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Gospel of Luke Chapter 4
When we compare the account of the temptations (testings) of Jesus in Luke 4:1-13 with that in Matthew 4:5-10, we quickly see that their order is different.
Both accounts agree:
#1. That the testing was initiated by the Spirit, although Matthew makes it clear that this was the purpose of the wilderness time, while Luke does not make it clear that this was the Spirit's purpose,
#2. Jesus fasted during this period (Matthew adds the detail of forty days),
#3. Jesus was hungry after His fast,
#4. At the end of the fast Satan approached Jesus,
#5. The temptations involved Jesus' identity, mainly His identity as Son of God, and
#6. The first test was a demand for Him to make stones into bread.
After this the two accounts separate. While the two writers agree on the content of the next two tests, they do not agree on the order. Luke ends with Jesus on the "the highest point of the temple," while Matthew ends with Jesus on "a very high mountain." WHY are these accounts different? Does this not cast doubt on the accuracy of the Gospels?
We will consider that the two authors are using the same source, a source that had the testings of Jesus in one of the two orders. There is plenty of evidence that Matthew and Luke had a common source, although it was probably a spoken source, and because these two accounts are so close that a common source seems very likely. None of the Gospel writers claims to be giving a careful chronology. It is true that in Luke 1:3, the author claims to write unto thee in order, yet this does not mean that the order he will set things down in is chronological. It was far more important to the ancient historian that we grasp the meaning of history than that we get the chronology straight. So it is that Matthew groups the sayings of Jesus in five major "books" by topic: Sermon on the Mount (Mat.5-7), Mission Charge (Mat.10), Parables of the Kingdom (Mat.13), Church Discourse (Mat.18) and End Times Discourse (Mat.24-25).
Luke has another way of grouping his material, so his Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6) does not contain everything in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount; but instead, some of the material is found in Luke's section on God and Mammon (Luke 12) or on Prayer (Luke 11). In each case we get interesting groupings, which give us an orderly account so that they order the material so we can better understand it. In neither Matthew nor Luke, do we get the exact setting in which Jesus said all of the material. To do that would most likely have made the material harder to understand, for it would have been split over large portions of the Gospel. Exact chronology (timetable), is a relatively modern thing. Ancient writers were very happy to compromise chronology if by so doing readers got a better understanding of the inner meaning and real importance of the facts.
It is important, then, for us to try to see what importance the differing briefings point to. Each of the Gospel writers is trying to bring out only some particular aspect of the character and importance of Jesus, so each person being different, what they bring will be different.
Let’s look at Matthew first. Matthew begins by noting "forty days and forty nights." Except for First Kings 19:8 (Elijah), and the flood account, every time this phrase is used in the Old Testament it refers to Moses on Mount Sinai. Matthew takes particular notice of this detail because he is quite aware of the parallel. Also consider, that all of the responses Jesus gives come from Deut. 6 & 8, where Moses is encouraging the Hebrews concerning the story of Israel in the wilderness. Deut. 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; that 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. (KJV) . . . The reference is to the manna, which was given when the people were hungry and did not trust God, but instead demanded food. Jesus trusts God and does NOT demand food. Deut. 6:12-13 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (KJV) . . .This Passage reminds us of the golden calf at Sinai (the reason for Moses' second fast of forty days) when Israel got tired of waiting for Moses and instead made the calf, of which Aaron said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt" (Ex.32:4). Another reference to the failure of Israel in the wilderness. Deut. 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. (KJV) Yet another reference to Israel's failure in the wilderness.
Matthew is very aware of the parallel between Jesus and Israel. Mat. 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (KJV) Matthew quotes Hos.11:1.
The Old Testament refers to Israel as this son called out of Egypt. Matthew clearly applies it to Jesus. So, just what is Matthew saying in the temptations of Jesus? Israel, God's son, was tested in the wilderness and ten times turned, refusing to trust God, and kept repeatedly tempting Him (Num.14:22). They did not show themselves to be true to God. Now Jesus comes. He is declared to be God's Son (Mat.3:17), but He shall NOT be a false son like Israel, but instead, a TRUE One! Like Israel he is led into the wilderness in order to be tested (it is Matthew who stresses this purpose of the Spirit's action). Like Israel there is a forty-day fast (although in Israel's case only Moses is said to have fasted). Like Israel, Jesus is tested with hunger, with putting God's Promises to the test (as in Massah, which means "testing"), and with false gods. BUT . . . unlike Israel, Jesus passes the test EVERY time. He is indeed the true Son, the heir of Israel's Promises, and qualified to represent His people. Notice that the test by false gods is the peak of the tests, just as in the Old Testament history the manna and Massah came before the golden calf at Sinai. And it would be false gods that would trip up Israel for centuries until the exile. Jesus conquers all of Israel's failures. For Israel’s 10 failures, see: http://www.hisservants.org/israel%27s_ten_failures_h_s.htm
Luke is not writing to a Jewish audience who would see themselves as heirs to the Old Testament and appreciate the points made by Matthew. Luke uses the same testings and the same responses by Jesus . . . BUT . . . his main interest is NOT in Old Testament fulfillment. Luke's viewpoint is more of the Kingdom of God invading the kingdom of Satan. We shall see Jesus announcing the theme of His mission. Luke 4:18-19 The 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, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (KJV)
We can comprehend the preaching of good news, healing the brokenhearted and recovering sight to the blind . . . but WHO are the captives, the prisoners who are freed or the oppressed who are released? I think possibly it is those who are bound by Satan, because all throughout the Gospel, we get a clear picture of Jesus entering the kingdom of Satan and releasing those who are "bound."
