Should Christ Be ‘Worshipped’?
What does the Bible have to say about the matter?
If Christ is to be ‘worshipped’, then how so?
The word ‘worship’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘proskuneo‘ or ‘proskunhsei‘.
Paying ‘obeisance‘ is worshipful honor and respect. It is not in rivalry with worship of God but relative to it and for Christians, in conjunction with the worship of God.
Here is the definition of obeisance according to the Cambridge dictionary:
noun. a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture. deference or homage: example: The nobles gave obeisance to the new king.
Hebrews 1:6 tells us it by the Father’s command that all the angels “worship” His “first-begotten”, Christ.
“And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship (proskunhsatwsan) him”.
Note too what Jesus said about his faithful brothers at the time of the End:
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship (proskunhsousin) before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee”.
Of course Jesus was not saying that they would be ‘worshipped‘ as we worship the Father. So, he is not contradicting the statement he made to Satan when being tempted by the devil:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship (proskunhseis) the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”.
Here the same Greek root word, ‘proskuneo‘ and ‘proskunhsei‘ is used as found at Hebrews 1:6 (proskunhsatwsan) and Revelation 3:9 (proskunhsousin).
Christ as both High Priest and as King is worthy of worshipful acts of obeisance because God glorified him to be worthy of such. As Hebrews 1:6 clearly states, it is God’s command. The command is not only for the angels in Heaven but applies to humans as well.
There is a difference between worshipful acts of obeisance honoring our Lord and the worship we on render exclusively to God Almighty.
Those Who Refuse to Give Proper Honor to Christ
Jesus said, “You will tell a tree by the fruit it bears”. Conversely it stands to reason that you can also tell about a “tree” by the absence of “fruit”.
This is the lesson found at Mark 11:12-14: ‘The Barren Fig Tree Is Cursed’
12 The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples heard it. (HCSB)
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” are among many other professed groups of disciples of Jesus who have all but omitted Jesus from their teaching. They talk around Christ if they even mention him at all.
They bear a type of “fruit” that glorifies others….organizations and men such as Charles T. Russell, J. F. Rutherford, and the man behind the men Frederick Franz. Doing so, they have no “fruit” with respect to Jesus and are “barren” trees according to the Lord.
The Organization and its leaders have become their own attempted intermediary with God in the absence of Christ.
Jesus told the outcome of such barren trees: Matthew 7:15-20
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit”.
Those who attempt to worship God without Christ are ‘antichrist’. Antichrist is simply anyone or anything in opposition to the authority of Christ. Who were the antichrist when Jesus was on Earth? They were those who rejected him and sought salvation through another source…the Jewish State. Today that particular ‘antichrist’ is still in operation. In addition there have over the centuries arisen other antichrist.
Almighty God put Jesus Christ in the position of High Priest. Therefore there is but one means to approach God and that is through Jesus. No more than could a person approach the earthly temple of God and offer a sacrifice without the high priest positioned as the intermediary, can one approach God without doing so through Christ the eternal High Priest of God.