Isnt Jesus literally God because He was worshiped?
Someone has insisted that Jesus is literally God because He was worshiped. Be careful here to have "ears that hear", because this is one of those areas that so many are certain they are right about, but will later find that it was just one of those things that was very easy to misunderstand.
As God’s Son and direct earthly representative, who was "in the Father" and in whom the Father fully dwelled, Jesus received worship as Himself being the very Son of God, completely holy and worthy, God’s perfectly ultimate representative, not as God Himself in any way. Jesus received the homage He deserves Himself as being God’s Son, our Lord, the Messiah, the King of Israel, not as being God. I believe that some will be pleased to find that I can prove this scripturally. In the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God, I am sure that He foresaw this whole last days theological fiasco. And He graciously left to those of us who get this far in unraveling the truth, the scriptural proof we need to understand how Jesus could have received worship as the new kind of man He really is. I don’t have to pull out some obscure scripture with a manufactured meaning. God has not left us out on a limb on this issue, for He is a very real God, and great is His faith fullness! Among all the numerous scriptures pertinent to this issue, many of which I have underscored in this treatise, we have the following revelations:
1) When the Lord Jesus walked on the water, and then climbed into the boat with His disciples, and the wind died down, the Bible says, "Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Surely you are the Son of God!" Notice they did not worship Him saying, ‘Surely you are God!" This scripture speaks for itself, and it proves that they did not worship Jesus as being God, but as being the Son of God.
2) At the end of First Chronicles we find the classic precedent, as it is written: "And David said to all the congregation, ‘Now bless the LORD your God’. And all the congregation blessed the LORD GOD of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, AND WORSHIPED (PROSTRATED THEMSELVES BEFORE) THE LORD AND THE KING" (1 Chron.29:20). "… AND (WORSHIPED) THE KING (DAVID)?!" This is a ‘type’ and a foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus being worshiped when believing Jews WERE WORSHIPING GOD WHEN WORSHIPING JESUS AS LORD AND KING of Israel. HOW COULD THE JEWS RIGHTLY WORSHIP THE KING WHEN HE WAS ONLY A MAN, FOR THEY KNEW THAT THEY MUST ONLY WORSHIP GOD? They weren’t condemned as violating God’s command to worship only Him. The words used for worship denote an act of extreme reverence, whether to a created being, on the low end, or to God Himself in the ultimate sense. If worship was only rightly possible towards God in absolute strictness, then Israel’s worshipping King David would have been noted as having been very wrong. David and his heir to the throne, Jesus, were both worshiped by Israel as King, while worshiping God as God.
Let me back up to remind some of a potentially misleading term. Some may be confused by our use of the same English word ‘Lord' to represent several different original words, languages and meanings, so I will expand on my earlier explanation. The most common of these includes the Hebrew words ‘Yahweh' and ‘Adonoi’, and the Greek word ‘kurios’. The Jews sometimes used the normal Hebrew word for ‘Lord’, ‘Adonoi’, for God, because Yahweh is truly the ultimate Lord. I’ve mentioned that they also began substituting the word ‘Lord’ for the name of God, ‘Yahweh’. When either of these two Hebrew words translated ‘Lord’ (in English) was translated into the Greek New Testament, the same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used for both. This same Greek word ‘kurios’ is used not only to represent these Hebrew words, but also as the Greek way of conveying: ‘God’ as Supreme Lord of Lords, ‘Jesus’ (as our supreme Lord of lords), human lords, and as a respectful human title, such as ‘Master’, 'Mister’ or ‘Sir’. So when Jesus quotes this scripture from David out of the Old Testament: "The Lord said to my Lord...", the Greek text uses the same word ‘Lord’ in two different meanings. The first word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s LORD AND GOD, Yahweh, and the second word ‘Lord’ is referring to David’s Lord, Messiah, whom He had come to know by spiritual revelation.
Back to 1 Chronicles, the congregation of Israel were worshipping the LORD, meaning Yahweh God, "AND DAVID THE KING", in this passage quoted in 1 Chronicles. MEN WORSHIPED THE MAN KING DAVID AND IT WAS ACCEPTABLE! THE BIBLE SAYS THAT ONLY GOD CAN RECEIVE WORSHIP, YET AS GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE, KING DAVID RECEIVED WORSHIP ALONG WITH GOD AND THE BIBLE SAYS NOTHING AGAINST IT.
Later, and in a similar way the real man Jesus received worship, and much more than David He represented God to Israel. Jesus fully lived in God and God fully lived in Him, and He fully represented God being God‘s only begotten Son. Like David, the Son of Man, Jesus, received worship as the anointed King of Israel, but much more than David, Jesus was designated by God as Lord and the Anointed One. In fact, Jesus is declared by David himself as being David’s Lord, this same David who Israel was worshipping along with Yahweh God.
If David could be rightly worshiped along with God as being the legitimate earthly representative of God and the anointed King of Israel, how much more should Jesus be expected to accept worship? But He absolutely did not ever receive worship as being Yahweh God, or absolute God in any way, except as being the God under His God and Father that He is as the Son of Man. When the cleansed leper returned and thanked Jesus, Jesus said that he was praising God by doing so (Lk.17:16,18). Similarly, when men bowed to Jesus as God’s holy Son, their Lord, He received that worship as being completely in God and of God, and also for God who was in Him fully, but not as being God Himself in any way. The Amplified Bible adds light by rendering this former passage (parenthetical content theirs): "... bowed down and did obeisance to the LORD, and to the king (as His earthly representative)".
