Are we to give Jesus the same worship we give to God?

Both the Muslims and the Jehovah Witnesses teach that Jesus is not to be worshipped.  The Bible states otherwise.  My response on the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” this morning is presented below:

Muniru Adebambo Sir Jerome Smith, with due respect sir, Jesus was not worshipped, it was Obeisance that was done to Jesus. Not worship.
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Jerome Smith
Jerome Smith I have heard that same argument from the Jehovah Witnesses, a false cult, for many years. The argument is utterly false. So, Muniru Adebambo, you have brought up a very interesting issue. The only authority that can provide the correct answer is the Bible.

In Hebrews 1:5, 6 it is recorded that God commanded the angels to worship Jesus Christ,

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? 
Heb 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. 

In the Old Testament, in Messianic Prophecy, we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, are commanded to worship Him,

Psalm 45:11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

When Jesus calmed the severe storm while in a boat on the lake of Galilee with His disciples, they were utterly amazed, and very clearly worshipped Him in the highest sense of the word as evidenced by their recognition of Him as the Son of God,

Mat 14:32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 
Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

In other terms, not involving the specific word for “worship,” we who believe on the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, are commanded to honor the Son in the same manner as we honor the Father. If we fail to honor the Son, we do not honor the Father who sent him:

John 5:23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (ESV)

The immediate context of John 5:23 presents some most striking claims made by Jesus Christ,

Joh 5:19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 
Joh 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 
Joh 5:22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 
Joh 5:23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 
Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 
Joh 5:25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 
Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 
Joh 5:27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 
Joh 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 
Joh 5:29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. 

Certainly the command to honor the Son includes the concept that we are to worship Him, just as the idea of honoring the Father includes the concept we are to worship Him.

The disciple Thomas, who missed the initial meetings Jesus had with His disciples immediately after His bodily resurrection from the dead, did not believe their witness, but said he must see and physically handle the wounded hands and see the healed wound in His side for himself, or he would not believe. Thomas was present with the other disciples about a week later, when Jesus again came to them, and addressed Thomas directly concerning his doubts, and asked Thomas to handle and inspect his hands and his side. The immediate dismissal of the doubt Thomas had harbored, and his full expression of renewed faith as seen in the direct worship of the risen Jesus Christ, is remarkable, and is testimony which stands true for all time, directly identifying Jesus Christ as both Lord and God,

Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 
Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 

In Luke 24:51, 52 it is recorded that as Jesus was blessing the disciples gathered to or about Him immediately prior to the ascension of Jesus to heaven, the disciples worshipped Him,

Luk 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 
Luk 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 

It is clear from passages in the book of Revelation that Jesus Christ receives in heaven the same worship that the Father does as stated clearly in Revelation 5:11-13,

Rev 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 
Rev 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 
Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 
Rev 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Compare what is said in the Old Testament at Isaiah 45:23,

Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 

with what is said of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:10,

Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

This brief survey of the evidence in the Bible proves that Jesus Christ was worshipped, is worshipped, and shall forever be worshipped. Those who think otherwise are greatly mistaken, and if they persist in such unbelief and disobedience, will be excluded from heaven and the kingdom of God.

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Apologetics--Christian, Doctrinal Discussions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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