Luke Chapter Four
v.1-2 “AND JESUS BEING FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST RETURNED FROM JORDAN, AND WAS LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS, BEING FORTY DAYS TEMPTED OF THE DEVIL, AND IN THOSE DAYS HE DID EAT NOTHING: AND WHEN THEY WERE ENDED, HE AFTERWARD HUNGERED.”
After Jesus is baptized he must be prepared for the
preaching and teaching ministry that he is beginning. Luke records that he was led by the
Spirit, Mark is more forceful in his description and says that Jesus was driven by the Spirit.
We have recorded only three temptations from the forty days that Jesus endured; a pattern that follows other scripture that categorizes temptation in general as:
I John 2:16 “FOR ALL THAT is IN THE WORLD, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD.”
The period of forty days for Jesus’ preparation is based
on a time period that God has designated before as the
period of time that Moses was on
v.3-4 “AND THE DEVIL SAID UNTO HIM, IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD, COMMAND THIS STONE THAT IT BE MADE BREAD. AND JESUS ANSWERED HIM, SAYING, IT IS WRITTEN, THAT MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.”
Satan is attacking Jesus on two fronts with this question; his physical hunger and his pride that would compel him to prove his relationship with God. Jesus answers in a way that we would do well to imitate when we are asked the basis for our faith; he refers Satan to the Word of God:
Deuteronomy 8:3 “AND HE HUMBLED THEE, AND SUFFERED THEE TO HUNGER, AND FED THEE WITH MANNA, WHICH THOU KNEWEST NOT, NEITHER DID THY FATHERS KNOW; THE HE MIGHT MAKE THEE KNOW THAT MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY BREAD ONLY, BUT BY EVERY word THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE LORD DOTH MAN LIVE.”
“Bread” or physical food is essential for sustaining life, however, there is much more to life than physical food or anything else that is offered by the world around us which bread represents.
v.5-8 “AND THE DEVIL, TAKING HIM UP INTO AN HIGH MOUNTAIN, SHEWED UNTO HIM ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD IN A MOMENT OF TIME. AND THE SAID UNTO HIM, ALL THIS POWER WILL I GIVE THEE, AND THE GLORY OF THEM: FOR THAT IS DELIVERED UNTO ME; AND TO WHOMSOEVER I WILL I GIVE IT. IF THOU THEREFORE WILT WORSHIP ME, ALL SHALL BE THINE. 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.”
The second temptation recorded of the three appeals to man’s desire for power. Satan says, just worship me and I’ll give you all the kingdoms of earth. Worship me rather than God and I will deliver the entire world and all of its kingdoms to you and make you lord over them. Did Satan indeed possess the kingdoms of the world? Yes, Jesus calls Satan the “PRINCE” or ruler of this world.
John “31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
But Jesus has an answer for Satan, the same answer that we should have when we are tempted to put things of this world ahead of God, make them our subject of worship:
Deuteronomy 6:13-15 “13Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;”
And then in verse fifteen, Moses tells us why:
15(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”
v.9-12 “9And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Satan now plays to the ego and pride that most men have. God will protect you completely until the time comes to complete your mission, prove it show the angels that God will provide for your protection.
Psalms 91:11 “FOR HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER THEE, TO KEEP THEE IN ALL THY WAYS.”
He is transported to a pinnacle or
Deuteronomy “16Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.”
v.13 “13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”
The devil had used all of three of the primary sources of temptation of man against Jesus as we noted in the beginning of our study of this chapter.
I John “16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Everything that is in the world as a temptation exists in one of these three forms and Satan used all of them and failed. So we’re told that he departed, left Jesus “FOR A SEASON”. What does that mean? It means that Satan’s temptation of Jesus was discontinued only for a period of time, did not end, in fact the inspired scripture tells us further that Jesus as our High Priest has endured everything that we can expect to endure in this life:
Hebrews 4:15-16 “15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Yes; Jesus emerges triumphant and victorious, angels ministered to him (Mark ) and he underscores for us that indeed “RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.” (James 4:7)
v.14-15 “14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.”
Luke covers a period of several months in these few
words. Jesus has completed his first ministry
v.16-17 “16And he came to
He comes to the place of his childhood, the place where he grew up and worked in Joseph’s carpenter business until beginning his ministry. As was his custom he attended the Sabbath worship in the synagogue and when the opportunity was provided him, he stood up to read the scripture. According to the order of worship recorded by history, seven were allowed to read every Sabbath – a priest, two Levites, and four Israelites; the law was read first and then the prophets.
So when Jesus stood to read; it was at the time of the reading of the prophets and the book is Isaiah was delivered to him.
v.18-20 “18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.”
