Was Jesus worshipped during His earthly ministry?
The Old Testament taught against worshiping anyone other than God. If Jesus accepted worship of Himself, this would mean He believed He was divine. Did Jesus receive worship from others?
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The New Testament reveals Jesus receiving worship on many occasions. Each time, Jesus accepted the worship.
Matthew 8:2 notes a healed leper who worshipped Jesus. Later, a ruler knelt before Jesus after He had healed his Son. Matthew 9:18 states, "A ruler came in and knelt before him."
The disciples worshipped Jesus after He walked on water. Matthew 14:33 shares, "Those in the boat worshipped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'"
A Canaanite woman worshipped Jesus. Matthew 15:25 notes, "she came and knelt before him, saying, 'Lord, help me.'" The mother of James and John also knelt in worship before Jesus. Matthew 20:20 shares, "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something."
Mark 5:6 describes a man worshiping Jesus who was tormented by evil spirits. We read, "when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him."
A healed blind man worshipped Jesus. John 9:38 states, "He said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshipped him."
Matthew 28:17 notes an occasion after the resurrection of Jesus when all of the disciples worshipped Jesus. We are told, "when they saw him they worshipped him."
Thomas worshipped Jesus when he saw Him alive again. John 20:28 teaches that Thomas responded, "My Lord and my God!"
There are many occasions when the names attributed to Jesus indicate that others believed Jesus was divine. John 1:1, 20:28, Philippians 2:5-8, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 1:3, and other passages refer to Jesus as Lord, revering Him in worship.
Some argue that the occasions that involve bowing before Jesus were not acts of worship, but Revelation 22:8-9 shows that in New Testament times, bowing before someone was considered an act of worship. John wrote, "I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, 'You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.'"
Those who argue Jesus was not worshipped as divine until later times such as at the Council of Nicea disregard the clear facts provided in Scripture. Those who interacted with Jesus, including His disciples, worshipped Him as Lord even during His time on earth.
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