Article: Worshiping Jesus, worshiping idol
The following article is no longer published online. It was written by a person named Michael many years ago. I found it and reproduced it here.
The question is: what exactly constitutes idolatry?
Idolatry, one of the worst biblical sins, can take on many forms. In the Ten Commandments, it is touched upon briefly in the nature of a physical image:
Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy G-d [am] a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (KJV)
But is carving an image the only form of idolatry?
Deuteronomy 17:2 If there will be found among you in one of your cities, which HASHEM, your G-d, gives you, a man or woman who commits what is evil in the eyes of HASHEM, your G-d, to violate His covenant,  and he will go and serve gods of others and prostrate himself to them, or to the sun or the moon to any host of heaven, which I have no commanded,  and it will be told to you and you will hear; then you shall investigate well, and behold! It is true, the testimony is correct – this abomination was done in Israel –  then you shall remove that man or that woman who did this evil thing to your cities – the man or the woman – and you shall pelt them with stones, so that they will die.  By the testimony of two witnesses or three witnesses shall the condemned person be put to death; he shall not be put to death by the testimony of a single witness.  The hand of the witnesses shall be upon him first to put him to death, and the hand of the entire people afterward, and you shall destroy the evil from your midst. (Artscroll)
In most Christian Bibles I’ve seen this portion referred to such things as “The warning against idolatry.” Thus, both Jews and Christians can agree that this is idolatry. So, we see that worshiping the sun or the moon is idolatry, and worshiping anything other than G-d is idolatry. Why is it idolatry, though? It is idolatry because it’s physical. G-d is not a physical entity. He is not a man.
Numbers 23:19 G-d [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (KJV)
The Torah lays this out in very clear, concise language. Jesus was a man. Jesus told us he was the Son of Man. G-d said flat out that He was NOT a man, and that He was NOT the son of man. This is not a difficult concept. When the Egyptians prayed the Pharaoh, they committed idolatry. When the Romans worshiped Caesar, the committed idolatry. Idolatry, in essence, is the worship of the physical.
Go outside and look straight at the sun. Can’t do it, you say? If you can’t stare directly into but a small example of G-d’s power, what makes one think he can see the Creator Himself? As I’ve said before in related essays, Moses was the greatest prophet of all time, as stated by the words of Deuteronomy 34:10. Moses desired total knowledge of G-d, but G-d told him that his request was impossible.
Exodus 33:12 Moses said to HASHEM, “See, You say to me, ‘Take this people onward,’ but You did not inform me whom You will send with me; and You had said, ‘I shall know you by name, and you have also found favor in My eyes.’  And now, if I have indeed found favor in Your eyes, make Your ways known to me, so that I may comprehend Your ‘you have found favor in My eyes.’ But see that this nation is Your people.”  He said, “My Presence will go and provide you rest.”  He said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go along, do not bring us forward from here.  How, then, will it be known that I have found favor in Your eyes – I and Your people – unless You accompany us, and I and Your people will be made distinct from every people on the face of the earth!”  HASHEM said to Moses, “Even this thing of which you spoke I shall do, for you have found favor in My eyes, and I have known you by name.”  He said, “Show me now Your glory.”  He said, “I shall make all My goodness pass before you, and I shall call out with the Name HASHEM before you; I shall show favor when I choose to show favor, and I shall show mercy when I choose to show mercy.”  He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for no human can see My face and live.” (Artscroll)
Since we know that G-d is not a man, it’s obvious that when G-d uses anthropomorphic speech, it is not to be taken literally, especially since the end of the Torah says that Moses saw G-d “face to face.” Here it says that’s impossible. In the above passage, it’s to let us know that we cannot visually comprehend or “see” G-d. Any word usage we find in the Bible to that effect is purely metaphorical.
1 Kings 8:27 But will G-d indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (KJV)
Deuteronomy 4:12 HASHEM spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you were hearing the sound of words, but you were not seeing a likeness, only a sound. (Artscroll)
These are not difficult concepts to grasp. If G-d were to appear in physical form, how would you know it? No procedure for such recognition is found in the Torah. If G-d were to do it once, what’s to stop any layman from producing a miracle and then claiming godhood?
Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy G-d doth drive them out from before thee. (KJV)
Take note with this passage of why G-d tells us not to seek out these types of people or powers. He doesn’t say that they are nonsense and not to be believed. We’re not to seek them out because they’re not holy. There are all kinds of evil powers out there. The Torah forbids them because they are unholy.
What then, did Jesus do that proves he’s the Almighty? He raised someone from the dead? Elijah and Elisha both did that. Praying to Elijah and Elisha would also be idolatry. If someone comes along, shows you a sign or wonder, then he might be a prophet, and you should follow him. If he teaches something that goes against the grain of what Moses taught, then he’s a false prophet, and he should not be feared. But there’s no reason, no logic, no justification that can allow someone to pray to a man [or worship him or her].