When we ask, “did Jesus worship God?”, we actually mean, “did Jesus really worship God while being God himself? Did He, therefore, worship himself?” I want to answer these questions together with you in this article.
As a whole, the Bible describes Jesus worshipping God in form of thanksgiving and prostrating Himself in prayer (Matthew 11:25, 26:39; John 17:1). It is safe to assume that He worshipped God in the customary Shabbat services. Yet, no biblical account uses the explicit wording “Jesus worshipped God”.
I discovered more biblical references that describe how Jesus worshipped God in a roundabout way mainly through prayer. Yet, the question remains:
How did Jesus worship God while He himself is God? Did He therefore somehow worship himself?
I’d love to unpack this with you further below.
Did Jesus worship God?
The Bible doesn’t provide us with the exact wording: “… and Jesus worshipped God”, or “Jesus lifted His hands to worship God.”
Therefore, we need to look at recorded descriptions of forms of how Jesus has worshipped.
First, let’s look and Jesus’ context. Jesus was a Jew and raised in Jewish religious worship practices. We know that He indeed observed the Shabbat customs (resting day), even though He would apply it differently than the Pharisees expected Him to. (Matthew 12:10, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 13:14, John 5:17-18)
“And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day,”
Luke 4:16 NKJV
We see Jesus attended the local Shabbat services in the synagogues and therefore know He worshipped God as a part of the regular order of service. (jewsforjesus.org: New Testament Shabbat Service Customs)
If we want more proof, we need to look at scriptures that describe Jesus’ worship, His prayer, thanksgiving, or how He even prostrated Himself in prayer.
In Matthew 11:25, we can read of Jesus thanking God, the Father, in prayer as proof of a form of worship.
“At that time Jesus answered and said,
“I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”
Matthew 11:25-26 NKJV
Notice that Jesus would never just say, “God”, but would address Him as “Father.” This reveals a much deeper and intimate relationship with God. To support this thought, look with me into Luke 22:17-19, Mark 8:6, 14:23, John 6:11, 11:41, and Matthew 15:36 where we find more accounts of Jesus worshipping God through thanksgiving in prayer.
Mark 14:26 talks about Jesus and His disciples singing hymns at the last supper. It was most likely part of the Passover tradition called Hallel and consisted of Psalms 113-118. Jews would conclude the Passover meal with Psalm 118. These Psalms include worship of God, which is additional proof of how Jesus worshipped God.
Later on, after the Passover meal, Jesus goes into the garden to pray. Here we find one of the most outstanding confirmations of Jesus worshipping God.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying,
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39 NKJV
Falling on your face before God in prayer and prostrating yourself is a biblical sign of total surrender and worship of God throughout the whole Bible. (Genesis 17:3, 1 Chronicles 29:20, Revelation 7:11)
The following scriptures are Jesus’ own statements of himself describing or claiming to worship God.
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:
“Father, the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son,
that Your Son also may glorify You,“
John 17:1 NKJV
“So, when he had gone out, Jesus said,
“Now the Son of Man is glorified,
and God is glorified in Him.
If God is glorified in Him,
God will also glorify Him in Himself,
and glorify Him immediately.“
John 13:31-32 NKJV
Another verse that one could bend to use as proof of Jesus describing His worship of God is found in John 4:22. Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well and tells her: “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.“
Assuming that Jesus includes Himself in the “We”, one could say this is a description of Jesus confirming His worship of God.
I wrote a whole article on the woman at the well and what Jesus teaches her and us about worship. I believe this could be very beneficial for you to read.
Lastly in Luke 11:1-4, we find another confirmation. Here He teaches His disciples the Lord’s prayer. The first two lines stand out as predominant worship of God: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.“
Did Jesus say He is God?
On average Jesus never verbatim said “I am God”, but He did claim to be God, which was one of the reasons He was crucified for. There are statements made, by the apostles, the authors of the gospels, or even by the Old Testament Prophets that confirm Jesus’ claims that He indeed is God.
Let’s look at some of the claims Jesus made, their New Testament, and their Old Testament confirmations.
I want to start with Jesus’ claim to have been from the beginning even before the world was created. He said that He is before Abraham was.
No one other than God could have been present from the beginning before everything was made. What an outstanding claim Jesus made. The people that thought of Him as a mere man, believed He was a heretic and blasphemer (John 8:58, 17:5).
In the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, Jesus himself says, He is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:17, 22:13).
Only one person made this statement before through the Prophet of Isaiah: God. (Isaiah 44:6)
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.”
Isaiah 44:6 NKJV
Here we see the Old Testament confirming the New Testament. This is remarkable if not even stronger proof for His deity. The New Testament, which comes second, should only confirm what came first, the Old Testament. How much more striking it is the other way around.