What does this have to do with the testing of Jesus? Luke guides us very well in his story. It begins with Joseph and Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem (near Jerusalem), whereas Matthew simply mentions that the birth took place in Bethlehem. Luke has a crucial section from Luke 9:51 to 18:34, maybe even as far as Luke 19:44, where Jesus is traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem. Every so often during this story there is an announcement about where Jesus is on His journey toward Jerusalem, although this section collects material from His entire ministry. Here is the only begotten Son of God, starting at the very edge of Satan's kingdom, but moving steadily, inch by inch toward the center where the final confrontation, the final drama of salvation history will be played out. The temptation story is this entire movement played out in brief. Satan confronts Him in the wilderness, then confronts Him again on a high mountain (Jerusalem is up in the mountains) and finally confronts Him in Jerusalem itself. Each time Satan loses, until finally Satan gives up and leaves Him "until a more convenient season” (Acts 24:25). The miniature confrontation (the temptation) is the preview of the larger confrontation of Jesus' ministry. At each stage when Jesus meets an aspect of Satan's "kingdom" Satan loses, until the final confrontation in Jerusalem. There Satan seems to win, but in fact loses in the end. It is the one who trusts the Father in the testings who on the cross says, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." And it is on the cross that Jesus had to suffer before He could "enter his glory" (Lk.24:26).
What was the actual order of the temptations of Jesus? We cannot be sure. Both the Gospel writers give what they promise, a truthful interpretation of the life of Jesus that brings out the true meaning of the different events. Each of the authors sees a different aspect of this true meaning. Matthew focuses on Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament and thus Jesus as the true Son that Israel failed to be. Luke focuses on Jesus moving toward Jerusalem as the Son of God invading Satan's kingdom and bringing God's salvation to those whom Satan has bound. Both pictures are true, but neither is complete in itself. To get the full picture, study both accounts carefully.
Theme: The temptation of Jesus; Jesus returns to Galilee and Nazareth; Jesus rejected by His hometown; Jesus moves His headquarters to Capernaum and continues His ministry.
Jesus is tempted as a man by Satan. They were human temptations such as come to all of us. They cover the entire spectrum of human temptations and are threefold:
#1. Satan tells Jesus to make stones into bread to satisfy needs of the body. There is nothing wrong with bread. Bread is the staff of life. The body has need of bread (food), and Jesus was starving. What was wrong with this? Using His great powers to minister to Himself would be selfish, and it would not show trust in His Father’s ability to care for Him. Jesus must show the truth of the great principle, "...Man shall not live by bread alone..." (Mat.4:4). This is totally opposite to the thinking of this inconsiderate materialistic age that lives only to satisfy the whims of the body. In today’s world, society says, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Selfishness is the curse of a greedy, secular society. The Lord Jesus, in rejection this temptation, disproved the popular viewpoint of the world.
#2. Satan offers Jesus the nations of the world. Nations advance their power through brute force and political trickery. War is a way of life. Hate and fear are the whips to motivate the mob. This is satanic, and Satan offers the kingdoms of the world on these terms. People must be changed in order to enter God's Kingdom: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn.3:3). The answer Jesus gives has a note of certainty, "...Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Mat.4:10). The apostle Paul tells us: 2 Cor. 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (KJV)
#3. Satan tempts Jesus to cast Himself down from the Temple. This would seem like a rational procedure for Jesus to impress the crowd as to Who He was, and His mission. But Jesus will NOT take the easy way to the throne. He must first wear the crown of thorns BEFORE He wears the crown of glory. There are two ways of hating God, one is to ignore His power, the other is to presume upon it. Both are sin. It is easy to do nothing, saying that God provides for the sparrows and that He will take care of us . . . BUT . . . God says: Gen. 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (KJV) . . . Jesus rejected a false and deceptive spiritual stance. His answer was devastating: "Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah" (Deut.6:16). In reality, Jesus began His public ministry in His hometown of Nazareth, where He was rejected and ejected. It was in the synagogue where He announced the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in a remarkable way. Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (KJV)
The Temptation of Jesus (Luke 4:1-13)
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (KJV)
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost . . . the Holy Spirit had descended upon Him at His baptism, anointing and filling His human nature with His fruits and gifts, so as Man, He was abundantly furnished for the great work of His public ministry that He was just about to enter. But, first, He must go through a series of temptations from the devil, that all mankind go through, BUT which, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit in Him, He was abundantly fortified against, whereas we so often submit to.
Returned from Jordan . . . He had been with John, and was baptized by him; which, when over, he went back from the same side of Jordan, from which He came.
And was led by the Spirit . . . the same Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost which He was full of (Mat.4:1).
Into the wilderness . . . of Judea, which was near Jordan, and where John the Baptist had been preaching and baptizing, meaning the livable part of it . . . but where Jesus went was that part that was uninhabited by men, and was infested with wild beasts. It was and where Christ had neither the comfort nor benefit of humans, nor any thing for the sustenance of life, and where He was exposed to utmost danger. It was in this situation, in circumstances very fitting and favorable for Satan to pursue Him with his temptations, for which purpose Jesus was led there.
Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. (KJV)
Being forty days tempted of the devil . . . Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. (KJV)
And in those days he did eat nothing . . . Mat. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (KJV) . . . No food or drink whatsoever, and this entire abstinence, shows the power of Christ in the supporting of His human nature without food, for such a long time. This shows the disadvantages under which, as Man, He fought against Satan. This fast of Jesus was never meant to be an example to His followers, nor is it to be imitated by them.
And when they were ended . . . the forty days, and forty nights.
He afterward hungered . . . this shows the truth of His human nature; and is mentioned to reveal the incident of the following temptation. The advantage was on the tempter's side!
Luke 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. (KJV)
And the devil said unto him . . . Satan was now visible, and spoke to Jesus with an clear voice.
If thou be the Son of God . . . as had been recently declared by a voice from Heaven at His baptism. Mat. 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (KJV)
Command this stone that it be made bread . . . just say the word, and this stone, which Satan held out to Him, or pointed to, could become bread. Yes, Jesus did have that power, BUT He refused to give in to Satan. A lesson to us!
Matthew speaks of “stones” in the plural number (Mat.4:3). Satan told Jesus that He had no need to continue being hungry. See: Mat.4:3.
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (KJV)
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God . . . in Deut.8:3. When it is the will of God, human nature can be maintained by the impact of divine power, without the use of ordinary means. Just as bread itself, without a divine blessing, would not support life . . . neither would this stone, or stones, if turned into bread. We must depend upon God, submit to His will, and wait for His providence.
By "every word of God" . . . Christ here proclaims the authority of the Scriptures; and although He was full of the Holy Ghost, He made the Holy Scripture His rule of action. See: Mat.4:4.
Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (KJV)
And the devil taking him up into an high mountain . . . somewhere near Jerusalem, but what mountain is not certain. Luke makes this to be the second temptation, which with Matthew, is the third and last one, and whose order seems to be more proper and natural than Luke, and to be the true and genuine one, which Luke neglects, although he does not contradict it, he relates matters of fact, without attending to the strict order of them; whereas Matthew strictly regards it, observing, that after the first temptation, "then the devil taketh him" and that being finished, says, "again the devil taketh him" and upon those words, Jesus says: "get thee hence", with what follows, remarks, that then the devil leaves Him: all which show, that Matthew’s order is the most accurate, and to be followed.
But to go on with Luke’s account; the devil having taken Him from the pinnacle of the Temple, and carried Him to some high mountain, as Lebanon, or Pisgah, or some other near Jerusalem, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world; not of the Roman empire only, though that consisted of many kingdoms, and is called the whole world, (Lk.2:1), where the same word is used, as here; but of the whole universe, every kingdom that was under the heavens; which he represented to Christ, not in a map, since the glory of them could not be described in that way: for
Shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time . . . Matthew adds: He showed him all the glory of them . . . this Satan did in a moment of time; in the twinkling of an eye, not by succession, and in process of time, as one kingdom after another, but all at once, and in an instant (Mat.4:8).
Luke 4:6 And the devil 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. (KJV)
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee. . . meaning all the kingdoms of the world, and all the government and authority over them.
And the glory of them . . . the riches, honors, and grandeur of them.
For that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it . . . do you see what is said here? Satan lies in one respect, but in another, he speaks truth. He lied, suggesting they were put into his hands by God, and that he had the supreme power over them. What Satan had was NOT by appointment, as a deputy under God . . . what power he had was as the God of this world (2 Cor.4:4) was by seizure, NOT by designation of God; and only by God’s permission. Jesus calls Satan the prince of this world (Jn.14:30; 16:11), for Satan did have great power!
As far as what Satan said was true was that these kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Was in part true! For all those who are not FOR Christ, are against Him (Lk.11:23)! You fall into the hands of Satan when you reject Jesus! And Satan is able to give great riches to those in that area. My friend, it is satanic to try and build a kingdom here on earth without Jesus Christ! There are only two rulers in this Universe: the Lord Jesus and Satan. If you disobey, hate and reject the Lord Jesus for your Ruler . . . you have taken the other. BEWARE!!! Just remember: IF you have God (JESUS) on your side, Satan cannot win! Satan CANNOT dispose of the goods of a single person, without permission from God. See: Mat.4:8-10.
Those words in Luke 4:6: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it, are only mentioned by Luke. Please consider: the devil was a liar from the beginning. He does not have quite the power that he pretends to have. He was NOT able to do ANYTHING to Job until he had permission from God (Job 1:12), nor was he able to enter in to the herd of swine without approval from Christ (Mat.8:32).
This test had to do with what John calls the lust of the eyes (1 Jn.2:16). In the Garden of Eden, Eve looked at the fruit on the tree in the midst of the garden and saw that it was pleasant to the eyes. Satan took Christ high on a mountain and showed Him the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Him. The "kingdoms of the world" encompassed the great Roman Empire. But Christ was on His way to the throne by way of the cross. Satan was telling Jesus that he could omit the cross. (1 Cor.1:18). The devil is telling Him it was stupid to take the route of suffering and death when there was a much easier way to the throne! The Lord Jesus refused to go Satan’s route! Thank You Jesus!
Luke 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (KJV)
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine . . . Satan promises to give Jesus a title to all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, IF Jesus would worship him. What nonsense! Jesus was the Author and Creator of them all! What horrid arrogance, boldness and disrespect! (Mat.4:9).
Luke 4:8 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. (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto him . . . the following words, with anger at him, and hatred of his proposals.
Get thee behind me, Satan . . . this is omitted several versions.
For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve . . . Deut.6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (KJV) . . . Fear = be in awe of, honor, respect, reverence, worship. Mat.4:10.
Luke 4:9 And 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: (KJV)
And he brought him to Jerusalem . . . Matthew calls it the holy city (Mat.4:5). From the wilderness there where the devil found Him, and first attacked Him. Luke does not tell us how Satan brought Jesus to a pinnacle of the Temple; which was in Jerusalem.
And said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence . . . from the pinnacle of the temple, on which he was set. (Mat.4:6).
Luke 4:10-11 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (KJV)
For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee . . . Psalm 91:11-12 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. (KJV)
BEWARE!!! That old devil knows what the Scriptures say! And my dear friend, so do many of the devil’s children! (1 Jn.3:10; Eph.2:2). They twist the Truth to say whatever the devil wants it to say. The Passage cited in Psalm 91:1-2 expresses God's tender care and concern for His people, charging the angels with the guardianship and preservation of them, in all their ways, that they might be secured from sin and danger. Satan was not wrong in the application of this Passage to Jesus, because it respects all the righteous in general . . . so, WHY not Christ as Man? The angels did have charge of Him, did watch over Him, and were a guard around Him. The angels of God ascended and descended on Him (Gen.28:12; Jn.1:51). Their job was to preserve Him from Herod's malice in His infancy; they ministered to Him here in the wilderness, and attended Him in His agony in the garden. Satan’s sin was that he willfully and wickedly OMMITTED that part of it. BEWARE!!! Those who truly rest on God's Promises, stand on a sure foundation (Mat.7:24-25; Lk.6:48), but those who stand on an unsure foundation (Mat.7:26-27; Lk.6:49), shall fall when the floods and the wind come, the ruin of that house shall be great.
Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (KJV)
And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God . . . Deut. 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. (KJV) . . . The devil has great disrespect, hatred and wickedness to tempt the Lord God, in any way, shape or form. (Mat.4:7). He no longer tempts Jesus today in that way, BUT . . . he certainly tempts the people of Jesus, and that in the long run, IS tempting Jesus! Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (KJV)
BEWARE!!! The stronger stand you take with Jesus, the more the devil and his children will come at you, from all directions. Thou shall not tempt the Lord: (Ex.17:2,7; Num.14:22; Deut.6:16; Ps.78:18.41,56; Ps.95:9; 106:14; Mal.3:15; Mat.4:7; Lk.4:12). This goes for us today too! Tempting the Lord in any way is foolishness, and sin!
Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. (KJV)
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season . . . I really do not think that just these three temptations were all there was to Satan’s battle with Jesus. I believe that Jesus was tempted by Satan with EVERY temptation known to mankind in those forty days and forty nights. Jesus resisted them all, whereas we more often than not, give in. He departed from him for a season . . . or until the time would come, when there would be the hour and power of darkness; and by means of one of his disciples, he should bruise His heel, and bring Him to a cursed death (Jn.14:30; Lk.22:53).
Many remarks can be made about the meaning and purpose of Jesus' temptations in these Passages.
#1. Jesus revealed His full humanity. He was hungry and wrestled with temptation. He expressed feelings, thoughts and words as humans usually do in fearful situations.
#2. Jesus revealed His deity. His ability to resist temptation was clearly exhibited as superior to other humans. He had great knowledge of God's Word and even had the power to tell Satan to "Get thee behind me, Satan." Jesus was tempted, over and over, yet remained sinless, proving Himself divine.
#3. Jesus offered a great example for us, of dealing with temptation. During His struggles, He quoted God's Word, recognized the enemy's tricks, and put emphasis on worshiping God. This is something we must consider: we cannot quote Scripture if we are not familiar with it, so, we need to be in it daily! The more we are IN God’s Word, the more we can recognize Satan’s tricks (which are many), and the more reasons we can have for truly loving and fearing God and worshipping Him.
#4. The temptations also reveal an important truth concerning how we can respond to temptations today. We must do what Jesus did, rely upon God and His Word in order to stand firm against the attacks of Satan.
Why was Christ Jesus tempted? To prove that we have a sinless Saviour. He is sinless, faultless and well able to save us. He proved that all power had been given to Him. That wonderful Man is in glory today, and He understands us and has pity on us. 1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (KJV) . . . The Lord Jesus can be depended upon 100 % in every circumstance of our life.
After Satan tested the Lord Jesus Christ, He was strengthened by the angels of God (Mat.4:11).
Jesus Returns To Nazareth; He is Rejected By His Hometown (Luke 4:14-30)
There is a large gap of information missing at this point, which cover the important events in Galilee and Jerusalem recorded in John 1:29-4:54, and which happened before John's imprisonment (Jn.3:24). Jesus' visit to Nazareth recorded in Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6, seems not to be a later visit but the same as this one. Luke leaves out the materials contained in Mark 6:45-8:26, and is called the "great omission of Luke." Here, Luke is very selective in what he records. Verses 14 and 15 serve as a brief summary stressing Jesus' teaching ministry and the excitement which it created.
Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (KJV)
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee . . . of which He was full, and by which He was led into the wilderness, and had battled with Satan, and had gotten the victory over him. It was by the same power and virtue by which, He entered on His public ministry, worked miracles, and taught with authority. Galilee was where the Lord Jesus had been brought up, and from where He came to John at Jordan. His arrival was owing to the powerful impulse of the Holy Spirit, which was in Him, and directed Him to return there, where He was to begin His ministry, and work His miracles, and so fulfil a prophecy of Him (Isa.9:1-2). Mat.4:12-16.
And there went out a fame of him through all the region round about . . . throughout all Galilee and Syria, Decapolis and Judea (Mat.4:23-25). The report of His doctrines and His miracles, was spread far and wide, and because of them, He became the subject of the talk of people everywhere, who highly applauded and commended Him.
Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. (KJV)
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all . . . in the public places of worship used by the Galileans, where they met on Sabbath days and weekdays, to read and pray, and hear the Scriptures explained. Christ engaged there as a public Teacher, and was the reason of his fame being spread around the country. They were astonished at His doctrine; they wondered at His gracious words; they praised Him as a preacher; and glorified Him and God for Him, because of the mighty works which were done by Him.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (KJV)
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up . . . after some time, when He had gone through all Galilee, and had acquired great credit and reputation by His ministry and miracles; He came to Nazareth, where He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, although He was not born there. Nazareth was where He received His education, and worked at a trade, and was well known to all the people who lived there.
And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day . . . this was either His custom from His youth, when He lived at Nazareth, while a private person, and before He was engaged in public service.
And stood up for to read . . . by rising and standing up, and maybe by some other gesture, He indicated He would read a portion of Scripture, if liberty was given, and a book given to Him.
This custom of reading the Scriptures publicly, was an appointment of Moses, according to the Jews.
Luke 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, (KJV)
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written . . . books formerly were written in rolls of paper and parchment; and in this form, is the book of the law with the Jews, in their synagogues, to this day. Such a roll, or volume, of the prophet Isaiah, Christ unrolled, until He came to the place He intended to read.
Luke 4:18 The 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, (KJV)
The Spirit of the Lord is the third person in the Trinity; so called, to distinguish Him from all other spirits; and who was given to Christ as Man, without measure, whereby he was qualified for His great work.
To preach the Gospel to the poor . . . meaning such as are poor in spirit, and realize their spiritual poverty. These people have low and humble thoughts of themselves, and of their own righteousness. They seek Christ Jesus for long-lasting riches and true righteousness, and openly acknowledge that all they have and are, is owing to the grace of God.
He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted . . . because of sin, are made ashamed and penitent by the Word of God, under the influence of the Spirit of God. With a sense of their sin, they are wounded with it, and are humbled for it; and are in great pain and distress over it. Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (KJV)
To preach deliverance to the captives . . . those who are captives to sin, Satan, and the law; from which, there is only deliverance by Jesus, who saves His people from their sins, redeems them from the law.
And recovering of sight to the blind . . . which in the prophet: Isaiah 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (KJV)
People are in prison of sin and of the law, they are blind, ignorant and unaware of their state, until Christ both opens the prison, and sets them free, thus He opens their eyes, and gives them spiritual sight. Isaiah 49:9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. (KJV)
To set at liberty them that are bruised . . . these words are not in Isaiah 61:1; but in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 58:6, from where they seem to be taken, or else from Isaiah 42:7. It was permitted for a reader in the Prophets, to skip from place to place, which our Lord did here, in order to explain this Passage more fully.
Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (KJV)
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord . . . the time which He willed and fixed for the redemption of His people, and in which He showed His grace and mercy unto sinful mankind, in the Gift of His Son to them (Jn.3:16; Rom.8:32; 2 Cor.9:15).
Luke 4:20 And 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. (KJV)
And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister . . . or rolled it up, as did the high priest, after he read in the book of the law, on the Day of Atonement, all that was necessary to be read.
And sat down . . . as was the manner of the Jews, when they taught, or preached. (Mat.5:1).
And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him . . . they looked at Him very intently, paying close attention to Him. This Passage of Scripture, they knew referred to the Messiah.
Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (KJV)
And he began to say unto them . . . to preach from those words; and the explanation which He gave, although not recorded here, meant that He applied them to Himself, to whom they belonged. He then said,
This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears . . . which was as if He said, “I am the Person here spoken of, I am the Messiah, and at this present time the Spirit of God is upon me; I am anointed with the Holy Ghost, and now I preach glad tidings to you, and all the good things mentioned here.”
This incident is recorded only by Dr. Luke and is so remarkable that we should NOT pass it by. We are told that after the temptation, the Lord returned to His hometown. Normally the hometown is proud of the local boy who has become famous. As was His custom on the Sabbath, He went to the synagogue in Nazareth. The synagogue was one of the most important religious institutions of the Jews in the time of the Lord Jesus. It must have come into existence during the time of the Babylonian captivity. The Jews were far from their native land, from the Temple and the altar. There is no doubt that they felt they should gather around those who were especially pious and God-fearing, to hear the Word of God and be involved in some kind of worship. In Ezekiel 14:1 and Ezekiel 20:1, it is said that the elders gathered around Ezekiel, and it could well have been in such a place as the synagogue.
After the exile, the synagogue continued. At first it was meant only for the exposition of the Mosaic Law. Later, a time of prayer and preaching was added. But, primarily the synagogue was for instruction in the Law for all classes of people. At the time of our Lord there were synagogues in all the larger towns. I do not know how Jesus spent the other six days of each week during His years before His ministry, other than He was a carpenter and worked on those days, but I am certain that every seventh day He went to the synagogue. He went to the appointed place to worship.
Luke 4:22 And 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? (KJV)
And all bare him witness . . . that He was correct in applying the words that He had just read, to the Messiah; but NOT that He Himself was the Messiah, and that He was NOT correct when He applied the prophecy to Himself; for they did NOT believe in Him, as appears from what follows.
And wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth . . . not the sum and substance of the words, in expressing the love, grace and favor of God shown in the mission and sincerity of the Messiah, and in the liberty, deliverance and salvation Christ was sent to put into effect and proclaim. They wondered at the graceful manner in which Jesus expressed Himself, and the accuracy of His Words, the reverence of His wording, and the majesty, power, and authority, with which His expressions were brought to them. But, they were much more astonished at all this, because they knew His parents and education, and in what manner He had been brought up among them. They just could not figure out where He had received His learning, knowledge and wisdom.
And they said, is not this Joseph's son? . . . Joseph was a poor carpenter. This Man before them was brought up by Joseph, had learned his trade, and never had a formal education. They wanted to know from whom He had learned this doctrine, from whom He learned this way of speaking with such eloquence and correctness. He had never been at the feet of any of the doctors, or has been brought up in any of the schools of learning.
Luke 4:23 And 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. (KJV)
And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician heal thyself . . .
this proverb (parable) was probably in common use at that time. The meaning being: What if a man should try to heal another when he himself had the same disease, it would only be common sense to ask him to first cure himself, and then to make it clear that he was worthy of confidence.
Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum . . . a place where Christ often was, and where He cured the centurion's servant of the palsy, and Peter's wife's mother of a fever, and another man sick of a palsy, and the woman of her bloody issue, and a man that had a withered hand, and where he raised Jairus's daughter from the dead.
Do also here in thy country . . . the connection of this proverb is this: "You profess to be the Messiah. You have done miracles at Capernaum. You profess to be able to deliver us from our diseases, our sins and our infirmities. Show us that You have the power, that You are worthy of our confidence by working miracles here, as you say that You have done at Capernaum. It was a demand that He show proper evidence by miracles, as to why they should trust in Him. He then proceeds to show them why he would NOT give them this evidence.
Luke 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. (KJV)
And he said, Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country . . . this was another proverb in use among them, the meaning of which was well known to them, and was very fitting to the present case. See: (Mat.13:57).
Luke 4:25 But 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; (KJV)
But I tell you of a truth . . . or in truth; a phrase often used by the Jewish writers signifying a tradition of Moses from Mount Sinai, and so that which was said is most true and sure and could be depended upon. It really was "the form of an oath", so that these words of Christ are a solemn declaration, with respect to what follows,
Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias . . . there were many that were not only widows, but poor widows, and in actual starving circumstances in the land of Israel, when Elijah was the prophet of the Lord to the people. The days of Elijah . . . See (1 Ki.17:8-24).
And when the heaven was shut up three years and six months . . . no rain fell in all that time, the same can be found in James 5:17. And although the time period, in which there was no rain, is not so clear from the history of it in the book of Kings; yet since this is stated by Christ, and in the Book of James, and there is nothing in history that contradicts it, it is to be accepted without any doubt. Three years and six months . . . from (1 Ki.18:1,45), it seems that the rain fell on the third year, that is, at the end of the third year after the rain had ceased to fall at the usual time. There were two seasons of the year when rains fell in Judea, in October and April, called the early and latter rain; consequently there was an interval between them of six months. To the three years, therefore, when rain was withheld at the usual times, are to be added the previous six months, when no rain fell as a matter of course, and consequently three years and six months elapsed without rain.
When great famine was throughout all the land of Israel . . . when there is a drought, no rain in 3 ½ years, a famine will pursue. No food, starving people!
