The worshiping of the Messiah is a topic that gets little attention. Some say the Messiah is not to be worshiped, others say that he can be worshiped. To find the truth on this subject we have to read the bible.
I will be tackling this issue in a number of stages:
(1)- What the bible says about the Messiahs authority.
(2)- And if there are any instances where the messiah was worshiped.
First thing we need to establish is who the Messiah is and what the scriptures say about this, if we look in the book of Hebrews we can find a clear picture about who the Messiah is:
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
So first thing we see here is that the Messiah is the son of the Most High (God):
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”
So we see that the Messiah was “appointed heir over all things”.
We also see that the Messiah was given a name above the other angels. (“Being made so much better than the angels”).
These scriptures clearly tell us that the Messiah has an authority over the other angels, but does this mean we can worship him?
To find out if the Messiah allowed people to worship him or not we need to see the biblical interpretation and if he permitted it in the scriptures and also find out if the Angels that he is above permitted men to worship them.
First we can look at whether it is okay to worship angels, this is important as so many people have beliefs that say it is okay to pray or worship angels.
To find instances where men attempted to worship angels we can look in the book of Revelations.
8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Here we see John while having a vision, after seeing end time prophecies brought to him by an Angel attempt to worship the Angel. We are told he fell before the feet of the Angel, to which the Angel replies, “See thou do it not”, basically saying not to do it.
The Angel goes on further to say that he is a “fellowservant”, just like John. From this we see clearly that angels are not to be worshiped. You can also read Revelation 19:9,10.
Now we know that the worshiping of Angels is out of the question, lets now look at the whether the same is true for the Messiah.
The Messiah being worshiped after his resurrection
In the book of Matthews we can find instances that can be used to come to a conclusion.
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Here we see after the resurrection of the Messiah that we are told that the Disciples “worshipped” the Messiah. What is interesting… is that there is no rebuke by the Messiahs, as we saw with the angel and John instead the Messiah says “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth“. and then tells the disciples to now go and preach to all nations.
Another instance that the Messiah is worshipped
18While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
19And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
So here we see a ruler come to the Messiah and worship him, and again the Messiah does not stop this act of worship, instead he listens to the request of the ruler and goes with him to heal his daughter.
As we can see here the Messiah is worthy of worship and that Angels are not. This is clearly indicated by the scriptures. We are told that the Messiah sits at the right hand side of YHWH and that, that he has authority over the other angels.
Lets now take a look at the word worship and Worshipped, which were used in these scriptures.
If we look at the word worship in Revelations 22:8-9 and the words worshipped in Matthew 28:16-20 and Matthew 9:18-19, we find that these are the same words. They are both found in the Greek concordance number 4352:
Creek concordance number 4352
4352. proskuneo pros-koo-neh’-o from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):–worship.
So here we can see that this word indicates the act of homage or bowing in worship as is seen in the second commandment, where we are commanded not to bow to any other God.
It is clear from this that Angels knew that they did not have the authority to be worshipped like the Most High, but the Messiah has, as we can see when we read Hebrews 1:1-4, and by his own declaration in Matthew 28:18.
So that concludes this matter. The Messiah is worthy of worship and there is no sin in doing so. The angels on the other hand are not to be worshiped as they are fellow-servants just as we are.
So by all means worship the Messiah, but ensure that it is being done in Spirit and truth as the Messiah him self said
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Peace and Shalom
Scriptures for reading: