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This is a very good question. I can think of one scripture where Jesus implied that people should worship Him and I know of at least one passage where He was worshipped and He gladly accepted it.

Let’s start by looking at John 5:21-23 which reads, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.” These verses clearly teach the equality of the Father and the Son. Both have the ability to raise and quicken the dead, and both are to be honored equally. I stress the word “equally” for Jesus said, in no uncertain terms, “All men should honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father.” The same honor which men give to God the Father is to be given to God the Son. This could never be said of a mere creature, for throughout the Bible we are taught that God alone is to be worshipped.

In the gospel of Luke we have a beautiful account where Jesus healed ten lepers and one of them was so thankful that he fell at Jesus’ feet and worshipped Him. We read in Luke 17:15-16, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at His feet, giving him thanks” If Jesus had not been God, He no doubt would have rebuked the healed leper and told him that only God deserved to be worshipped, but He gladly accepted this man honoring Him by falling at His feet with humble thanks. In fact, He not only accepted His worship, but He went on to say, in verses 12-13, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” He was as much as saying, “Why didn’t the other nine prostrate themselves at my feet, giving glory and honor to God?”

We may wonder why Jesus wasn’t demanding worship from His creatures, but we must remember that one of the main purposes of His becoming a man and walking among men was to draw attention to the God the Father. He came to reveal His Father, as we see in John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” And He came that men would worship His Father, as we see in John 4:21-23, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” But as we have seen, Jesus also desired the same honor from men that they would give to the Father and He never refused worship when it was given to Him. Yet His passion, from the manger to the cross, was to glorify His Father and to draw men’s hearts to Him. This shows the love He had for His Father, and it revealed the humility He had as the One Who had become a true Man and a lowly servant.

In closing I’d like to quote two verses that speak prophetically of the worship that we will render to the Lord Jesus in the glory. In the first verse He will be worshipped as the Creator and in the second as the Redeemer. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 5:12 reads,“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” Again, this is a future scene in heaven where we will give the Lord Jesus the worship that He deserves, as our Creator and Redeemer. But even now, we can and should honor Him with the worship of our hearts. Like Thomas in John 20:28 we can exclaim, with adoration, “My Lord and my God.” Or like Mary of old, who in John 12:3 fell at the feet of her Savior and “…anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair,” we can prostrate ourselves in His presence and give Him the praise of our hearts. When we do worship Him, we know from the examples cited in this short study that He will gladly accept it.  (134.3)  (DO)