Jesus finds the scripture that he wants and reads from the book of Isaiah, chapter 61 verses 1,2. Not all that Jesus read is from this chapter however; as the phrase, “TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED” is from Isaiah 58:6 in the Septuagint and is translated in the KJV as “TO LET THE OPPRESSED GO FREE”. This is a very appropriate reading for Jesus to make as it is recognized by the Jews as referring to the promised Messiah. It describes the activities that they should expect the Messiah to perform and he uses it to proclaim that this is the time of his public ministry and the fact that he is the Messiah to them. When he finishes reading, as was the custom, he sat down to teach. He is the center of their focus, he has their attention.
v.21 “21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
He begins by saying that today, in this gathering, this scripture has been fulfilled. And since the Jews understood that this scripture referred to the Messiah they understand that he is declaring unto them that He is that Messiah.
v.22 “22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?”
The people listened to his words, they understood his
meaning but they don’t accept what he has said.
“IS NOT THIS JOSEPH’S SON?” This
is but the son of a local carpenter, where did he get his learning? He wasn’t trained by any of the rabbis in
v.23-24 “23And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 24And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”
He understands their thoughts and uses two well-known
proverbs to answer them further.
“PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF” was a common adage to indicate that the person
speaking should prove his words. Perhaps
they were waiting for him to perform some miracle, he had healed the nobleman’s
“NO PROPHET IS ACCEPTED IN HIS OWN COUNTRY”, Mark records a little more detail also stating that he is not accepted among his own kin and in his own house. Is this true? Why? Because those people who have known us from our childhood up are not nearly as apt to be impressed with our capabilities and accomplishments because they also know our faults, weaknesses and circumstances. Jesus was the son of humble carpenter, nothing great was expected of him.
v.25 “25But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;”
Jesus may not be accepted among his own countrymen but that was not unusual among God’s prophets. He gives them two examples of what he’s talking about. The first we find in I Kings:
I Kings 17:1
“1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of
During the reign of Ahab, king of
v.26 “26But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.”
only one to whom Elijah was sent was a foreigner, a Gentile, a widow of the
v.27 “27And many lepers were in
Likewise in the time of Elisha there were many lepers in
II Kings “14Then went he down, and
dipped himself seven times in
v.28-30 “28And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30But he passing through the midst of them went his way,”
Jesus shows these people the danger that they are in because they will not accept him. They understand fully but rather than being grateful, they are angry. He would not give them a miracle, they probably wouldn’t have believed anyway, after all he was accused of performing miracles by the power of Satan (Matthew ). They rose up, pushed him out of the synagogue, out of the city to the brink of a hill or cliff and would have thrown him over but that was not God’s plan. By whatever power was necessary or because they hesitated; Jesus simply walks through them and goes on his way.
v.31-32 “31And came down to
Titus “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
v.33-34 “33And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”
In the synagogue in
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”
v.35-37 “35And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.”
Now the members of this synagogue have
something further to be amazed about.
Jesus commands the evil spirit or demon to leave this man and he is
immediately healed. These people were
astonished at Jesus teaching and his power but they were not ready to accept
him as the Christ, the Messiah that was promised. His power and his healing became a common
topic of conversation throughout the entire
v.38-39 “And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.”
Simon Peter, Andrew and the other Galilean fishermen that Jesus called to be his disciples and later apostles were from this general area. When he leaves the synagogue after healing the possessed man, he goes to Peter’s house. Now Peter’s mother’s wife is sick with a fever, the physician Luke gives the diagnosis as “TAKEN WITH A GREAT FEVER”. This wasn’t just a common cold, it was a major ailment that probably threatened her life. Jesus stood over her, rebuked the disease and it left her. Immediately, she rose up and served them just as though there had been no sickness at all. The word spreads fast.
v.40-41 “40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.”
Before the day ends the telling of his power and his miracles is being done throughout the region. If someone came into this area today and started emptying out the hospitals and sending people healed of their diseases, don’t you think that word would spread fast. We would be in total gridlock within a matter of hours. The people brought him all manner of people to heal, many who possessed demons just as the man in the synagogue. When he commanded them to leave the people they possessed he also commanded them to be silent as well, do we know why? The mission of his disciples was to proclaim his word and his power, not the demons, not the devil or any of his angels. The same it true today.
v.42-43 “And when it was day, he departed and went
into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed
him, that he should not depart from them. 43And he said unto them, I
must preach the
When it was day, the next day, he leaves the press of the city and the multitudes that come for healing and retreats to a deserted place. He seeks a place that is uninhabited and isn’t visited by people frequently to rest, refresh and meditate, perhaps, on what is happening and to pray.
But the people won’t permit him any time for himself,
they hunted him down. Even before he
could return they have searched for him with such diligence that they find
him. Picture the contrast. At
Jesus tells them he has other work to do, he has been
sent to all men, not just to
v.44 “And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.”