Recently, my neighborhood has seen an influx of Jehovah Witnesses’ (JW) knocking on doors. I thought it fitting to compose a simple response, that should be more conversational than confrontational with the visitors.
There are several different approaches to talking with a JW. The conversation could be regarding their soteriology, their shady history, their ever-changing theology, or their odd revelatory updates. I, however, prefer to converse about their belief that Jesus was actually an angel, not the Son of God.
I will typically lead the conversation toward the resurrection account in Matthew, completely avoiding the Gospel of John. Following the account of the resurrection the Disciples went to tell the others about what had occurred. In Matthew 28:9-10 something very interesting takes place:
And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.
There are at least two things we must consider when the text in Matthew states that Jesus was worshipped. The first consideration are the first two Commandments. The first Commandment states that there is one God and that He alone is to be our God (Ex. 20:2-3). The second Commandment states that we are to not bow down or serve any idols; that is, to reserve our allegiance and worship for God alone (Ex. 20:4-6).
The second consideration is the strict prohibition of the worship of angels. In the book of Revelation (Rev.19:9-10), the writer is overwhelmed with a sense to worship as he sees and experiences this heavenly splendor and prophecy; but as he falls to his feet to worship, he is strongly warned to reserve His worship for God alone.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The main problem to resolve is this: why were the Disciples in the Matthew account not reprimanded for worshipping Jesus? The Apostle Peter was reprimanded and called Satan when he put His concern for the flesh of Jesus above the mission of Jesus (Matt 16:21-23). Why was a rebuke withheld when the Disciples worshiped Jesus? The only answer is that none was deserved because the worship of Jesus is the proper response to the revelation and presence of Jesus.
The worship of Jesus is both obedient and proper, because Jesus is God the Son – that is Jesus is the revelation of God in flesh. He is worthy of all of our worship, all of the time.
Worship is the only proper response to Jesus.