Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Worshipping Angels?

The following passage in Revelation has always puzzled me a little:

"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets"
Revelation 22:8-9

The traditional interpretation of these verses never made too much sense to me; that St John made the foolish mistake of worshipping an angel. Surely a man of such high standing with God and so learnered would never make such a schoolboy error. Maybe a neophyte in the faith may make such a mistake, but one of the Apostles?!!
Then I read somewhere a much more cogent explanation (I think it was in David Chilton's 'Day's of Vengeance'): It's that back in those days angels were considered to be superior beings to us wretched humans, and it was customary that we were to automatically bow (the bible sometimes translates this as 'worship'. The Greek word translated as worship in this verse specifically means to fawn or crouch, or to literally prostrate oneself in homage) to any superior person as a sign of submission (Gen 18:2).

But what it seems that John was getting at in this verse is that Christians have been washed clean of their sins and are perfect in the sight of God, so are no longer are lesser beings than angels. We are equals, or as the angel said "for I am thy fellowservant", thus bowing in their presence is no longer required!

I was reminded of all this this morning when meditating on Psalm 8, where verse 5 says that humans are lower than angels; "For thou hast made him [mankind] a little lower than the angels"
But no more! We have been fully restored by Christ!

No comments:

Post a Comment