In this section https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/bart-d-ehrman-proves-muhammad-is-a-false-prophet-pt-3a/ we are going to show that Jesus is worshiped in the same exact manner that God Almighty is supposed to be worshiped.
Worshiping God’s Son
The NT depicts Christ as receiving worship both during his earthly ministry,
“And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” Matthew 14:33
“Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped him.” John 9:35-38
And after his resurrection and bodily ascension into God’s heavenly presence:
“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said UNTO HIM, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29 Authorized King James Version (AV)
“Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him… Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I AM with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:9, 16-17 – cf. 1:21-23; 11:27; 16:24-27; 19:16-30; 18:20
“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;” Luke 24:51-52
To Christ Be the Glory
The God-breathed Scriptures are replete with doxologies to God:
“because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:25
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
“To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:11
A doxology is an ascription of praise where God is glorified for who he is and/for what he has done.
Doxologies are also offered to the Lord Jesus, obviously because he is God in the flesh:
“to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:5
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6
Calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus
In the Hebrew Bible, OT saints were exhorted to call upon the name of God alone in their invocations and/or worship:
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.” Psalm 31:5
“Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called on his name. They cried to the Lord, and he answered them. He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept his decrees, and the statutes that he gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7
“and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7
And yet NT believers were known for and characterized by their habit of calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus, a practice that started among Jesus’ Jewish followers in Jerusalem of all places!
“Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ He answered, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ The Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done TO YOUR SAINTS IN JERUSALEM; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind ALL WHO INVOKE YOUR NAME.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring MY NAME before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of MY NAME.’ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ All who heard him were amazed and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc IN JERUSALEM among those who INVOKED THIS NAME? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Acts 9:10-21
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2
The first Christians would even call upon the risen Lord at the moment of death, entrusting their very spirits to his care, and also invoke him to forgive their enemies:
“While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.” Acts 7:59-60
Priests of Christ
Like Yahweh in the OT,
“but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.” Isaiah 61:6
The Lord Jesus has priests who serve him by offering up their spiritual sacrifices to him:
“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God AND OF CHRIST, and they will reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6
“Nevertheless on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:15-16
Every creature shall worship the risen Lord forever!
To top it off, the blessed Apostle Paul took the worship ascribed to Yahweh,
“Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’” Isaiah 45:21-23
And to the Father himself,
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.” Ephesians 3:14-15
And applied it to the risen Christ, asserting that every creature will bow down before Jesus and confess that he is Lord:
“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11
The Apostle John is even more explicit since he is shown a vision by the Holy Spirit where he sees every creature in existence giving Jesus the exact same worship that the Father receives:
“When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom AND PRIESTS SERVING OUR GOD, and they will reign on earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ Then I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, singing, ‘To the one seated on the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14
To say that this is a truly astonishing vision would be a wild understatement. That every created being in existence worships both God and Christ forever proves that Jesus is no mere creature but is personally distinct from the entire creation, and is therefore uncreated by nature. The inspired Apostle places Christ on the Creator side of the Creator/creature divide alongside the Father. This inspired revelation also establishes that Jesus is actually coequal with the Father in essence, glory, honor, majesty etc., which explains why the Father would tolerate the entire creation worshiping and glorifying the Son in the exact same manner that they worship him.
To sum up, then, what we have seen thus far.
- According to the Holy Bible only God is to be worshiped.
- Jesus’ disciples (whom the Quran claims were Muslims [cf. Q. 3:52, 5:110]) started worshiping Christ during his earthly life and immediately after his physical, bodily ascension into heaven.
- Christ’s followers ascribed to their risen Lord the same exact worship that the OT saints offered to Yahweh their God.
- Since God alone is to be worshiped, Jesus must have therefore claimed to be God, and his disciples must have believed that he was/is, otherwise they would not have worshiped him.
- This, therefore, further establishes that the Quran is wrong and Muhammad was a false prophet since neither Jesus nor his followers were Muslims. Rather, Jesus claimed to be the unique, divine Son of God and the Lord of all creation, with his disciples worshiping him as such.
Lord Jesus willing, we shall have more in this series in the near future.
Unless stated otherwise, all Scriptural references taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Holy Bible.