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Words: James George Deck (b. Nov. 1, 1802; d. Aug. 14, 1884)
Music: Braun, by Johann Georg Braun (b. _____, 1656; d. _____ 1687)
Note: James Deck was a British army officer and lay preacher with the Plymouth Brethren. He also wrote a number of hymns.
Of the two tunes suggested on the Cyber Hymnal, I’ve chosen Braun. If you’re looking for a more familiar tune to use with this hymn, you could add the phrase “Jesus my Lord” once more, after the first line. Then, the tune Bethany (which we use for Nearer, My God, to Thee) works well.
Jesus, Thy name I love, Jesus my Lord,
All other names above, Jesus, my Lord:
O Thou art all to me; nothing to please I see,
Nothing apart from Thee, Jesus, my Lord.
It’s an English word that’s been around for seven or eight centuries, though early on not in its modern form. Centuries ago they used the term weoröscipe (or worthship), an expression of the worth of something or someone.
If we’re talking about material wealth, and we ask, “What’s he worth?” we likely want to know the amount of the person’s total fortune. If we’re speaking of an athlete, we may be seeking an evaluation of what he can contribute to the play of his team.
But there is a more common word that comes from this. We likely see it, or use it, every time we attend church. It’s the word worship. To recognize and declare God’s “worthship,” or worthiness, is an act of worship. Related words help us to mine the meaning further. When we worship the Lord, we revere, honour and adore Him; we express our allegiance to Him, and our devotion to Him.
The word is found more than two hundred times in the Bible. The Hebrew word often translated worship is shachah, meaning to bow in reverent submission. The Greek word is proskuneo, which seems to mean to kiss the hand, as a faithful dog would lick its master’s hand. You can see in both of these the sense of humbly paying homage to a superior.
In the fullest sense of the word, only Almighty God deserves our worship. We may admire and praise human beings, but true worship should be reserved for God alone. When the Ten Commandments were given, this truth stood first. God told the people they should “not bow down [shachah] to [idols] or serve them” (Exod. 20:1-3-5a). God is righteously jealous of His supremacy (Exod. 34:14)
Both Peter and Paul had occasions when others tried to worship them but they both rejected it.
When the Roman centurion Cornelius bowed before Peter he said, “Stand up; I myself am also a man” (Acts 10:25-26).
When Paul and Barnabas were thought to be gods, and sacrifices were going to be offered to them, they tore their clothes as a sign of grief and cried, “Why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you” (Acts 14:11-15a).
Even angels, for all their superior glory and power, refuse the worship of man. John tried it, but was quickly rebuked. “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev. 22:8-9).
This makes the fact that Christ received worship numerous times–and never forbade it–all the more significant. It’s an evidence of His deity, that He is God the Son, revealed in human flesh.
The visiting wise men worshiped Him following His birth (Matt. 2:11), as the angels were commanded to do (Heb. 1:6). Later, His disciples worshiped Him (Matt. 14:33), and a blind man whom Jesus healed did too (Jn. 9:35-38), as did a Gentile woman (Matt. 15:25). The women who met the resurrected Christ at the tomb did as well (Matt. 28:9), and so did the believers who witnessed His ascension back to heaven (Lk. 24:51-52).
The “worthship” of the Lord Jesus Christ is infinitely great. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9), and “ all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father” (Jn. 5:23). Many great hymns of worship have been written over the years. But a simple example of heartfelt adoration is given to us by James Deck.
CH-1) Jesus, Thy name I love
All other names above,
Jesus, my Lord:
O Thou art all to me;
Nothing to please I see,
Nothing apart from Thee,
Jesus, my Lord.
CH-2) Thou, blessèd Son of God,
Hast bought me with Thy blood,
Jesus, my Lord:
O how great is Thy love,
All other loves above,
Love that I daily prove,
Jesus, my Lord.
1) What qualities of Christ come to your mind when you consider His “worthship”?
2) What has the Lord done for you, for which you praise Him?