The early Christians were given the option to reject Jesus as their God and receive Caesar or add Caesar to be God as well or they would be killed. They refused and were burnt at the stake or led to the lions. If Jesus were not considered to be God this would not have been a problem. For all Rome knew they were following Jesus.
Psalm 81:9: “thou shalt not worship any strange god.” God says in Exodus 34:14: “for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.’ This is based on a previous command of false worship in Exodus 20:4-5: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”
The devil said to Jesus in his temptation Matt 4:9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” v.10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'“
The devils temptation was to have Jesus worship a creature (himself), Jesus responds that only God is to be worshipped.
From the beginning of His life the Scriptures make clear Jesus was indeed worshipped by men. Matthew 2:2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
All through His ministry people worshiped him Matthew 8:2-3: “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Some worshipped him for who He was, before he did any miracle, others worshipped Him afterwards.
Matt 9:18: “While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”
The same word used for worshipping God is the same word used for Jesus to be worshipped. So if Jesus is not being worshipped neither is the Father. This word for worship in Greek is proskeneo the same word used for worship for the true God and for worship of false Gods. It does not mean one thing for one and another thing for the other. In Hebrew it is Shawkaw which means to prostate down bow worship (Gen.24:26, 48, 52 Gen. 22:5). In Psalm 2:12 it says, “Kiss the Son lest he be angry with you.”
The word kiss is a term for worship (chashaq; a primitive root; to cling, i.e. join, (figuratively) to love, delight in... Strongs #2836)
Matthew 14:33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” Why? Because the Son of God is God who can receive worship, He is God in the flesh.
Jesus said, “that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23) We this example all through the Scripture.
Matthew 15:25: “Then she worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”
“When Jesus walked on the water and made the wind and waves cease, they worshipped Him, saying, truly thou art the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:33). Notice the equating of being the Son of God elicits their worshipAgain to equate him as the only Son of God made him equal with the Father and deserving of our worship. This is made clear in John 9:35-38. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.”
When he was resurrected Matthew 28:17: “And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.” Matthew 28:9: “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, rejoice. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”
Luke 24:51-53: “Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.” And so the church has always worshipped the Son of God the same as they worship the Father. All the apostles worshipped God, the Son of God, and taught the church to do the same.
We see Peter in Acts 10:25-27 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together.Cornelius fell at Peter's feet and worshipped. Peter says to him Acts 10:26 I am a man. Obviously this is worship not obeisance (as the Jehovah Witnesses hold to) or there would not be the response of his human nature. Peter the apostle refused worship because he worshiped the true God and knew he, himself, was only a man. Peter could not have worshipped Jesus unless he was more than a man.
Of course we need to understand that Scripture does not have to say worship for one to be worshipping. The Bible teaches that Jesus was not only worshipped but also called God by Thomas. In Jn.20:28 after Jesus tells Thomas who doubted to put his fingers in the holes made by the crucifixion, Thomas states “My Lord my God” (in the Greek literally translated The Lord of me the God of me). Instead of being corrected or rebuked for this statement (which would be blasphemy if false), he is commended and blessed, something no true prophet would do unless it was correct.
Deut 18:20 'But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.” Here Jesus commended Thomas, if it was false'
In the Old Testament Psalm 86:9: “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 22:27-28: “…and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD'S, and He rules over the nations.”
Hebrews 1:6-8 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.’ But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of your kingdom.” Angels are commanded by God the Father to worship the son.
In both Deuteronomy 32::43 and Psalm 97:7 in the Septuagint version it speak of angels worshiping the Son. Angels worship the Son because they are subordinate to Him, he is then superior to them. These are good angels. It would be blasphemy for an angel to worship anyone but God. God the Father is speaking to the Son after his resurrection telling the angels to worship the Son. Good angels worship only God. Here is the Father himself instructing the angels to worship the Son.
Paul the apostle writes Philippians 2:9-11: “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” To have every knee of every created thing bow to the Son is to worship. We see this taking place to God and the lamb in heaven to those who have already willingly bowed their knee to them. Revelation 5:12-14 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 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, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
In Revelation 4:10-11: the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, … saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (This is referring to the Son in Collosians1:15-17 where all things were created through Him and For Him and consist in Him).
Who is this who lives forever? He is the one called the First and the Last. Revelation 1:18: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.”
If Jesus is not God, then he would not accept worship nor would the Bible allow this to be insinuated. If he is not God neither can He be our Savior.
If He is God, then He surely is Lord (in Greek) which is equal to the Old Testament Hebrew of the name Yahweh and deserves our worship just as it is written.
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