John 5:23 – That all men should honor the Son [Jesus], the same way that they honor the Father

John 5:20  For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 5:21  For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Of course, this means that if God is worshipped, then Christ must be worshipped as well; If Christ is not worshipped as God then He is not being honored in the same way that the Father would be honored. On the other hand, if one does worship Christ as they would worship God–and Jesus is NOT God–then that person has committed idolatry. Herein lies the problem with taking this verse to mean anything other than a claim of equality with God.

As it pertains to John 5:23 David Guzik says:

This is a further claim to deity. If the Son were not God, then it would be wrong to honor the Son just as they honor the Father. It also means that if we do not honor the Son, we do not really honor the Father either. Jesus claims the same right to worship from men that the Father has.

John Wesley’s remarks regarding the same verse are:

This demonstrates the EQUALITY of the Son with the Father. If our Lord [Jesus] were God only by office or investiture, and not in the unity of the Divine essence, and in all respects equal in Godhead with the Father, he could not be honoured even as, that is, with the same honour that they honoured the Father. He that honoureth not the Son – With the same equal honour, greatly dishonoureth the Father that sent him.

As we can see, verbally tethering yourself to God in terms of the kind of respect or honour that others should pay you, is a straightforward way of intimating to your listeners that you are equal with God. This is precisely what Jesus did in John 5:23.

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