Jesus was worshipped in the Gospels

In Matthew 2:2, we see the magi were looking for the king of Israel, so they could worship him. The word used in Matthew 2:2 for ‘worship’ is proskuneo ( ). This word is translated either bow down or worship, depending on context.Satan wanted Jesus to worship him, but Jesus quoted scripture and said “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8). Jesus told us we are only to worship God.

How do we know when proskuneo is used to indicate worship? We know it is irrefutably used as worship when proskuneo is used in conjunction with ‘fell at feet’, as we see in Acts 10:25, Revelation 19:10, and Revelation 22:8 – when the people who worshipped were reprimanded for worshipping. It wouldnt make sense to bow down and bow down.

We see in Matthew 4:9 that Satan didn’t just want Jesus to bow down to him, but wanted Jesus to ‘bow down and worship’ – which is why Jesus replied that only God should be worshipped. In Matthew 8:2 and Luke 5:12, we see a leper kneeling before Jesus. This was most likely an example of respectfully bowing, rather than worship. This is most likely the case with Matthew 9:18, Matthew 15:25, and Matthew 20:20.

In Mark 5:6 and Mark 15:19, it is unclear whether the people involved are kneeling or worshipping (granted, the later would be mock worship, if it was).

But returning to look at Matthew 2:1-12, we see proskuneo translated as worship. Is it accurate? Based upon the fact that in verse 11, we see the magi bowing AND worshipping, yes it is accurate. There would be no need to kneel if they were already bowing, so the word must mean they were worshipping the baby Jesus. We see another example of the word being translated as worship in Matthew 28:9, where the disciples grasped Jesus’ feet and worshipped.

In Matthew 14:3, Matthew 28:17, and John 9:38 we see examples which might be either bowing or woshiping, but I think it safe to say they are examples of more than simple respect, I think they are concrete examples of true worship.

Indeed, Hebrews 1:6 tells us (speaking of Jesus): ‘And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”.; This is also found in the dead sea scrolls and masoretic text of Deuteronomy 32:43 when speaking of God.

Yes, there are times when the word proskuneo is used as ‘kneel’, but the context tells us that time and again people worshipped Jesus. More than that, while Jesus corrected Satan, and while others (people and angels) corrected people for trying to worship them, JESUS accepted the worship – worship which Jesus Himself said was only to be given to God.

This is strong evidence that Jesus recognized His own deity.

This is even more clear when we see in John 8:24 Young’s Literal Translation that Jesus said people must believe that Jesus is “I am”
24 I said, therefore, to you, that ye shall die in your sins, for if ye may not believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.’


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