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  1. John 20:17

    Jesus replied, 'Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'

  2. Romans 15:6

    That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  3. Revelation 3:12

    The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

These verses highlight Jesus' reverence towards God, indicating a relationship of worship and submission, even after the resurrection.

Question: If Jesus has a God, does Jesus also worship Him?

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    Actually, this will produce answers based on opinions as the Bible never records Jesus or the Father worshiping anyone or anything. Therefore, we do not know because we are not told.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 17 at 5:12
  • 3
    I have voted to close this question. It questions the relationship of Father and Son which requires, also, a deep understanding of the relationship of Jesus to God. This matter is far too spiritually sensitive to be covered by a site which focuses only on the hermeneutic analysis of the text itself.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jan 17 at 5:42
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    Jesus said "we (Jesus himself included) worship what we know" Jesus worshipped and prayed to his God. John 4:22. Jesus by himself can do nothing, John 5:30. John 14:31 Jesus does what the Father tells him to do. Commented Jan 17 at 11:37
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    In the setting of the Jewish Temple, the pivotal question revolves around Jesus' worship of God. It doesn't precisely challenge the divinity of Jesus but rather delves into his reverence for God.
    – Betho's
    Commented Jan 17 at 15:59
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    I’m voting to close this question because this is a theology question, belonging to Christianity.SE. Commented Jan 18 at 19:36

6 Answers 6

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The appropriate focus of worship is given to Israel in the first 2 commandments1:

1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. (Exodus 20:3-5a)

Jesus kept both of these commandments:

1 Jesus was wholly dedicated to His Father's will (see John 6:39), even when it was the most challenging option available (see Matt. 26:39). He showed consistent deference to His Father (e.g. John 5:19-20, 26-27), and He did not permit competing objects of worship to occupy the place dedicated to His Father (Matt. 21:12-13)

2 Jesus did not focus His ministry on physical objects (Matt. 8:20), prominent position (Luke 14:10-11), or worldly prominence (John 15:18-19). His apostles emphatically rejected the worship of idols (Acts 17:29, Acts 19:26)

Jesus worshipped in accordance with the first two commandments.


1 - others of the remaining 8 commandments are relevant to the "how" of worship, but the first 2 specifically focus on "who" is worshipped

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  • Does the instruction Jesus gave in John 15:16 to "serve me" contracdict, complement, or replace Exodus 20:5a? Commented Jan 18 at 18:59
  • @RevelationLad I don't see a contradiction here - I think John 20:28 addresses the matter even more directly, and I don't think Thomas was in any way breaking the first 2 commandments. Commented Jan 19 at 3:56
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    When I first read the question, I thought - Uh oh, "opinion-based" and consequently even thought to close it myself. I find this answer is not at all inappropriate however. Short but sweet. + 1. Commented Jan 19 at 14:12
  • @OldeEnglish thanks! Commented Jan 19 at 19:03
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Jesus bowed his head and prayed to be saved to the father (God) as did others before him.

There are many verses but I have limited to a few examples on each sub-heading so as not to make it too exhaustive.

one God & saviour

Isaiah 43:11 - I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no saviour.

Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me. (Hosea 13:4)

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:47)

Jesus said

“I do not accept praise from men” (John 5:41)

Matthew 15:9 - in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:7 - in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." [John 17:3]

John 4:22 - 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Jesus Prayed

Clearly Jesus would understand the commandments of God as the only saviour and he prayed to him, which is basically worshipping him.

Luke 6:12 - In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

Luke 22:44 - And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Matt 26:44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.

Hebrews 5:7 - 7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Matt 26:39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Mark 14:35 - 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

others prayed similarly

Amplified Bible Gen 17:3 - Then Abram fell on his face [in worship], and God spoke with him, saying,

JOSHUA 5:14 – ESV - And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”

NUMBERS 16:22 – BSB - But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the whole congregation?”

NUMBERS 22:31 – BSB - Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. And Balaam bowed low and fell facedown.

Deut 9:25 So I fell down before the LORD for forty days and forty nights, because the LORD had said He would destroy you.

Joseph Gen 41:43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. So on……..

Jesus heard and saved

Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." (John 11:41-42).

Luke 4:10-12 10 for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: 11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone.

[for more: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/54082/33268]

Jesus was never worshipped only revered

We have some passages that imply Jesus was worshipped, however, this is a manipulation of text.

‘worshipped’ comes from the Greek proskynein - ‘bow down, prostrate oneself, make obeisance before.’

It denotes the act of homage before a monarch or a superior, or prostration before God in worship.”

When used for others, the words used are knelt, bowed etc… however, when it comes to Jesus the word is twisted to ‘worshipped’.

KJV in particular is guilty of this, ‘worshipped’ couple of examples;

Matt 8:2 KJV - And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

NIV - A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Mark 5:6

KJV - But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

NIV - When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.

Same word is used for others

Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. (Genesis 23:7)

Genesis 33:3 Jacob bowing down(shachah;proskynein) to his brother Esau seven times!

Daniel 2:46 KJV: Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped (shachah;proskynein) Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

Act 10:25 ESV: When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.

