● received worship,
● is prayed to,
● is trusted in the same way we are to trust God,
● is honored as we are to honor the Father.
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Rev. 22:8,9)
Hence, angels of God not only refuse worship, they also direct people to worship God. Similarly, the Lord's Apostles refused sacrifices, as would be given to a deity:
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.” (Acts 14:11-15)
In contrast to God's angels refusing worship and the apostles refusing sacrifice as would be given to a deity, the Lord Jesus (God in the flesh) received worship from others, including his own disciples:
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Mat 14:33)
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Mat 28:9)
When they saw him, they worshiped him ... (Mat 28:17)
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. (Luke 24:52)
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. (John 9:38)
Furthermore, all of God's angels also worship Jesus, including the angel in Revelation 19 and 22 who forbade John to worship him and told him to worship God:
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.” (Heb 1:6)
NOTE: The same Greek word for worship is found in Luke 4:8 where Jesus used it when resisting the devil. What Jesus said belongs to God (worship) is what God told his angels to give to Jesus! Again, it was God who commanded all the angels to worship the Lord, suggesting the deity of Christ. So, Jesus receives worship even from his disciples and God's angels. He is God in the flesh. In fact, it will be common to worship Jesus in the future:
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. (Dan 7:27)
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and WORSHIPED God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" (Rev. 7:11,12)They spoke these words to God as worship:
In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Rev. 5:12).Then immediately after that, Jesus is worshiped a subsequent time alongside the Father in the same EQUAL way. They are both distinctly WORSHIPED in v.14 by the elders.
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and WORSHIPED (Rev. 5:13,14).
Moreover, God does not share his GLORY with another (Isa. 42:8), but Jesus is worshiped with equal "glory" as the Father (Rev. 5:13), and he was given all power in heaven and earth (Mt. 28:18). Obviously, it can't be wrong to worship Jesus who has all power in heaven and earth. BTW, the reason Jesus was given [really given back] all power in heaven and earth was because he left all of that to humble himself to become a man (Phil. 2:5-11). Before Jesus became a man he had glory with the Father and prayed for it to restored:
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began (John 17:5).The restoration of Jesus' glory is shown in Mt. 28:18.
Jesus taught Christians to pray to (the Father) and to himself:
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:14)
(NOTE: The Jehovah's Witness Bible (The New World Translation) omits the word me in John 14:14 in a dishonest effort to deny that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. However, their own Kingdom Interlinear translation has the word me under the Greek wording, showing it is actually there!)
It is apparent that the first-century Christians prayed to Jesus, as shown in different Scriptures. (The Lord also taught us to pray through him, but that is not being discussed here.) A clear example of a first-century disciple was Stephen. As he was dying, he prayed to Jesus:
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)
The whole Christian congregation at Corinth prayed to Jesus:
To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: (1 Cor 1:2)
The early Christians were all described as those who prayed to Jesus:
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” (Acts 9:13,14)
All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” (Acts 9:21)
All of the early Christians called on the Lord:
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Tim 2:22)
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (John 14:1)
That is a very revealing passage, especially in light of us being forbidden to trust in anyone or anything but God:
This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jer 17:5-8)
We are blessed if we trust in YHWH and cursed if we trust in man. Hence, if Jesus wasn't God in the flesh, he was teaching falsely and laying a snare for his disciples, which is impossible.
That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (John 5:23)
NOTE: We are to honor (Gr: prize) Jesus the same way we honor (prize) the Father. If the Lord Jesus wasn't God in the flesh, that would be impossible.
● Accepted worship from anyone, especially his disciples or the angels of God. Neither would the Father have command his angels to worship Jesus.
● Taught Christians to pray to himself. Neither could it have been a common practice for Christians to pray to Jesus.
● Taught his followers to trust in himself as they are to trust in God.
● Taught his followers to honor him as they honor God.
The real Jesus of the Bible is to be worshiped, prayed to, trusted in and honored the same way as the Father. He must, therefore, be God in the flesh. That means if you have been taught in such a way which would prevent you from doing these to the Lord Jesus, then you have been dangerously deceived about his true identity. The aforementioned Biblical facts answers the question, who is Jesus? If a false teacher has misled you and you have been believing in another Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4), then align your beliefs up with the evidence. The real Jesus is the God man, according to the Biblical evidence. He is both deity and man. Remember: The humanity of Christ doesn't negate the deity of Christ! He is eternal life (1 John 1:2), the all-sufficient Savior and the very heart of the gospel message. Jesus is the focus of true gospel preaching! Through repentance and faith in Jesus, his blood will set you free from your sin addictions and change you into a new creation. Jesus is God in the flesh, according to the Bible.