Luke 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. (KJV)
But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. . . Elijah was NOT sent to anyone except a poor widow woman in Sarepta (Zarephath, 1 Ki.17:9-10). Sarepta was a heathen village between Tyre and Sidon. To NONE of the poor widows in the land of Israel was the prophet Elijah sent, to supply them with food, and relieve them in their starving circumstances, as might have been expected. This woman is said by the Jews, to be the mother of Jonah the prophet. I think that the Lord meant to consider by this instance, as by the following one, that God bestows His favors on persons in a sovereign way, and at times it is upon the most unlikely; such as in this time of famine, He overlooked all the poor widows in Israel, His peculiar people, and sent His prophet to a Gentile woman in one of the cities of Sidon. Therefore they should not wonder why He did His miracles in other places, and not in His own country; since this was agreeable to the divine procedure in other cases, especially since they were a complaining and unbelieving people. Peculiar people: (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18; Ps.135:4; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet.2:9).
Luke 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. (KJV)
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet . . . that is, the prophet Elisha (1 Ki.19:16). Leprosy was a disease very common among the Jews; therefore there were laws concerning (Lev.13:1 through 14:57). It seems by this account, that it was very widespread. None of them was ever cleansed from their leprosy, by any direction of the prophet,
Saving Naaman, the Syrian . . . Naaman was NOT an Israelite, but a Syrian. He was cleansed and cured of his leprosy, being ordered by Elisha to dip himself seven times in Jordan, which he did, and was healed (2 Ki.5:14). The Lord illustrates this in a stunning way. He mentioned two Gentiles who lived outside of the land of Israel, the poor widow of Sarepta and leprous Naaman of Syria, in whose lives God worked miraculously. Jesus is trying to show them that they, His own people, were very likely to miss a great blessing because they would NOT accept who He was. They would be like the many widows and the many lepers of Israel who were not healed during the time of Elijah.
Luke 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, (KJV)
And all they in the synagogue . . . the ruler and minister and the whole multitude of the common people that had met together there for worship; and who were amazed at His eloquence, and the grace of His Words,
When they heard these things . . . about Elijah and Elisha, the one supplying the wants of a Sidonian woman, and the other healing a Syrian leper, when no notice was taken by them of poor widows and lepers in Israel.
Were filled with wrath . . . because by these instances they supposed that they were compared to the Israelites in the times of wicked Ahab and Jezebel, and that NO miracles were to be done among them, NO benefits discussed on them, even though they were His townsmen. That the Gentiles were preferred to them, and indeed the calling of the Gentiles was here plainly suggested, which was always ungrateful and provoking to the Jews. It was suggested that the favors of God, and grace of the Messiah, are dispensed in a sovereign and discriminating way, than which nothing is more offensive to carnal minds.
Luke 4:29 And 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. (KJV)
And rose up . . . they all jumped up in great wrath, in a noisy and riotous manner, before the service was over, and without being dismissed.
And thrust him out of the city . . . first out of the synagogue, and then out of their city, considering Him to be unworthy to be there, although an inhabitant of it. They acted as if He had done something deserving of death; and therefore to be punished as a criminal outside the city (Heb.13:11-12; Rev.14:20)
And led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built . . . the edge of it, and hung over the cliff, so that it was a city upon an hill, to which Christ may refer to in (Mat.5:14). It seems that they intended to cast Him down headlong; and break him to pieces: in this manner ten thousand Edomites were destroyed by the Jews, in the times of Amaziah (2 Chron.25:12), although this was not a normal way with the Jews of putting persons to death, as was with some other nations. Their four capital punishments were stoning, strangling, burning and killing with the sword. The inhabitants of Nazareth did not proceed in a judicial manner with Christ, but hurried Him away, in order to destroy him, without any formal process, in the manner the zealots did; even though to put any man to death, or to inflict any punishment on a person on the Sabbath day, as this was, was contrary to their own standard (Ex.35:3).
But these men, without any regard to the place where they were, and the worship they were concerned in, and the day of the Sabbath which then was, rise up in great wrath and fury, and without any show of justice, and in the most brutish and barbarous manner try to take away the life of Christ. For Capital Punishment of the Jews: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4005-capital-punishment
Luke 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (KJV)
But he passing through the midst of them went his way . . . it does not tell us how Jesus got away; it could have been: in a strong and powerful manner, and with great swiftness that once out of their hands, they could not lay hold on Him again; or else maybe He put on another form, or made Himself invisible to them; or He took hold of their eyes so they could not see Him, or know him, as He did in Luke 24:16. However He did it, He revealed His divine power, which He did, because His time to die was not yet come. From Nazareth, He went elsewhere, and we do not we read of His returning there anymore. Jesus escaped His enemies: (Lk.4:29-30; 24:16; Jn.2:4; 7:30,44; 8:20,59; 10:39)
Jesus Moves His Headquarters To Capernaum And Continues His Ministry (4:31-44)
Luke 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. (KJV)
And came down to Capernaum a city of Galilee . . . about 16 miles from Nazareth. Luke says that Jesus is said to "come down" to it, because of the location of Nazareth was upon an hill.
Capernaum was a city of lower Galilee, near the sea of Galilee.
And taught them on the sabbath days . . . meaning that He went into the synagogue at Capernaum, on the Sabbath days, whenever He was there, and taught the inhabitants, explaining Passages in the Old Testament, as He had done at Nazareth, and He instructed them in the doctrines of the Gospel.
Luke 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (KJV)
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power . . . at the substance of it, as well as the manner in which it was delivered, it being so different from the Scribes and Pharisees they had been used to. He spoke with great passion, majesty and authority, not with coldness and indifference, and dependence on the sense and authority of others, as their other teachers did; and too, such awesome power accompanied the Word He brought, that it reached deep into their hearts. He also confirmed it by powerful actions and by miraculous works, such as casting out devils and healing diseases, of which an account follows.
Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, (KJV)
And in the synagogue there was a man . . . in the synagogue at Capernaum, when Christ was there teaching, on one of the Sabbath days before mentioned; there was a certain man,
Which had a spirit of an unclean devil . . . who was possessed with an evil devil. Demon or devil was never used in a good sense by the Gospel writers. This evil spirit influenced this man’s mind as well as possessed his body.
And cried out with a loud voice . . . See: Mark 1:23.
Luke 4:34 Saying, 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. (KJV)
Saying, let us alone . . . although just one impure spirit is stated as possessing this man, yet that spirit seems to speak for others. These were all leagued together in the work of evil, and this one knew that if he was punished, others would also share the same fate.
What have we to do with thee? . . . this seems to mean, "Have we injured thee?" or, We have done nothing to injure thee (1 Ki.17:18). But . . . the demon’s possession of the man was a direct assault on God and His Works. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and He had a perfect right to free the captive, and to punish him who had possessed him. So too it is today, Satan still considers it an infringement of his rights, when God frees a sinner from bondage, and destroys his influence over the soul. And so too today, Satan is still pleading to be let alone, and to be allowed to lead men captive at his will. BEWARE!!! Be on guard at all times!
Art thou come to destroy us? . . . this indicates that this could not possibly be the intention of the compassionate Messiah; that to be cast out of that man would, in fact, be his destruction, and that therefore he might be allowed to remain. Or implying, as in Matthew 8:29, that the time of their destruction had not come, and that he should not to destroy them before that time.
I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God . . . evil spirits seem to have been acquainted with the Messiah, and too, they had learned from His miracles that He most certainly was the Messiah, and had power over them (Dan.9:24).
The Messiah, He is called the Holy One of God, because,
#1. He was exceedingly pure;
#2. He was the only begotten Son of God, equal with the Father; and,
#3. He was anointed, or set apart to the work of the Messiah, the Mediator between God and man.
Luke 4:35 And 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. (KJV)
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace . . . not the man, but the unclean spirit.
And come out of him . . . He commanded him with a threat, to be still . . . NOT the man that Jesus rebuked, but the evil spirit. . . and then He commanded the evil being to come out of the man. I do not think in any of this, that Jesus ever spoke to the man. The total conversation was with evil spirit; proving without a doubt that it was not just a disease or imbalance; for the Son of God could not hold conversation with a disease or fever. The being with whom He spoke, felt, reasoned, complained, resisted and KNEW Him. Let this be a warning to us all . . . there ARE evil spirits; and those spirits have been known to take possession of people. People possessed by evil spirits: (Mat.4:24; 8;28; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; 17:15; Mk.1:23,32;5:2; 9:17; Lk.4:33; 8:2,27; 9:39; Acts 5:16).
Saying, Hold thy peace . . . shut up, refrain yourself, stop complaining. This was proof of the power of Jesus, to be able, by a word, to silence an evil angel.
And come out of him . . . the power of Jesus could also against the evil spirit’s will, force him to leave a man whom he delighted to torment. The Lord Jesus gave a grand testimony of Who He was, by the dispossessing the evil spirit out of this man. (Mark 1:25).
Luke 4:36 And 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. (KJV)
And they were all amazed . . . the people in the synagogue were astonished at His doctrine before, and now at His miracles.
And spake among themselves . . . talked among themselves as they were in the synagogue,
What a word is this? . . . the people were amazed at Jesus' authority to drive out demons, which are evil spirits ruled by Satan and sent to harass people, tempt them to sin, and eventually destroy them. Demons are fallen angels who have joined Satan in rebellion against God. Jesus faced many demons during His time on Earth, and He always used His authority over them. Not only did the evil spirit leave this man, but the man was not even injured. (Mark 1:26-27).
Luke 4:37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. (KJV)
And the fame of him went out into every place in the country round about . . . because of Jesus’
dispossessing this evil, unclean spirit, into every city, town, and village in Galilee, and even into all places round about Galilee. (Mark 1:28).
We are living in a day when demonism is all around us, and Satan worship is a reality. Demons were working in the days of our Lord, and they are working here and now. When we consider the use of drugs, in ALL classes of people, it is not difficult to explain some of the actions and awful crimes being committed, because people are under the power and control of Satan.
If you are not a child of God, you are a child of the devil! (1 Jn.3:10). If you are not walking on the narrow path with Jesus, you are walking on the broad road with the devil. (Mat.7:13-14). If your Master is not Jesus, who has Heaven’s key (Jn.14.2-3; 1 Pet.1:3-5), then your master is Satan, who (along with you) shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev.20:10,15). Which master is yours?
There is not much discussion of demon possession today, but my friend, it does exist! I am certain that alcohol and drug use opens the door wide open to these evil “angels.” There is NO doubt that evil permeates our world today. We need always to remember that Jesus' power is far greater than Satan's. The first step to conquering evil is to recognize Jesus' authority and power. Jesus has overcome all evil, including Satan himself.
Luke 4:38 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. (KJV)
And he arose out of the synagogue . . . when Jesus had dispossessed the unclean spirit, He left the synagogue,
And entered into Simon's house . . . the house of Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. It seems, Simon had a house at Capernaum, where Christ went often.
And Simons wife's mother was taken with a great fever . . . while Jesus was in Peter's house, He healed "Simon's wife's mother," Peter's mother-in-law, who had a great fever. The severity of diseases was indicated by saying one had a small or a great fever. This evidently was a serious illness. Peter WAS married! The BIBLE says so!
And they besought him for her . . . either His disciples Peter, Andrew, James and John, who were all present, or other relations and friends of the sick person. When they heard of His casting out the unclean spirit in the synagogue, they believed that He had power to heal Peter’s mother in law. They beg Him, for her sake, that He would restore her health.
Luke 4:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. (KJV)
And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her . . . He touched her hand, told the fever to leave, and it did.
And immediately she arose, and ministered unto them . . . what awesome power!
Luke 4:40 Now 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. (KJV)
Now when the sun was setting . . . the Sabbath was over. (Mat.8:16).
All they that had any sick, with divers diseases, brought them unto him . . . the inhabitants of Capernaum that had sick ones in their houses, brought them to Christ in Simon's house.
And he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them . . . without medicine, but just by the mere touch of His Hands; which was accompanied with such power and virtue from him, as to remove, at once, every disease. He did not refuse any person, no matter how unworthy they might be in themselves, or how bad and stubborn their disease might be.
Luke 4:41 And 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. (KJV)
And devils also came out of many . . . not willingly, but at command of Christ Jesus, who ordered them to depart.
