Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Worshiping Jesus as God: The Issue of David Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

Continuing from where we left off we are going to provide further examples of Jesus being worshiped in the same way that the OT says Yahweh is to be worshiped.

For instance, the first Christians prayed to the risen Christ and even entrusted their spirits to him at the time of death:

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, CALLING UPON GOD, and saying, LORD JESUS, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, LORD, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:55-60

This is precisely what the OT saints did (as did Christ himself when he was still on the earth), since they knew that only Yahweh receives the spirits at death seeing that he was the One that created them:

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” Psalm 31:5

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them… Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:1, 7

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots… And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Luke 23:33-34, 46

Christ’s disciples were even known for their habit of calling upon the name of their risen Lord, both in their corporate worship and in their petitions where they would ask him to meet their entire spiritual and material needs:

“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2-3

This practice of calling out to Christ started among Jesus’ Jewish followers in Jerusalem, of all places!

“Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to THY saints AT JERUSALEM: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on THY name… And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on THIS name IN JERUSALEM, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?” Acts 9:13-14, 20-21

This again is a reverence that the Hebrew Bible ascribes to Yahweh alone, since he is the One to be worshiped and invoked for all of one’s spiritual and material needs:

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is how you will bless the children of Israel, saying to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:22-26

“Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.” Psalm 99:5-7

“I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul… I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord… I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:1-4, 13, 17

Moreover, as we saw in the first part of our discussion Christ is said to be far exalted above the entire creation, with all things being subject to him:

“in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:2-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, AND MADE HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.” Hebrews 7:24-28

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22

And as a result of his exalted status, every creature is required to bow down and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, an act of worship that pleases and glorifies the Father,

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above EVERY name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Since he has commanded everyone to render unto his Son the exact same honor that he is supposed to receive:

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, EVEN AS they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:22-23

Yet again, the OT writings are emphatically clear that this is a status and worship, which Yahweh does not and will not give to anyone, since he alone reigns far above all creation as the Most High,

“For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” Psalm 97:9

The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high,” Psalm 113:4-5

“Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name ALONE is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” Psalm 148:13 New International Version (NIV)

And it is to his name alone that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear allegiance:

“Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” Nehemiah 9:5

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:2-4

“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That UNTO ME every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:21-23

In light of the foregoing, could the God-breathed Scriptures be any clearer that Christ doesn’t receive the kind of “worship” that his physical ancestor received, but rather receives the exact same worship Yahweh God Almighty does from all his creation?

Unless noted otherwise, all biblical references taken from the Authorized King James Version (AV) of the Holy Bible.

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