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Jesus Tempted by the Devil

 

4:1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.

 

After the Holy Spirit had descended and remained upon Him at His baptism in water He was led by the Spirit into wilderness.

 

4:2 Where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished.

 

There He was tempted by the devil for forty days and nights. During these days He ate nothing. When these days of fasting had ending he became hungry. This would suggest that during the time of fasting He was not conscious of being hungry.

 

4:3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

 

Using His hunger as an opportunity Satan tempts Jesus to use His power as the Son of God to turn the stones into bread.

 

4:4 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man does not live by bread alone.' "

 

Jesus comes back at the devil by quoting the Word of God (Deut. 8:3). It is not just food that sustains a person or gives life to a person but it is the Word of God. God is able to maintain human nature by His Divine Power.

 

4:5-6 Then the devil led him up to a high place and showed him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "To you I will grant this whole realm — and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish.

 

The devil then takes Jesus to the highest mountain and in a moment of time showed Him all the kingdoms of the world.   Satan offers to Jesus Christ that which he did not have the power or authority to do.  To give into Christ's hands the kingdoms the power and the glory.  To say that this power and glory had been given to him was a lie of the devil for he is a usurper (one who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another) for they belong to God and His Son.

 

4:7 So then, if you will worship me, all this will be yours.

 

The condition that the devil adds in order for Jesus to receive was that He should bow down and worship, acknowledge, him as God.

 

4:8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.' "

 

Again Jesus defeats the devil by the Word of God (Deut. 6:13).   There is only one Lord and God and He only must be worshiped and served (James 4: and 1 Peter 5:9).

 

4:9 Then the devil brought him to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.

 

Next the devil takes Jesus to Jerusalem and sets Him on the highest point of the temple and challenges Him to throw Himself off to prove that He is the Son of God.

 

4:10-11 For it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,' and 'with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "

 

If Jesus is indeed God's Son that no harm will come to Him for God has promised that the angels would guard, keep and watch over Him and uphold so that He would not even  hurt His foot against a stone (Psalm 91:11-12).

 

4:12 Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.' "

 

Jesus overcomes the devil again by the Word of God (Deuteronomy 6:16).   We should not tempt, try or test God.

 

4:13 So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time.

 

After the devil had finished tempting Jesus in all possible ways he left him until another opportunity came.

 

Jesus Begins His Mission

4:14-15 Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all.

 

Having faced and defeated Satan, Jesus began his mission in his home area of Galilee. So far Luke has told us that Jesus was born by the power of the Holy Spirit (), and that he received the Holy Spirit at his baptism (); here he emphasises that Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit. This was seen as Jesus began his ministry; as he taught in all the Jewish synagogues his message accompanied by miraculous works done in the power of the Spirit won him acclaim throughout the whole region.

 

4:16 Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read.

 

When eventually he reached the town of Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue (as he was accustomed to doing every Sabbath day) and stood up to read the scriptures.

 

4:17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written.

 

It is possible that Jesus requested this scroll of Isaiah. In any case he deliberately looked for a particular scripture within the scroll and began to read aloud.

 

4:18  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.

 

Jesus read from In Isaiah 61:1, where we read of the Anointed One. As Luke has already made clear, this anointed one was the long awaited descendent of David, the Messiah, who would have the Spirit of the Lord upon him. This verse about the anointing makes clear what the people could expect from the messiah’s ministry. Jesus was anointed to make known the good news to those who are poor – both the materially and spiritually poor. He is anointed to set free those that are bound by sin and Satan, an idea which includes the salvation of our souls and also deliverance from physical affliction and demonic possession. Jesus brings the light of the revelation of God and gives sight to both the spiritually and physically blind; setting free all who are oppressed (Acts 10:38).

 

4:19 To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

 

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord is to announce that the day of salvation has arrived (2 Corinthians 6:2). In Lev. 25:10 the year of release or jubilee is described as the time when debts are cancelled and slaves are set free. The coming of salvation means forgiveness of sins and liberation from sin’s slavery (Rom. 8:2).

 

4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him.

 

When Jesus had closed the scroll and gave it back to the attendant, he sat down; and every eye in the synagogue was on him, waiting to hear what he would say concerning this portion of scripture.

 

4:21-22 Then he began to tell them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read." All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, "Isn't this Joseph's son?"

 

Jesus began by announcing that Isaiah’s prophecy had been fulfilled; by implication, through his own ministry. The people were all astounded by the message of God’s grace, being amazed initially it seems, that a local boy,  Joseph’s son, had become such a great teacher – nothing more. Jesus knew the unbelief of their hearts; that they did not accept him as the Christ, the Son of God, and so he begins to challenge them directly, perhaps even harshly.    

 

Unbelief and its Consequences

4:23 Jesus said to them, "No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself!' and say, 'What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.' "

 

Jesus, knowing the hearts of the people of Nazareth better (it seems) than they did reveals to them their unbelief (see Luke 2:34-35) by quoting to them this familiar proverb; the meaning being "Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum"  (NLT).  