The gospel of John confirms Jesus’ claims. It states Jesus was the Word and is indeed God. He was in the beginning. He made the World and everything else. It was Him who was with God from the very beginning. (John 1:1-14)
Additionally, Jesus claims to be one with God, the Father. Back then, this was an outrageous allegation. (John 10:30, 17:21-22)
The Apostle Paul confirms in Colossians 2:9 – in Him physically, dwells all the fullness of God.
Jesus would often call Himself the Son of Man, but in John 5:25-29, He went even further. He referred to Himself as the Son of God. Jesus professed God as His Father, which was claiming to be equal with God (John 5:17-18).
He said one can only come to God, the Father, through Him. (John 14:6)
Later, in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus claims to one day judge the nations. This was something only God could do.
It is powerful, just like the statement He made about being able to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7). According to the scribes and religious men back then only God was capable of this.
Again the Prophet Isaiah confirms it in the Old Testament. He recorded God saying the same things that Jesus said: Jesus is the one forgiving our sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
Jesus would also tell His disciples that He would do whatever His disciples would ask the Father in heaven through prayer and in His, Jesus’, name (John 14:13-14). How could a mere man allege He does or even knows of the things we ask God, the Father in heaven? This is another strong proof for His deity.
In John 13:3 and John 16:15, Jesus declares all things the Father has He also has. He claimed to be from God and going back to Him.
“All things that the Father has are Mine.
Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
John 16:15 NKJV
The Authors of the New Testament and Old Testament confirm Jesus was God who came in the flesh. (1 Timothy 3:16, John 1:14)
Jesus promised His disciples He will always be with them, even to the end of the age. This was not just a statement of comfort. Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus was with them and is with us today, thus proving He indeed is God. (Matthew 28:20)
The author of the letter to the Hebrews verifies Jesus’ sinless nature. Jesus was tempted, just like we are, but stayed perfect and without sin to the end. (Hebrews 4:15)
With that, only He was the perfect sacrifice to take upon Himself our sin and the punishment we deserved from before the Father. He died an innocent death in our stead.
The ultimate proof for His Godship was His resurrection back to life. This was and still is something only God could do. (1 Samuel 2:6, Luke 24:6-7, Mark 16:5-6, John 11:25-26, 20:17-18, Acts 4:33, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 1 Peter 1:3)
“(…) He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,
(…). After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.”
1 Corinthians 15:4-8
Did Jesus worship himself?
In total, there are no biblical accounts that tell us Jesus worshipped himself. The Bible states the opposite in Hebrews 5:5. It says, “Christ did not glorify himself.“ Even though Jesus was God in the flesh, He worshipped and honored God, the Father, alone. (John 1:14, 13:31-32, 17:1)
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest,
but it was He who said to Him:
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.”
As He also says in another place:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek”;
who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications,
with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death,
and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son,
yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
And having been perfected,
He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain,
since you have become dull of hearing.“
Hebrews 5:5-11 NKJV
Jesus is fully man and fully God. He was tempted but never sinned. He lived a perfect life and could have had every reason to exalt himself. But He never did. He humbled Himself to the lowest and was obedient even unto death. (Philippians 2:8)
God, the Father, appointed Jesus to be our ultimate High Priest, yet Jesus didn’t glorify Himself to this position. He was content with being God’s Son and walked under the leadership of His Father. (John 5:19-20)
He chose to worship and glorify God, His Father, in heaven.
We know God the Father, Jesus Christ as God the Son, and the Holy Spirit as God the Spirit are three in one (2 Corinthians 13:14, Colossians 2:9, 1 John 5:7-8, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Ephesians 4:4-6).
But that doesn’t mean Jesus somehow worshipped Himself when He worshipped the Father in heaven.
Don’t think, “Well, if there are three (in one), that means there are three Gods?!”
It is not like that. There is only one God.
The Prophet Isaiah says:
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”
Isaiah 44:6 NKJV
There is no Bible verse that even remotely suggests the logic of three Gods.
Take water as an example. Water can be a liquid, frozen (ice), or fluffy (snow). In all three states, it is still water, just in different manifestations.
It is the same with God. He is on God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
What did Jesus say about worship?
As a general rule, Jesus says we must “worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). In this context, He reveals that it is no longer about worship in a specific location but about worshipping God from your heart and, in all honesty, based on a close relationship with God as your Father.
We can see the same principle stated in Psalm 145:18.
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.”
Psalm 145:18 NKJV
I have a whole article dedicated to this question. You should check it out over here. I believe it will inspire you to worship God in a new and closer way!
When we ask, “did Jesus worship God?”, we actually mean, “did Jesus really worship God while being God himself? Did He, therefore, worship himself?” I want to answer these questions
Worshipping God through songs, hymns, and prayers is a central part of modern Christian life. But what did Jesus say about worship? In this article, we will look together into