Did Jesus Believe He was Divine? Part 3 Luke 4:8

Did Jesus Believe He was Divine?

Luke 4:8

Part 3

Bible critics have a field day with Christians’ claim of Jesus’ divinity in Luke’s Gospel. “See,” they say, “Jesus himself never commanded anyone, even Satan, to worship Him.” In response to Satan’s attempt to cajole Jesus into worshiping him, Jesus emphatically quoted Deut 6:13: “Worship (προσκυνέω) the Lord your God and serve Him only.” (Luke 4:8; Deut 6:13). Sounds like, “worship God, not me.”


“You see,” critics say, “Jesus advocated the worship of God but excluded himself. He didn’t take the opportunity to set the record straight. If Jesus was truly God, he would have included himself in that equation. He would have said, ‘Worship (προσκυνέω) me.’ But he didn’t.” Why? Well, the critics rejoin, “because he didn’t claim to be the Lord God. Put that theological tobacco in your Christian pipe and smoke it.”

So, are the critics are right? Did the church invent Jesus’ divinity, as claimed by Bart Ehrman? Did anyone actually worship Jesus (προσκυνέω)?

Cherry-picking Scripture will always force us to buy the critic’s tobacco and smoke it. But Luke resists typical Bible study cherry picking. He writes a dramatic epic about Jesus. Luke takes time to slowly develop his plot about Jesus, unfolding it on a grand scale. We can connect the theological dots he places in our reading path; but we have to be patient and confident to find the next dot (the next use of προσκυνέω, worship). We must read Luke’s whole epic again and again, carefully looking for the dots.

Luke reserves the next dot (worship; προσκυνέω) until the conclusion of his epic. After Jesus’ resurrection, he was taken up to heaven. Luke then records the next dot. “Then they worshiped (προσκυνέω) him {Jesus} and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” (Lk 24:52). Connect the dots: Luke 4:8 and Luke 24:52.  

Jesus’ disciples are obeying Jesus’ command regarding worship (Deut 6:13; Lk 4:8). They are worshiping the Lord God, that is, according to Luke, the risen and ascended Jesus. Luke places the two dots in our journey through his epic and says to us, “go ahead; connect the dots.” “Jesus is the Lord God. So, worship Him!”

Read Luke’s epic carefully, slowly, and patiently. Then you can connect the dots and understand that Jesus is the Lord God, worthy of worship. And, you can throw out your pipe and tobacco; you won’t need them after all.