Now, 'did obeisance to' means 'worshiped by bowing down to'. King David was representative and indicative of Messiah, the eternal King of Israel. Messiah is David’s descendant according to the flesh (Rom.1:3), and is actually called David in some prophetic portions of Scripture(Jer.30:9, Ez.34:23, 24, 37:24, 25, Hos.3:5).
Sadly, most of us don’t even truly bow down much to God now days in the ultra-modern Christian church mixed with love of self, money, entertainment, lust and comfort. We don’t bow much by consistent obedience nor do we bow much physically. We sometimes say we bow to Him in certain songs, and sometimes even in certain prayers, but in our actions we often truly bow only to Satan himself. We really worship Satan, in a very real way, if we enjoy watching his worldly television shows. There are many other ways we worship the god of this world, by letting our minds be dominated by our desires and self interests, when we indulge our hearts in any immoral sexual fantasies, when we live for what pleases us, our friends and families, by bowing in our sinfully compromising conversations with worldly people, and by our relentless pursuit of money and leisure. Most of us are becoming enemies of the true cross of Christ (our share of His sufferings and death Phil.3:18, 19, Lk.9:23, 24, Gal.2:20, 5:24,6:14), and DON’T WANT to find out more about how WE CAN change, because IT IS EASIER TO AUTOMATICALLY DENY AND DISREGARD THESE ASSERTIONS than it is to find out what is meant by them and then to humbly confess, pray and repent about these things. "Ask, and you shall receive", including the grace that will help us to learn any truths we have believed and possibly taught erroneously, and also for the revelation and ‘want to’ that will lead us to repentance concerning the sins which so easily beset us.
The King of Israel was not said to be sinning, Israel was not said to be sinning, nor was the human king David accepting worship as being God! Those who bowed before David and Jesus were Jews, and therefore knew enough not to be worshipping them as BEING God. They knew God was not a man. Why would it constitute worshipping ‘another’ than God if Jesus, Son of David and King of Israel, allowed people to bow before Him, since He was God’s ultimate and perfect "earthly representative" (as the Amplified Bible called David). Again, Israel was not here worshipping the king as being God, nor did anyone in the future Israel (that we have record of) ever mistake Jesus for God. Jesus was very aware of this scriptural precedent, and it proves that people were not wrong to worship God in and through Him, nor to worship Him as God‘s holy Son, the Messiah and King of Israel.
The way Israel was worshipping before their God and their Lord the King is also a perfect example of what Thomas did when he addressed Jesus as his Lord, "AND’ addressed his God who was very near(Ac.17:27, Jn.8:16) in Jesus, as his God. SOMEONE WHO WAS WATCHING ISRAEL WORSHIPPING GOD AND THE KING WOULD HAVE ONLY SEEN ALL ISRAEL BOWING BEFORE KING DAVID, JUST AS WE ONLY SEE THOMAS SPEAKING TO JESUS. THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN AND HEARD WHAT SO CLEARLY SEEMED LIKE ALL ISRAEL BLESSING DAVID AS BEING GOD WHILE BOWING BEFORE HIM IN UNRESTRAINED WORSHIP. ANY UNINFORMED SPECTATOR WOULD HAVE EASILY BECOME CERTAIN THAT THE JEWS WERE WORSHIPPING AND HERALDING KING DAVID AS GOD, AND WOULD HAVE JUST AS EASILY ASSUMED THAT DAVID WAS SURELY ACCEPTING WORSHIP AND ACCOLADES AS BEING GOD HIMSELF. The hypothetical spectator in this case would have been just as wrong as anyone who assumes that Thomas was later worshipping Jesus or proclaiming Jesus AS being his God. In 1 Samuel 20:41, David falls on his knees and bows with his face to the ground three times before Jonathan, King Saul‘s son! He was not worshipping Jonathan as being God, nor did the number three times indicate any Trinitarian concept.
3) When Thomas, remembering Jesus' words he heard when with Philip, "the Father is living in me",(he was there-Jn14:5) believed who Jesus really was, and said, "My Lord!, AND My God!" (Jn.20:28-proper punctuation is always a matter of proper interpretation and is not supplied nor always obvious in the Hebrew and Greek texts), that word "AND" is the same word that many scriptures use to distinguish between God and the Lord Jesus (1Chr.29:20, Rom.1:7, 1Cor.1:3, 2Cor.1:2, Gal.1:3, Eph.1:2, Phil.1:2, etc.). From what Jesus had said to him, and maybe from feeling Jesus, Thomas had realized that Jesus still had a body of flesh and bones, which a spirit doesn’t have (Lk.24:39). He most certainly did not mistake Jesus for being God, for He had been consistently taught correctly about God and Jesus by Jesus Himself, for example that, "God is Spirit..." (Jn.4:24), and that God is the Father who was in
heaven (Mt.16:17,etc.). Thomas also had the obvious confirmed repeatedly from Jesus Himself, that Jesus was a real and complete man. Philip had failed to recognize who Christ was, and did not recognize God as being in Christ, but Thomas by revelation now had. He knew very well that God is not a man! "I AM GOD, AND NOT MAN" (Hos.11:9).
We cannot continue to believe unbiblical doctrines built from extracted verses independent from the whole of Scripture. Three verses after Thomas' famous statement, the Bible sums up what Thomas and the rest of the apostles believed about Jesus even while Thomas spoke those words. Three verses after Thomas’ recorded statement, "My Lord, and my God", it says, THESE THINGS ARE WRITTEN SO THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, AND THAT BY BELIEVING (THESE THINGS) YOU MAY HAVE LIFE" (Jn.20:31). "These things" that were written to help us to believe that Jesus is God’s Son included Thomas’ words three verses prior.