Is He worthy of worship? This is a very important question. Our decision in this should come from the Biblical evidence. Let us examine the evidence and draw the conclusion warranted.
First, the Bible teaches that mere men are not worthy of worship. Good men refuse such. Peter did. Acts 10:25-26 reads, “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up saying, Stand up, I myself also am a man.” Barnabas and Paul rejected such. Acts 14:11-15, reads, “And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter… brought oxen and garlands up to the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people crying out, and saying, sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passion with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.”
Second, the Bible teaches that mere angels should not be worshipped. Like good men, good angels should refuse such. John says of his encounter with an angel, “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10); and again he said, “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, see thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets and of them which keep the saying of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:8-9).
Third, Jesus never refused worship. Read Matthew 2:2, 11; 8:2; 15:25; 28:16-17; John 9:38). Other passages could be supplied. Jesus unlike mere men and angels, never refused worship. This is significant. The “Jehovah’s Witnesses” sometimes argue that this word should be rendered “obeisance” and not “worship.” They use this on people who don’t know any better. They try to make a distinction between the words “obeisance” and “worship”. They prey on ignorance. The fact is this is the usual word for worship. It is the word used of what only belongs to the Divine (Matthew 4:10).
Fourth, consider the testimony of the scriptures. Hebrews 1:6b, “let all the angels of God worship him.” Even the angels are to do this. John 5:23a, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father (emp. mine). Philippians 2:10, “That at the name of Jesus every knew should bow, of the things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth” (cf. Romans 14:11). This is language of what is due God (Isaiah 45:23). The act of bowing the knee is an act of worship. Remember 1 Kings 19:18, where God said, “Yet, I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal…” (Emp. mine).
Yes, Jesus is worthy of worship. Revelation 5:13 reads, “Blessing, and honour, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” We are to sing unto the “Lord” (Ephesians 5:19), and in context the “Lord” is Jesus (Ephesians 5:20).
The Jehovah Witnesses have been far from consistent on this subject. In the November 1, 1964 Watchtower (page 671) these words appear, “It is unscriptural for worshippers of the living and true God to render worship to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.” But years before, in the October 15, 1945 Watchtower (page 313) these words appear, “You must worship and bow down to Jehovah’s chief one – namely Jesus.”
Some have reasoned that since God was not pleased with their worship of the brazen serpent (2 Kings 18:4), and since Jesus is compared to that brazen serpent (John 3:14), we should not worship Jesus. But, just because two things are compared does not mean that they are alike in every aspect. Moreover, one needs to re-examine our third and fourth points mentioned earlier in this writing.