Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Worship Due to Jesus

It is claimed that Jesus accepted worship without rebuke, and that this shows that he is Jehovah.

The Hebrews used the words for worship, not only as respects worshiping the only true God, but also as showing homage to a king, a ruler, or any person to whom respect was being given. Most translations render the words for worship in the Old Testament with words such as "bow down", "bowed before", etc., when the words for worship are being used respecting rulers, dignitaries, showing respect, etc.

In the New Testament, however, most translations fail to make that distinction, although some do in a few cases. Believing that Jesus is Jehovah (whom Jesus claimed as his God), trinitarians and some others claim that Jesus is being worshiped as Jehovah, who is actually the God of Jesus. God, by means of his holy spirit, reveals through the scriptures that Jehovah is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has One who is the Supreme Being over him; Jesus is not his Supreme Being whom he worships, prays to, and who sent him, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

The question should be asked, as related to the Biblical usage of the words for "worship": In what way did these people spoken of in the NT pay homage to Jesus? Was it as Jehovah, the only Most High?

The main Greek word involved is usually transliterated as proskueno.

The main Hebrew word involved is often transliterated as shachah.

Let us examine some instances in the New Testament where the Greek word proskuneo is used similarly to the Hebrew word shachah, wherein worship of God is not intended.

The wise men who came to see Jesus as a child worshiped (proskuneo) before him as a king, not as God Almighty. Despite all the speculations many have presented, we do not know for a certainty who these magi were, or even if they believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. -- Matthew 2:2-11.

In Matthew 9:18, we find a rich young ruler named Jairus (Luke 8:41; Mark 5:22) who came and worshiped (proskuneo) before Jesus. It stretches the imagination to suppose that this rich young ruler supposed that he was actually worshiping the Almighty Jehovah. The crowds gave the praise to God, who had given the power to Jesus to perform these works, saying: "A great prophet has arisen among us!'. (Matthew 9:8; Luke 7:16,17) Thus they believed him to a be a prophet of God, and did not claim Jesus as God Almighty, nor do we have any reason to believe that Jairus would think Jesus was Jehovah, the only true God whom Jesus claimed has sent him. -- John 17:1,3,5.

We have no more reason to believe that Jairus thought he was bowing before God Almighty than when the Shunammite woman bowed to [Strong's Hebrew #7812 - worshiped] to Elisha. -- 2 Kings 4:37

Some have attempted to say that Jairus knew he was worshiping before Jesus as God Almighty, since he expected Jesus to raise his daughter from the dead. We should note that when Jairus first approached Jesus and worshiped Jesus, it was with the hope that he would heal his daughter as she had not yet died. -- Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56.

Some have thus suggested that Jairus was worshiping Jesus as God Almighty, since Jesus was healing and raising the dead. This, of course, has to be read into the text, evidently only to satisify the doctrine that Jesus is God Almighty. The fact that Jesus healed and raised the dead does not mean that he was Jehovah. The authority to heal and raise the dead was *given* to Jesus from his Father, the only true Supreme Being, the only Source of all. (Matthew 11:27; 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 5:19-22,25-27; 13:3; 17:2; 1 Corinthians 8:6) The authority to heal and raise the dead was also given by Jesus to the apostles. Does this make the apostles God Almighty? -- Luke 9:1; Acts 3:6,15,16: 4:7-11; 9:36-41; 20:7-12.

After performing the miracle of raising Jairus' daughter, two blind men called him, not Jehovah, but "the Son of David." -- Matthew 9:27.

Some note that they called Jesus, "Lord", and thus claim that they were speaking to Jesus as being Jehovah (Matthew 9:28) This kind of argument usually is based on the idea that the word Lord means Jehovah, and is thus only used of the only true God. The use of the title transliterated as Kurios does not in itself carry any meaning of Jehovah. The same Greek word (kurios) is used in Revelation 7:14, where John address the elder who spoke to him. It is also used in Acts 16:30, when the jailor spoke to Paul and Silas. Thus the blind men's use of this word toward Jesus as a man was not unusual. Similarly, the young man who came to David with the news of Saul's death bowed down (shachah - worshiped) before him and called David "Lord" -- Adon. -- 2 Samuel 1:2-10.

