Should Jesus be worshiped? Should he become the focal point of our spiritual life above that of God the Father? On the other hand, should he be viewed as deserving the same reverence and awe we are to give the Father? Would it be right to revere Jesus to a lesser degree than our true spiritual Father?
Many Christian denominations make Jesus Christ the primary focus of their worship and teachings instead of God the Father. Some almost seem to focus on Christ to the exclusion of the Father. What is the truth regarding this matter?
There were many times during Jesus’ life, ministry and beyond where he was worshiped. Some of the Biblical examples of such behavior include the following.
Christ was first paid homage by the Magi at his birth (Matthew 2:2, 11) who knew he was a King. He was worshiped by a synagogue ruler whose daughter had died and who wanted Christ to make her alive again (Matthew 9:18). The disciples also revered Jesus after he stilled a stormy sea (Matthew 14:33) and when he ascended into heaven (Luke 24:52).
Unclean (evil) spirits who possessed humans, when they saw Christ, bowed down before him (Mark 3:11, 5:6, Luke 4:41). A man born blind, healed by Christ at the Pool of Siloam, reverenced him (John 9:38). Lastly, the twenty-four spiritual elders, who reside at the very throne of God, fall down to their knees and worship Jesus (represented as a Lamb) when he comes before them (Revelation 5:8, see also 7:10).
During his ministry, although Jesus did not invite or encourage people to worship him, He nevertheless did not rebuke them either when they did. Clearly, he is worthy of such honor, but should it be equal to that the Father rightfully deserves?
The Bible clearly states God the Father is greater than Christ (John 14:28, 1Corinthians 15:28) and that Christ received authority from him (Matthew 28:18) and could do nothing without him (John 5:19).
The scriptures indicate we ought to have great reverence and gratitude toward Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is the Son of God the Father and He is God. Our worship, however, should be predominantly directed toward the Father.
We are instructed to pray and offer our requests and gratefulness in the name of the Lord, not to Jesus himself but to the Father (Colossians 3:17, John 15:16, 16:23, Ephesians 5:20, etc.). Our worship should be directed primarily to God the Father but not to the exclusion of Christ.
So many Christian praise and worship teams only sings song about and to Jesus. The name of the Father does not feature in any of the songs they sing at a church service. Why? Is it because Jesus is seemingly more relatable than the Father.
Just have a look at the lyrics to the songs you sing and it will probably be an eye opener.
Most of all of the 150 Psalms praise and worship the Father who is the LORD (YHWH) only. Jesus and the Apostles sang these Psalms on a regular basis. The following 3 scriptures demonstrate that even after Jesus had ascended to the Father that the Christians sang Psalms.
Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
We should all ensure that we are worshiping both the Father and the Son in accordance with their wishes. God was very severe on Israel when they bowed down and worshiped idols.
Jesus has become an idol in some Christian’s lives. In a book titled “Did The First Christians worship Jesus” James Dunn states on page 147 “For if what has emerged in this inquiry is taken seriously, it soon becomes evident that Christian worship can deteriorate into what may be called Jesus-olatry.