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The Truth About ... WORSHIPPING JESUS
"Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and Him only shalt thou serve", Deut. 6/13, Mat. 4/10
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD TO WORSHIP
The first principle of Bible teaching is that there is only one God in the universe and there is only one way to worship Him acceptably. So Moses declared to Israel, God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 6/4,5):
"Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: . . . . . (there is one God)
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might". . . . . . . . . . (there is one worship).
This great truth is confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and understood by a scribe recorded in Mark 12/29-34. To know this truth is to be "not far from the Kingdom of God". To also live this truth must make us near attaining the Kingdom of God.
The apostles of our Lord Jesus also emphasised that there is but one God, see 1 Corinthians 8/4-6; Galatians 3/20; Ephesians 4/6.
As there is only one God - The Father, then it follows that there is only one divine Person whom we are permitted, honoured and privileged to worship.
JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD - NOT GOD, THE SON
Many claiming to be Christians agree that there is only one God, but they think that the One God is revealed in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – three Persons, three divinities or gods in One God, which they call ‘The Holy Trinity’. But neither this view nor this phrase are anywhere found in the Bible. What the Bible does teach is:
That God is The Father, (Ephesians 4/6);
That Jesus Christ is His only-begotten Son, and now exalted as Lord, (1 Cor. 8/6);
That The Holy Spirit is God’s almighty Power, by which God created and sustains all things and by which He effects His will in heaven and in the earth, (Gen. 1/2; Mat. 3/16; Luke. 1/35).
JESUS TAUGHT THAT WE ALL SHOULD WORSHIP GOD
Jesus, the Son of God, "…was led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil" (Diaglott ‘enemy’) to worship other than God. Jesus rejected the temptation which came to Him, by quoting Deut. 6/13: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve", see Mat. 4/1-10; Lk. 4/1-8.
Speaking to a Samaritan woman on the subject of worship, Jesus said:
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit (Being): and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth", (John 4/19-14).
Neither of these sayings from the mouth of our Lord Jesus in any way remotely suggest that Jesus considered himself to be ‘God the Son’, a part of the Godhead who should be worshipped. Conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit and born of a godly Jewess, Mary, Jesus was therefore both "the Son of God" AND "the son of man". He owed his origin, his direct origin to God, His Father. But he owed his birth and upbringing to Mary his actual mother and to Joseph his legal, (but not actual) father. He was sent by God as a member of the Jewish race and of the human race in order to be both King of the Jews and also to redeem humanity from sin and death. For this cause he must be "tempted in all points like as we yet without sin", and, given the victory by God over sin, God could raise him from the dead and make him the Saviour and High Priest of all who come to God through him, (Heb. 2/5-18; 4/14-16). So the apostles speak of Jesus, "Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins and by him all that believe are justified from all things. . . .", (Acts 13/38,39); and, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ (meaning ‘Anointed’) Jesus", (1 Tim. 2/5).
God, the Father raised up Jesus our Lord through Mary, anointed him, raised him from the dead and exalted him to His own right hand in the heavens until the time comes for the restoration of the throne of David, which will become the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus our Lord is now a glorified and highly exalted MAN neither a God - nor a God-man. Only God, our Father in heaven is Deity, even though God has given Jesus His own nature, name and authority, (Eph. 1/20-23; Phil. 2/5-11; Col. 1/15; Heb. 1/1-12).
THE N. T. SPEAKS OF PEOPLE WORSHIPPING JESUS?
The New Testament provides many instances of men and women "worshipping" Jesus, for example, at his birth, the wise men from the east, (Mat. 2/2,10); during his ministry to Israel, a leper, a ruler, and his own disciples, (Mat. 8/2; 9/18; 14/33). But in none of these examples was the "worship" offered that which mortal sinners give to The Eternal God. Rather, the wise men were showing their honour and respect to "he that is born King of the Jews". The leper was giving honour to the one to whom God had given the power to "make me clean". The ruler was giving great respect to the one he believed had the power to lay his hand upon his daughter, and "she shall live". The disciples were giving even greater respect to their Master as "The Son of God" who could walk on water and still the wind. The Greek word in all these instances is proskuneo, and means, ‘to go down on one’s knees to, ‘to do obeisance to’, ‘to worship’. The context must determine which of these meanings is the more appropriate.
WE OUGHT TO WORSHIP GOD AND HONOUR HIS SON
God, our Heavenly Father remains the only God that we should worship and serve in love.
But in that God has highly exalted His son, Jesus Christ our Lord making him our Saviour, Hight Priest and coming King, we ought always to give him the honour, the great respect and the thanks that is his due.