Worship the Man
The Holy Spirit gives us ample amounts of proofs of the deity of Christ in Scripture. The fact that Jesus received worship from men and women--during his earthly ministry--has to be among the most marvelous of these proofs. Four times in Matthew's Gospel we read, "they...worshiped him" (Matt. 2:11; 14:33; 28:9; and 28:17).
First, when the magi presented their gifts to the child, Jesus, Matthew writes, "going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him" (Matt. 2:11).
Then, in the middle of his earthly ministry, Jesus was walking on the sea. Peter had asked him if he could also come to him--walking on the sea. He did so, until he saw the wind and the waves and started to sink. After Jesus reached out his hand and rescued him--and brought him safely back to the boat--Matthew tells us, "Those in the boat worshiped him, saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God'" (Matt. 14:33).
After the resurrection, as the women who had been at the empty tomb were on the way to tell the disciples what they had seen, Matthew writes, "Jesus met them and said, 'Greetings!' And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him" (Matt. 28:9).
Finally, when the disciples saw the risen Lord on the mount in Galilee, Matthew notes, "And when they saw him they worshiped him..." (Matt. 28:17).
John Owen, in his comments on Hebrews 3:3, wrote,
"Jesus is the object of all divine religious worship...Christ our mediator, God manifested in the flesh, God and man, whole Christ, his divine and human nature in one person, is the object of our religious adoration and worship; and it is just, righteous, equal, that we should constantly and continually worship him, because he hath built the house of God, because of his work of mediation."2
Taking all of the biblical teaching about the person of Christ, Owen concluded,
"We worship 'the man Christ Jesus' with divine honor and worship, even as his human nature, by virtue of personal union, subsists in the person of the Son of God, which person is the proper object of our worship."3
Jesus was no less worthy of worship in his state of humiliation as he is now is in his state of exaltation. We worship the one person of the Son of God, who is both God and man. We now worship the Man, Christ Jesus, who is seated on the throne of God, the only Mediator between God and man--even as we will for all of eternity.
1. John Owen, An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ed. W. H. Goold, vol. 20, Works of John Owen (Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter, 1854), 549-551.
2. John Owen, An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ed. W. H. Goold, vol. 20, Works of John Owen (Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter, 1854), 552.