Where Does Jesus Say, "I Am Not God. Stop Worshiping Me?"
A typical challenge from Muslims to Christians is to produce a verse in which Jesus categorically states, "I am God. Worship Me." We have already covered some of the places where Jesus says He is God in previous articles so, in this one, we will take a look at the many places in the Scriptures where Jesus is worshiped as God.
But first let us look at two reactions to worship as exhibited in the New Testament.
Luke relates what the Apostle Peter encountered when he visited the home of a Gentile:
25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.
26 But Peter helped him up and said, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.”
On the other hand, in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John is so overwhelmed at what he is hearing and seeing in his vision that he responds to his "heavenly tour guide" thus (text in brackets mine):
In both cases, the worship is immediately rejected.
In both cases, the word for "worship" that the Greek text uses is the word "προσκυνέω," which transliterates as "proskyneō."
It is the same word that is used when Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20 to reject the temptation of Satan:
10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship (proskyneō) the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” Matthew 4
This is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 14:25, Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 7:11, and Revelation 19:4, which speak of the worship of God.
Over and over again in the New Testament, we find Jesus being worshiped.
Over and over again, He demonstrates the same behavior.
But we begin with Jesus' birth. Wise men who have followed a star in the heavens announcing His coming have found Him at last:
11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped (proskyneō) Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Neither Mary nor Joseph stop the magi from worshiping the Christ Child.
Many years later, Jesus the Messiah walks on stormy seas to join His apostles who He had sent on ahead,
33 Then those in the boat worshiped (proskyneō) Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!”
9 Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped (proskyneō) Him.
17 When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted.
52 After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
38 “I believe, Lord!” he said, and he worshiped Him.
But while Peter and the angel in John's Revelation very quickly stop the act of worship and redirect it to the Only One to Whom it is due...
Jesus always receives it.
He never rebukes the worshipper.
He never tells anyone not to worship Him.
This is certainly odd behavior...
if Jesus is just a mere "messenger."
If Jesus is not God...
then why does He never stop these people, His apostles and disciples among them, from worshiping Him?
Thus far, our evidence could be claimed as circumstantial and thus, inconclusive.
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands.
12 They said with a loud voice:
The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing!
13 I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say:
Blessing and honor and glory and dominion
to the One seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb, forever and ever!
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped (proskyneō).
Jesus Accepts Worship
Where Does Jesus Say, "I Am God. Worship Me?"
Where Does Jesus Say, "I Am YHWH (God)" in the Bible?