What does Luke 4:8 mean?
ESV: And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’"
NIV: Jesus answered, "It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ "
NASB: Jesus replied to him, 'It is written: ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE Lord YOUR God AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’?'
CSB: And Jesus answered him, "It is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."
NLT: Jesus replied, 'The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ '
KJV: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
NKJV: And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
Verse Commentary:
Christ responds to Satan's offer of earthly power in exchange for worship (Luke 4:5–7). As in the other cases, Jesus quotes Scripture and resists the temptation. Instead of taking earthly authority now, avoiding the suffering of the cross, Jesus chooses to obey God and wait for all things to be given in their due time (Philippians 2:8).

Jesus' citation here is from Deuteronomy 6:13. In that book, Moses repeats much of Israel's history. He recounts the commands and lessons given to them by God. Among those are commands to remember and to trust. In the passage to which Jesus refers, Moses reminds Israel that it was God—and God alone—who rescued them from slavery in Egypt. To ignore that salvation and pursue other gods would be a heinous sin.

Satan's temptation of Jesus, in this case, is to do exactly that: to "forget" God and serve some other master. The bait of this temptation is the allure of an easier, "better" life. Jesus knows that this offer is not only a lie, but also pointless. He's been promised all those things, anyway, so long as He follows the Father's will. In the same way, Christians should resist the lies of "prosperity preachers" and earthly sins; God has promised us reward and happiness far beyond that in heaven (1 Corinthians 9:24; Colossians 3:23–24).
Verse Context:
Luke 4:1–13 describes Jesus' temptation by Satan. During forty days of fasting, the Devil entices Him using offers of comfort, power, and prestige. In each case, Jesus responds with Scripture and a commitment to God's will. This series of events is also recorded in Matthew 4:1–11 and Mark 1:12–13. While Matthew's account implies an explicit order for these temptations, Luke's does not.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus is taken into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. While fasting there, He is tempted by Satan. These temptations share an element of ignoring God in favor of what seems easier or quicker. Jesus resists all of these, citing Scripture as He does. When Jesus returns, He preaches and heals to great publicity in Judea and Galilee. While His hometown responds with stubborn skepticism, others are eager to hear His teaching and experience His miraculous power.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 3 explained how John the Baptist preached to prepare others to receive Jesus Christ. Luke then provided Jesus' earthly ancestry. Chapter 4 begins with Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. He returns to preach and perform healing miracles in Judea and Galilee. Chapter 5 shows Him calling disciples and demonstrating further proofs of His authority.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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