Crying out and saying, thou art Christ the Son of God . . .as they left the bodies of men, and not with any goodwill to Christ, the true Messiah, that was of old promised and prophesied of, and had been long expected to come; the only begotten Son of God, possessed of the same perfections as God His Father; and above all of almighty power, of which they were convinced by His dispossessing the evil devils.
And he rebuking them, suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ . . . for He did not need their testimony, nor did He want to be made known by them.
Why didn't Jesus want the demons to reveal who He was?
#1. Jesus commanded them to remain silent to show His authority over them.
#2. Jesus wanted His listeners to believe He was the Messiah because of His words, not because of the demons' words.
#3. Jesus was going to reveal his identity according to God's timetable, and he would not be urged on by Satan's evil plans.
The demons called Jesus "Son of God" or "the Holy One of God" (verse 23), because they knew He was the Christ, the Messiah. But Jesus needed to show Himself to be the Suffering Servant before He became the Great King. To reveal His identity as King too quickly would stir up the crowds with the wrong hopes of what He had come to accomplish.
Luke 4:42 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. (KJV)
And when it was day . . . the "day after", or at the dawning or "break of day". He arose a great while before it was day, as Mark says, (Mk.1:35), but did not go out until it was day, when
He departed . . . from Peter's house, and from Capernaum:
And went into a desert place . . . for privacy, to be alone and have an opportunity of private prayer to God.
And the people sought, and came unto him . . .they first went to Simon's house, and not finding him there, looked for Him elsewhere. When they understood where He was, they came to Him,
And stayed him that he should not depart from them . . . they did all they could to persuade Him, to abide with them continually. This was not so much from love of Christ's Presence, or any regard to His ministry, and the good and welfare of their immortal souls, but was because of the miracles he did, and the physical benefits He bestowed on them.
Luke 4:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . in answer to their persistent requests,
I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent . . . not only in Capernaum. Christ Jesus means, that a main part of His work was in preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, the Gospel dispensation on Earth, the doctrines and ordinances of it, as well as the things which relate to the Kingdom of glory; and what the saints fitness for it, their regeneration (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), and their right to it, which lies in His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30). Just as He had preached these things in Capernaum, there was a need for Him to preach in other cities of Galilee and Judea.
Luke 4:44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. (KJV)
And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee . . . in the many synagogues that were in different cities and towns throughout all Galilee.
Order of the Temptations (Luke 4:1-13)
When we compare the account of the temptations (testings) of Jesus in Luke 4:1-13 with that in Matthew 4:5-10, we quickly see that their order is different. Both accounts agree that #1. the testing was brought on by the Holy Spirit, although Matthew makes it clear that this was the purpose of the wilderness time, while Luke does not make it clear that this was the Spirit's purpose. #2. Jesus fasted during this period (Matthew adds the detail of forty days), #3. Jesus was hungry after His fast, #4. at the end of the fast Satan advanced toward Jesus, #5. the tests involved Jesus' sense of identity, especially His identity as Son of God, and #6. the first test was a demand for Jesus to make stones into bread. After this the two accounts separate. While the two Gospel writers agree on the content of the next two tests, they do not agree on the order. Luke ends with Jesus on the "the highest point of the temple," while Matthew ends with Jesus on "a very high mountain."
Why are these accounts different, and doesn't this cast doubt on the accuracy of the Gospels?
The three temptations by Satan in the wilderness were NOT the only temptations our Lord ever suffered on Earth. Personally I believe Jesus was tempted in EVERY temptation known to mankind in those forty days and forty nights! Satan really thought that he would win . . . he did NOT win! Jesus won! We read in Luke 4:2 that He was tempted by the devil for forty days, but He was definitely tempted at other times (Lk.4:13; Mat.16:21-23; Lk.22:42), and yet in all this He was without sin or compromise. Some say that the Lord’s period of fasting compares with that of both Moses (Ex.34:28) and Elijah (1 Ki.19:8), but, the main point is HOW the Lord deals with temptation in the light of His humanity.
It is because He was human, and made like us in every way, that He could do three vital things: #1. Destroy the devil’s power and free those who were held in slavery by their fear of death (Heb.2:15), #2. Become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God and atone for our sins (Heb.2:17), and #3. Be the One who is able to sympathize with us in all our weaknesses and infirmities (Heb.4:15). Our Lord’s human nature enables Him to sympathize with all our flaws and weaknesses, because He too, was exposed to weakness. We have a High Priest who is able to intercede on our behalf and provide the grace of forgiveness for us.
The three temptations told to us in the Gospels, follow three patterns that are common to ALL people. The first temptation concerns the lusts of the flesh (Lk.4:3-4). Our Lord is very hungry and the devil tempts Him to make stones into bread, but He replies with Scripture, quoting Deut.8:3. The second temptation concerns the pride of life (Lk.4:5-7), and there the devil uses a verse of Scripture (Ps.91:11-12), but Jesus bounces right back with Scripture to the contrary (Deut.6:16), stating that it is wrong for Him to abuse His own powers. The third temptation concerns the lusts of the eyes (Lk.4:9-12; 1 Jn.2:16), and if any quick route to the Messiahship could be attained, bypassing the passion and crucifixion for which He had originally come, this was the way. The devil already had control over the kingdoms of the world (Eph.2:2), but was now ready to give everything to Christ in return for His allegiance. But the mere thought almost causes the Lord’s divine nature to shudder at such a concept and He replies sharply: Deut. 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (KJV)
There are many temptations that we sadly fall into because our flesh is indeed weak, but we have a God who will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. 1 Cor.10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (KJV) . . . He will always provide a way out for us! If He shuts a door, look around . . . there is a window open! We can be victorious and then we can thank the Lord for deliverance from temptation. Jesus’ experience in the desert helps us to see these common temptations that keep us from serving God effectively. And too, we learn from Jesus’ response to the temptations exactly how we should respond . . . with Scripture. The forces of evil come to us with countless temptations, but all of them have the same three things at their core: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We can only recognize and combat these temptations by flooding our hearts and minds with the Truth of God’s Holy Word! The armor of a Christian solider in the spiritual battle of life includes only one offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph.6:17). Knowing the Bible intimately will put the Sword in our hands and enable us to be victorious over temptations.
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . .ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24