Son of man is often manipulated as well –

Daniel 7: 13-14 One like a Son of Man – The word ‘man’ in Heb. and Aram. is generic in sense and means mankind. ’Son of Man’ is therefore a normal expression for a single human being. [anyway this is for another Q]

Conclusion

Jesus never stated he is God or asked others to worship him, this has all come about after.

Jesus bowed & fell on the floor and prayed to God to be saved like those before him. Others bowed to others as homage not as worship of God.

Clearly to pray to be saved someone is higher then him. As pointed out it is indicated after the resurrection, not only before.

Was Jesus equal to God: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/69382/33268

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    Peter rejected Cornelius's worship Commented Jan 17 at 17:59
  • @JonathanCast - yes he did, in this instance I was trying to show the selectiveness of the use proskynein Commented Jan 18 at 9:37
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    Your answer would be more complete if you addressed Thomas saying to Jesus, "My Lord and My God." Something both Jesus and John let stand without correction. In fact, Jesus promised those who had not seen but believe would be blessed. Given the failure of John to insert a comment about what Jesus and or Thomas meant, isn't the message those who like Thomas say to Jesus "My Lord and my God" will be blessed? Commented Jan 18 at 18:56
  • @RevelationLad - numerous issues with this but a few brief points - 1) prior to Codex Bezae - it was simply 'theos' in the sense of divine. 2) Thomas alleged words not Jesus. 3) contradicts Luke 24:33 Jesus appeared to the eleven (Judas already dead) and no one mentions anything about holes etc... 4) few passages later John 20:31 - Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (not God) - albeit a number of issues with that as well as much of John - see: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/63568/33268 Commented Jan 19 at 12:04
  • Well delineated on this one, + 1. On checking out 69382/33268, I see that I upvoted you there as well, although I guess from how I remarked back then, I haven't always been a fan. Commented Jan 19 at 14:00
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Simple answer: Yes, Jesus does worship the Father.

I believe this is an excellent question for interpretative study and is illustrative of both hermaneutical principles and outcomes. So I find it strange that some are eager to shut down such an excellent discussion.

Begin interpretation by defining ones terms

Worship can be defined narrowly or broadly. Prayer, fasting, baptism, hymn singing, observing the Passover, reading the scrolls in the synagogue, all which Jesus did, can be called acts of worship. But to the Jews, the ultimate act of worship is unequivocally making sacrifice to God. Jesus sacrificed Himself to God, not just figuratively, but offering His flesh and blood as "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." [Jn 1:29]

Limiting interpretations to the context

The original question noted the use of "My Father" and "my God". These are important not for what they say about the Trinity, but in that they draw attention to the relationship Jesus or Paul had with God the Father.

Letting the Bible interpret itself; Words have implications

Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." [Jn 10:30] So the assertion that one person made ("Jesus himself never said he was God etc...") ignores the implications of statements Jesus DID make. We must consider His recorded words first, not dismissing the ramifications of His words. When he said to the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I AM", invoking the Tetragrammaton, they picked up stones to stone him for blasphemy. [Jn 8:58ff] So those who heard Jesus assumed clearly that He was claiming to be God. Immanuel also means "God with us", and was the name given Him by Isaiah and by the Apostle St. Matthew [Mt 1:22f].

Avoiding blank suppositions

To say "the Bible never records Jesus or the Father worshiping anyone or anything" is merely an opinion. It certainly does record Jesus worshipping, as well as refusing to worship Satan because, "it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” [Mt 4:10] Hermeneutics is never just stating ones opinions, but substantiating them scripturally, logically, and systematically.

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  • Your answer would be more complete if you addressed Thomas saying to Jesus, "My Lord and My God." Something both Jesus and John let stand without correction. In fact, Jesus promised those who had not seen but believe would be more blessed. Commented Jan 18 at 18:53
  • Thanks, excellent suggestion. Thomas understood that Jesus is both the perfect man and the holy God. The question of Jesus' deity does seem to lie at the back of the question of this thread. Could this have been at back of the reaction of the moderators?
    – C. Kelly
    Commented Jan 31 at 19:04
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Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year of Jesus' life did he worship Father. There is no univariate model of worship; it is as diverse as life and its experiences and affairs.1 When we act justly, mercifully, compassionately, and so on, it is worship to God, because we conform ourselves to His character, allowing ourselves to be shaped by and into His image. Jesus venerated Father by emulating Him in unwavering obedience.

When we eat, when we drink, when we sleep, when we work, when we leisure, when we spend time and cherish one another, when we enjoy life and make the most out of gifts we have received along with it, we worship Father, because capitalizing on this greatest gift -- in a way that accords with his design for what living as a human means -- is the highest form of gratitude, and exalts God, even to others (when they observe us and how we live on a daily basis). Jesus did all of this to a degree, and more.

I only expounded on these because they are comparatively overlooked patterns of worship. Of course there is prayer, vocal, and melodic praise (personal and communal), meditating on and sharing His word, modesty/de-emphasization of one's own qualities, etc. all of which Jesus did in bounds.

