Speculative idea: Perhaps the worship of Jesus in early Christianity can be informed by an understanding of the tradition regarding the worship of Adam.
The Life of Adam and Eve (originally composed in the first century AD, and possibly springing from older traditions), relates the following story:
The Devil answered, “Adam what are you saying to me? On account of you I was cast out from heaven. When you were formed, I was cast out from the face of God and was sent forth from the company of the angels. When God blew into you the breath of life and your countenance and likeness were made in the image of God, Michael led you and made you worship in the sight of God. The Lord God then said: ‘Behold, Adam, I have made you in our image and likeness.’
Having gone forth Michael called all the angels saying, ‘Worship the image of the Lord God, just as the Lord God has commanded.’ Michael himself worshipped first then he called me and said: ‘Worship the image of God Jehovah.’ I answered: ‘I do not have it within me to worship Adam.’ When Michael compelled me to worship, I said to him, ‘Why do you compel me? I will not worship him who is lower and posterior to me. I am prior to that creature. Before he was made, I had already been made. He ought to worship me.’ (Life of Adam and Eve 13-14)
Two important early Christological passages, Php 2.6-11 and Col 1.15-20, reflect similar language to this passage from Adam and Eve. They speak of Jesus as, in arguably Adamic terms, the “image” (eikon) and “form” (morphe) of God. Some (e.g. Dunn) would argue for a thoroughly Adamic Christology of the Philippian hymn.
Another passage which immediately springs to mind when reading the above passage from Adam and Eve is Hebrews 1.6:
When God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
Note how just a few verses earlier, the author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the “exact image” (charakter) of God’s being. So perhaps the idea that God had commanded Adam to be worshiped (since he was a visible image of God) could be warrant for the worship of Jesus in early Christianity (as he too was considered to to be a visible image of God).
On an interesting and tangential note, this tradition of Adam worship is also found in the Qur’an (2:34 and 18:50).