Summary: how Jesus became a worm in fulfillment of Psalm 22
March 19, 2003 Psalm 22:4-8
4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 8 "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
When I was young, I used to watch a cartoon called the Superfriends. Occasionally they would have what they called the Wondertwins on it. One could take the shape of water, and the other could take the shape of an animal. If they needed strength, the wonder twin would become an elephant. If they needed to get someplace high, the wonder twin would become a bird.
I always thought that would be neat to be able to be any kind of an animal. If you could be one animal, what would it be? The lion would be a good choice, wouldn’t it? It’s known to be the king of the jungle. Or how about an eagle? You could majestically float across the mountain tops. Or how about a shark? You could see thing in the ocean that you’ve never seen before - safe from anybody coming and attacking you. Or how about a worm? A worm? I don’t think any of us would want to be a worm. Yet in today’s text, Jesus chose to be just that - not physically, but socially. Through inspiration of David, He said, “I am a worm and not a man.” It may not seem logical. But today we’ll see why -
Jesus Became a “Worm”
I. He didn’t pick it because he deserved it
There is a general rule in life that people get what they deserve, or as Paul put it, “a man reaps what he sows.” This used to be true when it came to respect. There used to be a time that sinful people reaped disrespect in society. But things have changed somewhat today - the respected are now the disrespected, and vice versa. If you look at today’s view of the elderly, police officers and government employees, they don’t have the respect they once had. Instead, people love to listen to sports athletes such as Dennis Rodman, seeking words of wisdom from a man who dresses like a woman and rebounds a round leather ball. When mass murderer and Satanist Richard Ramirez was finally put behind bars, swarms of groupies came in admiration of the man. But when Dan Quayle spoke out against premarital sex, he was treated like a psychopathic mad man. Sounds kind of backwards, doesn’t it? What am I getting at? People don’t always get the respect that they deserve.
As Christians, we realize that there are certain people on earth that deserve respect, just because of the position that they hold. God commands us in the Fourth Commandment - honor your father and mother. Whether you think they deserve it or not, God says to give them honor and respect just because of their position. That’s why we try to respect our parents, the elderly, police officers and others in authority as well.
There’s another person that deserves respect, just because of who He is as well. The First Commandment states, “we should fear, love, and trust God above all things.” God deserves our respect no matter what He does - just because of Who He is.
Which brings us to the main question for tonight, “what did Jesus deserve while He was on earth?” Jesus deserved the respect of the people. Why? Because He was God. Romans 9:5 says, “he is God over all!” Therefore, He deserved to be treated like a lion - like the king.
There were occasions where Jesus was treated like He deserved. For instance, when Jesus gave the disciples a miraculous catch of fish, Peter fell on his knees and said to him, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" When Jesus entered into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His crucifixion, the children sang “Hosanna to the Son of David!” And when Thomas saw Jesus after his resurrection, he called Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus never told them, “don’t bow before me,” or “don’t call me Lord or God.” Why not? Because He deserved that kind of treatment - he was God.
But the Jews didn’t want to treat Jesus that way since He didn’t do the miracles they wanted him to! Isaiah 9:7 predicted, Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. So they expected Jesus to take over the Romans and rule over an earthly kingdom on earth. They wanted their Messiah to give them earthly prestige and wealth. So even though Jesus was God, He wasn’t their god - the god that they were expecting. He didn’t give the Jews what they wanted from him.