Did men bow before Jesus because he was God?

//Did men bow before Jesus because he was God?

Question #38: Why does your Bible render the word ‘proskuneo’ as ‘obeisance’ in regards to Jesus (eg. Matthew 2:8,11), but as ‘worship’ in regards to Jehovah and even Satan (eg. Matthew 4:9-10)?

Obeisance and worship are pretty much interchangeable terms, but can have slightly different connotations depending on the context. 

According to the NAS lexicon the Greek word proskuneo literally means “to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence among the Orientals, especially the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence. In the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank, to the Jewish high priests, to God to Christ, to heavenly beings, to demons.”

So, in the case of the magi who came from Persia following the moving “star,” did those astrologers imagine that Jesus was God or even a god? Is that why they bowed down before the infant? No. The account says they inquired of Herod, saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when we were in the East, and we have come to do obeisance to him.”

Perhaps as a result of their familiarity with the writings of Daniel, since he was a prominent ruler in Persia a few centuries before, the astrologers apparently recognized that the Jews were in expectation of the coming of a great king. Unlike the deluded trinitarians, those Persian stargazers did not believe the new born Jesus was God. They rightly recognized him as one destined to become the king of the Jews. For that reason they bowed to the infant, as they would to any other ruler or royal offspring.  

And, of course, the Jews who bowed before Jesus were not imagining he was God either. They bowed before him because they wished to acknowledge that Jesus was sent by God, that he was the promised Messiah.

However, it is worth noting that at some point in the future God will require everyone, angels included, to worship the Son. That will be when Christ returns as the King, not just of the Jews, but of the world. Paul explained: “But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: ‘And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.”’

Or, if you prefer the King James, Hebrews 1:6 states: “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”

Obeisance, worship, whatever, the point is, God commands all creation to worship the Son, not because the Son is God, but because it pleases the Father to bestow such honor upon the Son. Furthermore, the command to worship the Son is not given until God brings his Firstborn into the world again; meaning, the Second Coming.

Jehovah, on the other hand has always received worship, even as Jesus told the Devil in response to Satan’s temptation to worship him; Jesus saying: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” No reasonable person would suppose that Jesus was referring to himself as the one “alone” to whom his own sacred service belonged. 

2018-02-12T20:11:41+00:00 February 12th, 2018|60 Questions|8 Comments
  • Paul H

    “proskuneo literally means “to kiss the hand to (towards) one”

    The Vatican has always adopted that custom.. kissing hands of their pope… or did they smell instead of kissing?


  • Max

    Wow this is new to me! I did not know that The King will be worship in the future. For sure he deserves it if Jehovah says so and satan has been worshiped by so many the loyal son of God deserves much more than that plus one his titles is “powerful god” … wow!

    • The worship of Jesus at the Second Coming is something that even Jehovah’s Witnesses do not appreciate. No doubt because they do not appreciate the Second Coming. After all, according to the WT the Second Coming took place in 1914. Here is a video I did on the topic a few years ago.


  • Marisa Gomez

    If God commands all creation to worship the Son. (Revelation 5:12,13)…..Why in Isaiah Jehovah says :” I will not give any other one my own glory nor my praise???? Thanks for your time.

    • In the context of Isaiah Jehovah is speaking about not sharing his glory with idols and false gods. That is because all such manmade representations of God are degrading, both to God and to the worshipper. When it comes to Christ though, Jesus is the exact representation of God’s very being, as Paul said in the 1st chapter of Hebrews. Since Jesus is an exact reflection of God’s glory, especially since his ascension and glorification, the worship that will be given to Jesus will not diminish God’s glory or degrade the worshipper. On the contrary, God will be glorified for giving such honors to his Son.

      • Marisa Gomez

        Mil gracias hermano, sus respuestas como siempre satisfactorias. Es un placer aprender .

    • Bklyn Kevin

      More food for thought.
      Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creationJohn
      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god
      .John 1:1
      I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.“I have made your name manifest to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have observed your word. Now they have come to know that all the things you gave me are from you; because I have given them the sayings that you gave me, and they have accepted them and have certainly come to know that I came as your representative, John 17:4-8.

      Now because he knew before the festival of the Passover that his hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father, Jesus, having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the end
      When, therefore, he had gone out, Jesus said:
      “Now the Son of man is glorified, and God is glorified in connection with him. God himself will glorify him, and he will glorify him immediately. John 13:31-32 https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/john/13/#v43013001-v43013020.The

      Coming of Christ in the Glory of Jehovah. https://e-watchman.com/christ-comes-glory-jehovah/
      Read a lot more> Search results for: glory. https://e-watchman.com/?s=glory

      • Marisa Gomez

        Gracias, gracias,, como siempre amorosos y listos para una respuesta apropiada.. Ahora a mis estudiantes les enseño lo que aprendo aquí con Brother Robert y ustedes. Reciban mi amor cristiano.

Skip to toolbar