Since worship is something that is done out of free will let us first establish if others declared Jesus as God. Secondly, did Jesus say that He is God? Thirdly, was He worshiped as God?
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
Disciples establish that Jesus is:
- Son of Man
- Son of the living God
The Father from heaven reveals this to his disciples. Now let’s move on to see if Jesus declares that He is divine. We are specifically looking for words that Jesus used.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
In this reference, Jesus is declaring that He is divine. He was not misunderstood because people wanted to stone Him for this blasphemous claim.
I and the Father are one.” Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
This text clearly spells out why people wanted to stone him, and that’s for claiming to be God.
Let’s also establish that Jewish authority understood His claim about himself.
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
John 19:7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
Jewish authority could not find a false witness against him, but they did not need one because Jesus gave them the biggest reason of all. Jesus claimed to be the “Son of Man.” This is a reference from Daniel chapter 10, where it speaks of someone who is called the “Son of Man.” This figure in Daniel’s prophetic vision is a reference to God. Jesus quoted it to the chief priests, the elders, and all the council implying that the vision is being fulfilled right in front of them.
Apparently, in addition to this, there are plenty of other references that Jesus claims about himself that make Him divine. He claimed to be the light of the world, word of God, the vine, the bread of life, the salt, that he can forgive sins, that He is the first and the last, final judge, the truth, all authority has been given to him and so forth. All these figures of speech are attributed to God only in the Bible and the Quran.
Let’s move on to the worship part. Did anyone actually worship Jesus as God? Let’s see if disciples worshiped Jesus.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus, worshiped Jesus as God when he saw him in the resurrected form. What about all the other disciples? Did they worship Jesus as well?
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
This biblical reference answers the question, Did all other disciples worship Jesus? The answer is “Yes.”
If someone is asking the question, did Jesus say “I am God, worship me”? Then it raises a bigger issue, and that is misunderstanding who Jesus is. God did not come down to earth to be worshiped or to prove to people that he is God. His purpose was to help us, to serve, and to save us. It was not to show up and claim “I AM GOD, WORSHIP ME.” And this is what the question implies in the context of scripture, while the new testament was never intended for that.
This is a fundamental principle. If I need help at work, I do not need my boss to come over and tell me “I am the boss, worship me and do as I say.” What we really want is for that boss to come over and help us resolve the issue. Now imagine, you’re sitting in that office as a stranger. You see a man calls someone on the phone because it’s obvious that he needs help. Eventually, you see a man come down from the upper floor. He is wearing a dirty shirt, jeans, and a pair of old shoes. He starts to helps the other man. As time goes by and the other man loosens up, and joy appears on his face. Finally, the issue is resolved and the man says “thanks boss!”. How stupid would it be to say this man comes down from the upper floor and declares “I am the Boss, worship me, I am here to help you.” You would think to yourself, thank God I do not work for that guy. That good boss is already admired and does not need to declare he is the boss for the sake of more worship.
Did Jesus say “I am God, worship me?” implies a gross misunderstanding of the revelation and misuses God’s word only to villainize God. It shifts the message from salvation to seeking worship and glory. Ultimately, this implies that God is self-observed. And that’s not something you want to walk around suggesting.
I hope this gave you a satisfactory answer to your question and some more.
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