In Matthew 14:33, we find that after Jesus calmed the winds, the men in the ship came and bowed (proskuneo) before Jesus, calling him, not God Almighty, but "Son of God" -- Son of the Supreme Being. We have no more reason to think that these men thought they were bowing before Jehovah than would should think that King Saul was Jehovah when "David stooped and bowed himself [shachah] to the earth" before King Saul. -- 1 Samuel 24:8.
In Matthew 15:22-28, we read of the Phoenician woman who came to Jesus. She did not call Jesus God Almighty, but rather "Son of David." Then she bowed (proskuneo) before him to plead on her daughter's behalf. There is nothing here for us to suppose that this Phoenician woman really believed that she was bowing before the Almighty God of the universe! Again, we read that the crowds glorified the God of Israel for the miracles being performed through Jesus. (Matthew 15:31) Similarly, when Bathsheba did obeisance to [shachah - worshiped] King David without rebuke, should we think thereby that David thought that he was Jehovah? -- 1 Kings 1:16,31.

In Matthew 20:20-23 we read of the mother of Zebedee's children who came to Jesus and, bowing (proskuneo), asked that her two sons sit beside him in his kingdom. That she bowed before him as the rightful heir of the kingdom should be apparent from the scripture itself. We need to note that Jesus' heirship to God's kingdom does not include dominion over Jehovah himself; Jesus continues to be in subjection to his Father, Jehovah. (1 Corinthians 15:27,28; Revelation 1:1; 3:12; 5:7) Similarly, when the sons of the prophets came and bowed before (shachah - worshiped) Elisha, should we think that Elisha thought of himself as Jehovah, since Elisha gave them no rebuke? -- 2 Kings 2:15.

In Matthew 28:9 we read of the women who went to the tomb where Jesus' body lay, found it empty and to whom an angel appeared who told them to go tell his disciples of the risen Jesus. Jesus met them on the way and the women held onto his feet, and bowed down (proskuneo) to him. In this instance, the text implies that the women had simply bowed before Jesus at his feet, and there is nothing to suggest that they were worshiping the Almighty Jehovah.

In Mark 15:16-19, we read of the soldiers who mockingly called him "King of Jews" and who bowed their knees and [mockingly] gave homage (proskuneo) to Jesus. These soldiers certainly did not have any idea of "worshiping" Jesus as Almighty God. They were mocking the claim that Jesus was King of the Jews, not that he was God Almighty!

In John 9:35-38 the blind whom Jesus healed, when finding out that Jesus was the "Son of God", Son of the Supreme Being, bowed down (proskuneo) before him. Jesus was not depicted to this once blind man as the Supreme Being, but rather the Son of the Supreme Being.

Nevertheless, if one is worshiping any person or thing as opposed to Jehovah, or as before Jehovah, or giving a person or thing the worship that is only due to Jehovah himself, then such a person should be rebuked. Such was not the case in the above scriptures respecting the homage being given to Jesus. We are given an example of angel worship (worship of the messenger in such a way that such worship should only be given to God himself) in Revelation 22:8,9. We know that earlier in the book of Revelation, proper homage (Greek, Proskuneo, worship) given to God's representatives is not condemned. (Revelation 3:9) Evidently John was giving the angel the worship that was only due to the Father. The angel, recognizing this, told him that this was not to be done.
For more regarding this, see:
Jesus Received Worship

The claim is being made that the only way to worship the one Jesus worshipped, is to worship Jesus. It is further being claimed that one cannot worship the father except you worship Jesus, and he who worships Jesus worships the Father. 

The only way one can approach the only true God is through the way, the one shepherd, that only true God has appointed over His people (Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24; John 10:14,29; 14:6; Acts 2:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6), which does necessitate that we bow down, give worship to, the one whom the only true God has given the throne of David (Luke 1:32), similar to the worship given to King David of old (1 Chronicles 29:10), and that to the glory of the God and Father of Jesus. (Philippians 2:11) This does not mean that Jesus is the only true God, nor does it mean that we are to give to Jesus the worship as being the Most High (Luke 1:32), the only true God (Supreme Being), the source of all, who sent him. -- John 17:1,3; 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Worship of Jesus


  1. Hello,
    The fact that the Father never receives worship that is superior to the worship properly rendered unto the Lord Jesus demonstrates that He (the Lord Jesus) is God.

    Thank you.
    Marc Taylor

    1. There is nothing in the fact that Jesus is never said the recieve the worship that belongs to the Most High that means that we need to imagine and assume that such worship means that Jesus is the Supreme Being.