Twisted Scripture: Luke 4:8

[6] The devil said to him, “I will give you their splendor and all this authority because it has been given over to me, and I can give it to anyone I want. [7] If you, then, will worship me, all will be yours.” [8] And Jesus answered him, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4:6-8; italics added)

Many people use verse 4:8 here to make a case that Jesus did not claim to be divine, for only God is to be worshipped. This conclusion based off of this passage alone is a violation of a very key principle in biblical interpretation: We cannot make one part of Scripture contradict the rest of Scripture. One needs to be able to know the Bible well enough to identify the theological principles in an accurate way, giving them the ability to interpret the Bible correctly.

This verse actually presents a case for Jesus’ divine nature. It does not go against the idea that Jesus claimed to be divine. Here is why: there are many other places in Scripture where Jesus claims to be divine implicitly, claiming to be so not by what he says but by what he does. A verbal claim by itself cannot be seen, but an action tied to a claim as a means to offer support can be seen. If that’s the case, then the supporting action must be proof that the claim is something that must be considered and taken seriously. That’s why he says to the Pharisees in Mark 2, “In order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I say to you [the paralytic] get up and walk.” Who can forgive sins but God alone? Jesus directly claimed to be God by forgiving sins (Mark 2), receiving worship from a leper (Matthew 8:2), from a disciple (John 20:28), and from angels (Hebrews 1:6).

If God alone is to be worshiped, and if God alone can forgive sins, then Jesus must be God.

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