious emergent insults? I’ll start a space just for you and invite friends. I would not want to be guilty of withholding such rich education from my brethren. ( I”m actually being quite serious about that too. Consider yourself invited)

Oh yeah. High discernment is not exactly required here, but I do volunteer to grade your questionnaire myself. An honor reserved only for those of your caliber. :)

Excellent indeed! Brovo. Of course that post, in and of itself, will surely place you into the heretic column worthy of shunning…that is until your mind is adjusted to conform. :)

This sounds awfully close to a letter of investigation written by the Watchtower to police the minds of the membership. But it’s a reality in Evangelical Christianity too. EnCULTuration is much more pervasive than we think.

Nice try. You people would be pure entertainment if you weren’t so heartbreaking.

Tribulus, forgive me for saying this. You’ve taken a very sarcastic, scathing and indeed supercilious tone in your comments, but you haven’t addressed one point of substance relating to the actual post. I am open to being persuaded that what I write is wrong or misguided, but so far all you have done is reinforce my prejudice against unthinking, unbiblial Reformed theology.

To anyone interested

When Thomas says:

My Lord My God

It’s the same as we say My mother, My Father

Thomas recognises Jesus is Lord and says My God because he realises God has sent Jesus. Thomas does not mean to say to Jesus: My God - he exlaims, the same as we still do today. Mother, My God, now I understand…… Comprehension can go in may directions. If we read it in context, there is only one way to go. It is not up to Thomas to proclaim Jesus = God, it’s up to Jesus or God Himself, and they never say it, anywhere.

God (theos) “certainly refers to Christ” (BDAG, 3rd Edition, page 450).

The text reads, Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. In your example of “My mother, My Father” you did not indicate whether the preceding pronoun refers to him or her.

To anyone interested

In the original scriptures a clear disctintion is being made:

lord = for any person of honour

Lord = Jesus (a special person of very high honour)

LORD = God

This clear distintion between the three has been lost in translation after translation, but God still wants it to be there - as it is written in the original….

So Jesus is Lord is not Jesus is LORD.

Andrew - the nub of your case is that the Jesus divinity argument arises from a category mistake whch can easily be resolved if the eschatological argument (on your terms) is pursued.

Hurtado has much more to say than can be condensed from one blog post. In the post from the previous day from the one you quote, he expresses his exasperation that the scholarly foundations to his conclusion (that Jesus was worshipped as God from the earliest times following his resurrection) have been ignored.

Even in the post you quote, the paragraph beginning:

So, one might ask, if Jesus never demanded such reverence, what is the justification for it?

is not fully observed by you; there is a constellation of evidence here, which points in the one direction of divine worship of Jesus, whether it entails an early eschatological crisis or not.

In particular, John 5:23 stands out as placing Jesus on a par with YHWH. I constantly wonder, if the NT authors had not wanted us to understand a divine Jesus as an essential way of perceiving his significance, why they were so careless in not disabusing us of such a belief. Were they also retrojecting the Christological concerns of a later age onto “the immediate historical circumstances of the early church”? In which case, who are we to believe?

Peter, thank you for highlighting John 5:23. It supports my case rather well.

First, Jesus speaks of honouring (timōsin) rather than worshipping the Son. In John 12:26 the Father honours (timēsei) the disciple.

Secondly, Jesus claims to have been given judgment, or the “authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man” (Jn. 5:22-23, 26). This is exactly the argument that we find in the synoptics, Acts, Paul and Revelation. Because he was faithful to the point of death, Jesus was raised, exalted to the right hand of the Father, and given authority to judge and rule over the nations.

All John is saying is that the Jews have not recognized the fact that God has given his Son authority to execute judgment—they do not respect or honour Jesus as the one whom God exalted to his right hand. They fail, moreover, to realize that in dishonouring Jesus they dishonour God.

I think you’ve missed the point in John 5:23, Andrew. It says: “That all may honour the Son, just as they honour the Father” (ESV). This suggests an equivalence of honour. Worship doesn’t come into it: you introduced that idea - rather misleadingly.

The issue of judgment is secondary, and you interpret the significance of that according to your eschatological framework. In the light of John 5:23, amongst many other verses, I’d suggest it is one more piece of evidence that YHWH was sharing his divine prerogatives, and status, with the Son. But I appreciate that you understand it differently.

It’s hardly true to say that the issue of judgment is secondary. It’s what the passage is about. It is because the authority to judge has been given to the Son that the Jews ought to honour him:

The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. (Jn. 5:22–23)

Daniel 7 is clearly in the background—not just the giving of authority to judge to the Son of Man but also the distinction between a resurrection to life and a resurrection to judgment (Jn. 5:28-29; cf. Dan. 12:2). Jesus shares in the divine prerogative—in this case the authority to judge—because it has been given to him. That’s what the text says. He has been given the right to do what otherwise God alone would do and therefore should be honoured as God is honoured.

It says: “That all may honour the Son, just as they honour the Father” (ESV). This suggests an equivalence of honour.

