Did Jesus Really Believe He was God? Part 1

Did Jesus Really Believe He was God?
Luke 4:8
Part 1

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, but not me.”

“You see,” critics say, “Jesus advocated the worship of God but did not include himself in that category. He had the opportunity. But he didn’t take it. If Jesus was truly God, he would have included himself in that equation. He would have said, “Worship me.” But he didn’t. He didn’t because he didn’t claim to be the Lord God. So there; put that in your Christian pipe and smoke it.”


Did Jesus Really Believe He was God?

Part 1

At first glance, it does seem that the critics are right. We might have to take up smoking our pipes. Jesus missed the opportunity to claim divinity status. He could have replied, “Worship the Lord your God, and me, and serve us only.” But he failed to mention himself. He could have cleared up everything about his true identity right then and there. But he failed even to mention himself. So, case closed, right?

Did Jesus really believe he was divine? If he did, why pass up a golden opportunity to set the record straight?

Or, maybe the critics are right. Maybe Luke did not believe Jesus was divine. Maybe Jesus didn’t believe it himself. After all, he gives no hint of it in his conversation with Satan (Luke 4). What gives?

How do we, as students of Scripture, answer such a criticism? Luke does indeed have an answer, but he refuses to serve us fast food. He takes his time and allows his plot to be seen slowly, just like petals gradually unfold on a rose. So, be patient and yet confident. Put your smoking pipe away. Read Luke’s Gospel and carefully and observe his use of the word “worship” (προσκυνέω).

Read Part 2 on the blog tomorrow.