What I'm trying to say now is that, everywhere we look, in all aspects and all matters, Jesus magnified His Father, and His Father is ours too, so we should devote ourselves to the pattern he set and do likewise.


1 Cf. 1Chr 16:8-36; Eccl 9:7-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1Cor 6:12-20; 10:31; Eph 5:1-21; Phil 1:19-26; Col 3:12-17; 1Thes 5:12-23; 1Pe 4:1-11.

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  • Hey, good to see you, and good observations! Commented Jan 17 at 17:52
  • Good to see you too. Hope things are going well with you.
    – Rajesh
    Commented Jan 17 at 17:55
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    Does this apply to human thought and behavior toward Jesus? IOW, did the disciples before or after the resurrection do this to Jesus? Does Paul's "for me to live is Christ" mean Paul worshipped Jesus? Commented Jan 17 at 19:37
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    @RevelationLad Yes, absolutely. If you'd want, you could post that as a question and I'll answer in more detail.
    – Rajesh
    Commented Jan 17 at 20:48
  • I haven't taken much notice of you in the past. I think that may well have been a mistake. At this time I even checked out your "chat room (Worship)" debate and was quite impressed, to say the least. Well done, + 1. Commented Jan 19 at 14:20
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The Answers given so far explain whether and why Jesus worshipped the Father. But , none seems to have touched on the first half of the Question " If Jesus has a God.. "

We pray in the Nicene Creed:

...... And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father..

When we say " Jesus has a God.." we indirectly concede that Jesus is not God by himself and is a distinct entity. Such an admission does not go well with the precincts of Christian belief.
Then, why did Jesus say " My God " ? His words to Mary Magdalene post-Resurrection have to be seen in the backdrop of his crucifixion and burial. The disciples had no hopes left, with no one to look forward to. Jesus had to tell them that he had come back to life, and continued to be one of them. He needed to tell them that God the Father cared for them as much as He did for His Only Son. He needed to guarantee them that the Father would continue to be close to them even if he ascended into Heaven. He could have simply said ".. I am going to God, Our Heavenly Father ..." , quoting from the prayer he had taught them. But that would not console them, for the lack of 'personal touch' .

That said, a more appropriate way would be to ask :" If Jesus is God, why did he worship the Father ? "

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John 12 (ESV):

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Each Gospel contains the same instruction: follow Jesus. Each Gospel also contains details of things Jesus did which disciples are to emulate. For example, Jesus prayed to God: the disciples are to pray to God. Also Jesus prayed to the Father: the disciples are to pray to the Father.

At the same time, the Gospels also give what I would term as "corrective instruction."

John 15:16:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Jesus asked the Father. Therefore the literal example is disciples should ask the Father like Jesus did. This is exemplified in a prayer which begins "Our Father in heaven..." If one "follows Jesus" literally, one prays to the Father in the same manner in which Jesus prayed. There is no evidence Jesus ever prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus; therefore, the disciples should continue to follow the pre-crucifixion example and pray directly to the Father.

The significance of the instruction Jesus gave immediately before His death may be paraphrased: "no longer do you pray as I did. Now you are to pray differently." Without this instruction the disciples would continue to pray to the Father like Jesus prayed.

Given the importance of following Jesus, we would expect to find explicit statements of Jesus worshipping God or the Father. Yet, there is not even one instance of Jesus worshipping. All we have are things which imply worship and only then if we interpret worship in very general terms such as obedience.

Some have noted that Jesus is sinless therefore, again by implication, He must have worshipped God since His failure to do so would be a sin. That overlooks an obvious exception. If Jesus was God, self-worship would not only be unnecessary, it would be a sin.

Given the importance of worship, it is difficult to reconcile the records of what Jesus did and the instruction to "follow Me" with the complete absence of any mention of Jesus worshipping God. On the other hand, the Gospels contain numerous statements that others worshipped Jesus. Those who deny the obvious implications claim the word worship should be rendered differently, did obedience, or bow down.

What is the commandment given at Sinai?

Exodus 20:

1 And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

When Jesus failed to correct those who bowed down (or worshipped) did He sin by not offering "corrective instruction?" Isn't the correct response to those who might be sinning to say: "Do not bow before me and do not serve me?" How are we to reconcile what actually happened with what is expected if Jesus was not God?

Was Jesus failure to say, "Do not bow before me or serve me" a sin? Is Jesus instruction to "follow Me" which is later "corrected" to be "serve Me" a sin?

Before He is crucified He gives the disciples the final "corrective instruction." If anyone serves Me, let Him follow Me... Which is to say: "You are not sinning if you bow before Me and serve Me." Sometime later Thomas would face the resurrected Christ and say "My Lord and My God." Which would be interpreted, the one I serve (Lord) and the one I worship (God).

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  • There are several fallacies in this answer. Would you like to have a discussion about it?
    – Rajesh
    Commented Jan 18 at 20:38
  • @Rajesh I don’t believe I made any false statements. I would be interested to know what you believe is inaccurate. Go ahead and open a chat room. Commented Jan 18 at 22:17
  • I've made one, it's called "worship". Join up
    – Rajesh
    Commented Jan 19 at 0:00

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