 

4:24 And he added, "I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.

 

Jesus affirms that it is because he had been brought up among them that they were not prepared to accept that he was sent by God. The saying "familiarity breeds contempt" would seem appropriate. They might have accepted a stranger but not one of their own.

 

4:25-26 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years, and there was a great famine over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.

 

He reminds them of what happened in the days of Elijah the prophet (1 Kings 17:9-16). During those days there was a great famine as Elijah had prayed that it would not rain for three and half years. As a result, many people died, and so there were many widows in Israel. Yet God did not send Elijah to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath, which is in the county of Sidon. There the Lord miraculously provided for Elijah, the widow and her son.

 

4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, yet none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.

 

At the time of Elisha the prophet there were many lepers in Israel but none of them were healed except Naaman the Syrian.  The reason for this was that there was unbelief in the people of Israel. It seems that Luke records what Jesus says here, not only to show the reaction of the men of Nazareth, but to progress his account of how Jesus brought a gospel that would reach all nations and not just Israel.

 

4:28 When they heard this, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage.

 

We are not sure what made the men of Nazareth so angry. Was it because Jesus had revealed to them the sin of unbelief and hardness in their hearts? Or was it because Jesus was seemingly prepared to allow non-Jews into God’s blessings? Surely, since they were Israelites, God’s blessings were for them alone? They didn’t like to hear the truth that God values the response of obedience and faith more than he values lineage, and became furious with Jesus.

 

4:29 They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.

 

This put an end to the service that day, as they grabbed hold of Jesus and took Him out of the city intending to throw Him over a cliff. This was preparatory to stoning.

 

4:30 But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

 

However, the people of Nazareth were not able to accomplish their objective, for since his hour had not yet come, no man could take His life (John 7:30 and John 10:15-18). As a result of divine protection, Jesus passed through them peacefully and went on His way to another village.

 

Power and Authority over Evil Spirits

4:31 So he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he began to teach the people.

 

From Nazareth Jesus went to Capernaum on the coast of the sea of Galilee where He taught them in the Synagogue on the Sabbath days.

 

4:32 They were amazed at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.

 

Here the people's astonishment at His teaching was different that those at Nazareth, there they were astonished because Joseph's son who they knew well was teaching with such authority. At Capernaum it was because He taught them like no other had ever done before, with power and authority.

 

4:33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice.

 

On one of these day's a man came into the synagogue who was possessed by a demon.   This demon using the man's voice shout out in a loud voice.

 

4:34 "Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God."

 

The demon knew who Jesus was, the Son of God, the Holy One. So he cries out to Jesus to leave them alone for they had nothing in common with Him. Gill points out that although the demon used the term "leave us alone" the man may not have been possessed by more than one demon but was speaking for the rest of the demons in that country. The demon also knew that Jesus had the power to destroy all of them.

 

4:35 But Jesus rebuked him: "Silence! Come out of him!" Then, after the demon threw the man down in their midst, he came out of him without hurting him.

 

Jesus rebuked the demon telling Him to shut up and come out of the man. Immediately the demon threw the man on the ground and came out of him leaving the man unhurt.

 

4:36 They were all amazed and began to say to one another, "What's happening here? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!"

 

The people were absolutely dumbfounded  saying amongst themselves what a powerful word this is for He commands with authority unclean spirits and they obey Him.

 

4:37 So the news about him spread into all areas of the region.

 

The news of all that Jesus taught and did spread right throughout the surrounding country.

 

Jesus Heals them All

 

4:38 After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her.

 

Jesus went from the synagogue to Simon's house where He found Simon's mother-in-law burning up with a high fever and they pleading with Him for her.

 

4:39 So he stood over her, commanded the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

 

Standing at her bedside Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her immediately. Not only did the fever leave her but she suffered no ill effects from it. Her full strength came back and she got up and began to serve them a meal.

 

4:40 As the sun was setting, all those who had any relatives sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus. He placed his hands on every one of them and healed them.

 

As the sun was beginning to set all those who had any that was sick with all sorts of diseases brought them to Jesus. We are not told how many there were but He laid His hands on everyone of them and they were all healed.

 

4:41 Demons also came out of many, crying out, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

 

Many were possessed by demons and at Jesus' command they all came out crying as they did so "You are the Christ the Son of God".  Because they knew who He was He rebuked them and would not let them speak.   Jesus does not need demons to testify who He is.

 

4:42 The next morning Jesus departed and went to a deserted place. Yet the crowds were seeking him, and they came to him and tried to keep him from leaving them.

 

The following morning He departed and went to an isolated place but the people looked for Him until they found Him and tried to stop Him going away from them.

 

4:43 But Jesus said to them, "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do."

 

Jesus told them that He must go and preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other places for that was the purpose for which He was sent.   Healing of diseases was not the primary reason why Jesus came.

 

4:44 So he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.

 

Jesus continued to preach in the synagogues throughout Galilee.      

 

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