Unitarians and Muslims like to argue that Latreuo is a higher form of worship that only God receives and Jesus never receives. It may be true that it is never specifically stated of Jesus in the NT that he receives Latreuo but this does not prove that he is not entitled to it. If he is God then he is entitled to it. God as such is said to receive Latreuo in the NT and not just the Father.
It could be argued that we do see an instance of Latreuo being given to Jesus as the Lamb on the throne of God in Revelation chapter 22:
The River of Life
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Jesus is Coming
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Jesus quotes the Old Testament when he rebukes the devil who tempts him in the wilderness to worship him:
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
If serving is a higher form of worship then why does Deuteronomy command all men to give both the higher and the lower form of worship to God? Surely God must be worthy of only the highest that we can give him? Would it not be an insult to him to give him the lowest form of worship in place of the highest? Jesus words don’t make sense if serving, latreuo, is just a higher form of worshipping than proskuneo. We would be witholding the highest to give God the lowest form of worship if we did not give him both kinds of worship. This is to dishonour God.
The word used for worship is proskuneo and the word for serve is latreuo. The texts that they come from in the OT are both in Deuteronomy:
6 v 12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
A Call to Obedience
10 v 12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
Moses was preaching to all the people of Israel commanding them to serve the Lord their God by keeping the commandments. He wasn’t speaking only to the priests or levites who serve in the temple of whom it could be argued that they may be said to worship God in a higher vocational sense. He was commanding all the people to serve God by keeping his commandments.
Jesus commands us to worship and serve God as two distinct activities, not as one higher and lower form of the same activity.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.