Peter, καθὼς can possibly mean an equivalence of honor. But it can also have other meanings. It could mean something like “that all may honour the Son, so in this way they honour the Father” or “that all may honour the Son, because they honour the Father” or “that all may honour the Son, since they honour the Father.” The context here seems to indicate that, as the one whom the Father has sent and the one to whom the Father has handed over all judgment of Israel (and humanity), of course Jesus should be honoured. Isn’t your assertion that John 5:23 stands out as placing Jesus on a par with YHWH rather begging the question here? Isn’t Hurtado’s conclusion that Jesus was worshipped as God from the earliest times following his resurrection pretty much what is at question here? Or more specifically, does the New Testament show Jesus being worshiped as God?

Also, you ask why [the NT authors] were so careless in not disabusing us of such a belief. Isn’t it possible that the idea of worshiping a man as YHWH such a foreign concept to them that they would see no need of disabusing anyone of it? Isn’t it also possible that if the Johannine author’s intended audience was comprised of Greeks, who showed a great tendency to worship everything under the son other than YHWH, he might couch the language in his gospel in such a way as to try and turn those tendencies of worship toward the Messiah who now sits on the throne with YHWH and rules the world?

Btw, none of this should be taken as a rejection of the divinity of Christ. I have no significant issues with the orthodox position on the matter. I just find very appealing Andrew’s approach of trying to understand what scripture is actually saying rather than force-fitting what may be later theological concepts into the New Testament. We should let the text speak its message rather than trying to make it protect our dogma.

Brad - I also find it very appealing to try to understand what the scripture is saying, and am neither begging the question nor trying to force-fit later theological concepts into the New Testament. I have a naturally eclectic and inclusive mind, so my questions do not arise out of a need to defend dogma. This is still less the case with Larry Hurtado, who is primarily looking at what can be understood of the cultic practice of the early church with regard to the divinity and worship of Jesus. Once we understand what the very early church thought of Jesus, we are in a better position to understand him ourselves. Hurtado opts for a belief in Jesus’s divinity (by the church) from the very earliest times following his resurrection, not as a fabrication imposed at a later date. Andrew’s interpretation is nuanced, but not, to my mind, convincing.

Like everyone else, yourself and Andrew included, I do not come to scripture with a blank sheet of understanding, but that does not mean I cannot engage with viewpoints different from my own. My problem is that I think Andrew has seriously eviscerated scripture in what he is proposing, and doesn’t seem to know, or is pretending not to know, that he is doing it. The evisceration comes when Jesus’s divinity is denied. Everything else, of a transformative power for people whose lives need changing, not simply politically or “concretely” as Andrew is fond of saying, hangs on that issue. However, Andrew’s thesis unravels if the divinity of Jesus is not denied, so I’m not surprised that he does it.

Thank you for your word-study on καθὼς. Clearly, translators (and not simply the translators in the ESV) have gone for a harder meaning: “just as”, which suggests equivalence between Jesus and YHWH. I’m an amateur when it comes to Greek lexicography, but none of the Strongs’ suggestions allow for the softer meanings which you imply.

As a friend and fellow investigator of scripture I wish Andrew well. As a promoter of a serious interpretive position, I think there are huge problems with his proposals. I wish the problems could be more seriously recognised and addressed, and am troubled by the dismissiveness with which they are constantly treated. This makes it hard for me to take the proposals themselves entirely seriously. However, I don’t perceive anything like a threat to more orthodox interpretations, since they have the power to transform lives from the inside out. Andrew’s position says again and again that personal issues are not the problem which scripture addresses, and need not be given particular consideration, or at best can be regarded as of secondary importance.

One of the ways the Lord Jesus honored the Father (John 8:49) was by worshiping Him (Matthew 11:25). Since the Father is honored by our worship of Him so too then the Son is honored by our worship of Him. Refusal to render worship unto the Son dishonors Him and the Father.

Notice also that in John 14:14 (“ask Me” - I take the use of “Me” as genuine) the Lord Jesus teaches that He is to be approached in prayer.

I also believe that the Lord Jesus taught that He is to be worshiped in Matthew 11:28-30. The “yoke” of slavery is cast off when takes on the yoke of the Lord Jesus. When this is done a Christian is now joined to the Lord Jesus as their supreme Master to whom they worship. According to Jeremiah 2:20, even though the Lord removed the “yoke” from Israel their response was, “I will not serve”! They still preferred to worship the gods to whom they chose to “yoke” themselves with (Jeremiah 2:23) instead of properly worshiping the Lord.Thus when a person takes upon himself/herself the yoke of the Lord Jesus it signifies worshiping Him. Furthermore, they did not fear the Lord (Jeremiah 2:19) thus they felt no need to worship Him (Jeremiah 2:20). That we are to fear the Lord Jesus entails worshiping Him (Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:21; 6:5; Colossians 3:22). Finally, when one finds the rest given by and in the Lord Jesus (11:28) it corresponds to resting in the Lord with the view of worshiping Him (Psalm 37:7).