Did the leper worship Jesus in Matthew 8? Posture during worship?

I’m comparing versions and only one version uses “worshiped” but the Greek is apparently “proskenein” which is used only in relation to worshiping God. Also, he was kneeling or bowing before Jesus. Was this worship? This brings about another question of mine…does our posture matter in prayer or worship? Should I lift my hands in praise or is it okay to keep them clasped together (I’m quite a shy person when I’m in public or in my casual church).

There is no real way of knowing since we worship in spirit - Jn 4:24

I have noticed many translations out there do not translate the word “proskyneō” as worship, honor, or obeisance. They simply translate it as “knelt before him“ or something like that. Not sure why, maybe someone else will chime in with a better understanding of the greek here.


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Does anyone really think God cares about posture in church? Is one’s prayer not heard unless kneeling? Is one who sits during the consecration to be frowned upon?

Let’s not forget, the leper came to Jesus because he’d been rejected by the Pharisees who called him “unclean.” They had driven him, in desperation, to his knees. If we are not careful, the issue of posture will create a new class of lepers in our parishes. And, worst of all, we’ll be so focused upon what is correct that we forget to truly pray.

The world is on the verge of war, people are starving, ethnic, religious and racial hatred fills the nations. Is God really so concerned with our posture, how we stand, whether we kneel, how we hold our arms? Or, perhaps is what is in our hearts His true concern?

You may find this link helpful and note that it can have a wide range of meanings not simply divine worship to God.

A similar understanding can be seen in the Old Testament where the same word is used for worship of God and the bowing down to a king. See Exodus 34:14 and 1 Kings 1:16, 23, 31.

I would say that in the New Testament, they did not know that Jesus was God, therefore it would be better to understand it as honoring him not divine worship until after his resurrection.

Private prayer positions are the ones that best orient and direct your focus to God. Use what you are comfortable with.

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