Luke 4

Luke 4

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The Temptation of Jesus

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

  “‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,

  “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’


  “‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

  “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 liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove 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. But passing through their midst, he went away.

Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Demon

And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Jesus Heals Many

And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “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.

Jesus Preaches in Synagogues

And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


Luke 4 Commentary

by Hank Workman

“We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Hebrews 4:15

After Jesus was baptized and before he started His public ministry, was led into the desert for 40 days of fasting and temptation.  As Jesus had come to not only be the Savior he was to experience the temptations we ourselves wrestle with.  For Jesus to be fully God yet fully human he had to understand us completely.  He also had to undo all the judgment that had come through Adam.  Adam, having been created perfect gave into temptation and passed sin onto the entire human race.  By resisting Satan through these 40 days of which only 3 of the temptations are recorded, he resisted and gave victory to those who would follow after Him.

It really is a profound statement the writer of Hebrews makes that this, in essence, brought a compassion of Jesus having experienced temptation and identifying with our own struggles.  He understood firsthand the grip temptation holds on us so many times.  To me, it makes the passage of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us so much more powerful.  He knows what we are struggling with and pleading with the Father on our behalf.

But what also to consider is it was the Spirit of God that led Jesus into the desert.  Sometimes we feel as though if the Holy Spirit leads us it will be beside streams of refreshment or quiet waters as Psalm 23 states.  But that’s not necessarily true all the time.  The Spirit of God led Jesus into a very long and difficult time of testing.

Just let that thought sink in a moment… it’s quite overwhelming.

Sure there are times we find ourselves in situations by our own wrong choices.  And in those times we have to muddle through living with our mistakes.  But as was the case here for Jesus He was led by the Spirit into this difficult time – of which He came out victorious and identified with people on the other side.

As the Spirit of God is all about the transformation of our lives, He will lead us where we are tested, where our faith is strengthened, where through the experience we are resolved to follow God completely.  Wherever we may find ourselves this day, it would be good to step back and see if we are where we are due to our own choices or if the Spirit of God has led us.  It would then be good to ask Him to teach us what He wants us to learn.

The beauty of Hebrews 4:15 is we have a High Priest, a King of all kings who understands completely where we are and can lead us forward.

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

Luke 4 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The entire chapter here in Luke 4 captures the struggle for power and authority. Jesus’ temptation, obviously, was Satan’s attempt at derailing Jesus by appealing to His authority and power. Jesus resists, and His ministry begins. We will get back to this in a minute.

We read that Jesus enters in Capernaum…

And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath;  32  and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority.

Luke 4:31-32 NASB

There’s that word again – authority. His authority even in just speaking a message was clearly seen and felt by the people. They had not heard anyone speak with such authority.

“Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!”  35  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.

Luke 4:34-35 NASB

Ironically, by resisting the temptation of power and authority from Satan, Jesus’ ministry wields the power and authority of the Holy Spirit which is over all things. The demons recognize and identify Jesus as God’s Son, however, the people seem to be ignorant of this fact. There is not a response of faith recorded here by Luke, so what is the point of this event?

Jesus came to set us free.

His power through God’s Spirit exemplifies the very message He hopes to proclaim. The parallels could not be any more clear. Jesus comes with power and authority to break every chain and set us free. In this story, we see this spiritual principle illustrated in a physical way.

The demons try to thrust the man to the ground, no doubt trying to take his life, and Jesus stands between with all authority and power. Take note: it is only the Savior who can stand between us and our chains and call out with ultimate authority, “Be quiet and come out of him!” In a spiritual sense, Jesus rushed in with all power and authority said to his enemies, “This one is mine!”

Jesus came from God with a message.

The people are shocked. They have never seen anything like this in their life.

And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power, He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.”

Luke 4:36 NASB

“What is this message?” they ask. Surely there is a message contained within these powerful actions? We know, of course, there was. Their amazement drew them in, but they searched for more. Isn’t that powerful? As human beings created in God’s image, we marvel at physical works, but we know deep down there must be more to this life than just the physical. Their hearts were stirred to search deeper into this man that commands the spiritual realm with such power and authority.

So, I ask you today, where do you need to be set free, and where are you searching deeper for His message? When Jesus sets the captives free, the hope is that they will search with great intensity to KNOW the One who has spoken with all power and authority. Are you searching? Do you know Him? Have you been set free?

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