Luke 4

Galilean Ministry: Grace and Truth
Luke 4:1 – 9:50
Preparation and Early Ministry: A Ministry of Grace
Luke 4

Preparation: The Temptation in the Wilderness (4:1-13)

The Order of the Temptations in Luke. As we noticed in the first chapter, Luke tells Theophilus that he writes the account “with method” or “regular order”. We can see Luke’s method when you study his gospel; the moral order comes out. This passage is a case in point. The order of the three wilderness-temptations differs from Matthew. In Matthew the order is dispensational; first tempted as a humble man because He had a right to satisfy His hunger, second tempted as the Messiah because He had a right to the Messianic prophecies, and third tempted as the Son of man because He had a right to the worldly kingdoms. But in Luke the order is moral, following the order of the elements of the world that the Apostle John speaks of in 1 John 2:16; first that which would appeal to the lust of the flesh (stones turned into bread), second that which would appeal to the pride of life (the intervention of angels), and third that which would appeal to the lust of the eyes (the kingdoms of the world).
1 But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 forty days, tempted of the devil; and in those days he did not eat anything, and when they were finished he hungered. 3 And the devil said to him, If thou be Son of God, speak to this stone, that it become bread. 
4 And Jesus answered unto him saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [‘rhema’] of God. v.4 Since the word is ‘rhema’ not ‘logos’, a better rendering would be, “the sayings of God”; see note on the Word and Words of God. This is an example of the “sword of the spirit” (Eph. 6:17), which is the word for the occasion. When our Lord met and overcame Satan, He did so by presenting a scripture suited to the moment, and gave this principle. But if we do not have the “logos abiding in us” (1 John 2:14) we will not have a rhema for the time. We need to be well-acquainted with the written logos, and then we will have a specific word when the time comes. 
5 And the devil, leading him up into a high mountain, shewed him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to him, I will give thee all this power, and their glory; for it is given up to me, and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If therefore “thou” wilt do homage before me, all of it shall be thine. 8 And Jesus answering him said, It is written, Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy God, and him alone shalt thou serve. 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the edge of the temple, and said to him, If thou be Son of God, cast thyself down hence; 10 for it is written, He shall give charge to his angels concerning thee to keep thee; 11 and on their hands shall they bear thee, lest in any wise thou strike thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And the devil, having completed every temptation, departed from him for a time.

His Return to Galilee and a Summary of His Ministry (4:14-15)

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee; and a rumour went out into the whole surrounding country about him; 15 and “he” taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

Rejection at Nazareth (4:16-32)

Teaching in the Synagogue (vv.16-21)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up; and he entered, according to his custom, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Esaias was given to him; and having unrolled the book he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach glad tidings to the poor; he has sent me to preach to captives deliverance, and to the blind sight, to send forth the crushed delivered, 19 to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And having rolled up the book, when he had delivered it up to the attendant, he sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon him. 21 And he began to say to them, To-day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.

Is not this Joseph’s Son (vv.22)

22 And all bore witness to him, and wondered at the words of grace which were coming out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this the son of Joseph? v.22 Such was their blindness of heart. He was despised and rejected of men; not only of the proud men of Jerusalem, but even at Nazareth. This is Luke’s object, who demonstrates the deeper thought still — that it was not only men who might be built up in the law, but that the heart of man was against Him wherever He was. Let it be at Nazareth, and let Him utter the most gracious words that ever fell from the lips of man, still scorn followed.

The Lord Pronounces Their Rejection of Grace (vv.23-27)

23 And he said to them, Ye will surely say to me this parable, Physician, heal thyself; whatsoever we have heard has taken place in Capernaum do here also in thine own country. 24 And he said, Verily I say to you, that no prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But of a truth I say to you, There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, so that a great famine came upon all the land, 26 and to none of them was Elias sent but to Sarepta of Sidonia, to a woman that was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. vv.23-27 In Luke we see God breaking forth in blessing to the Gentiles, and Acts carries that theme on. They despised the prophets, but could not stop the heart of God.

Their Attempt to Kill Him, His Escape, His Reception in Capernaum (vv.28-32)

28 And they were all filled with rage in the synagogue, hearing these things; 29 and rising up they cast him forth out of the city, and led him up to the brow of the mountain upon which their city was built, so that they might throw him down the precipice; 30 but “he”, passing through the midst of them, went his way, vv.28-30 The Lord had passed the test of vv.9-12, but now proves the reality of the Psalm in circumstances that were connected with obedience; whether by angelic protection or not, the Lord was delivered.
31 and descended to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with authority.

Reception at Capernaum (4:33-44)

Healing of a Demoniac in the Synagogue (vv.33-37)

33 And there was in the synagogue a man having a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried with a loud voice, 34 saying, Eh! what have we to do with thee, Jesus, Nazarene? hast thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. vv.33-34 Why was there a demoniac in the synagog? Perhaps he was there unnoticed and the had not been tested to expose his state.
35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out from him. And the demon, having thrown him down into the midst, came out from him without doing him any injury. v.35 In Mark the demon tears the man, in Luke he throws the man down without injury.
36 And astonishment came upon all, and they spoke to one another, saying, What word is this? for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And a rumour went out into every place of the country round concerning him.

Healing of Simon’s Mother-in-Law (vv.38-39)

38 And rising up out of the synagogue, he entered into the house of Simon. But Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering under a bad fever; and they asked him for her. 39 And standing over her, he rebuked the fever, and it left her; and forthwith standing up she served them. vv.38-39 He goes from a public sphere to a domestic sphere, yet no difficulty is beyond the Lord’s sufficiency.

Healing the Crowds (vv.40-41)

40 And when the sun went down, all, as many as had persons sick with divers diseases, brought them to him, and having laid his hands on every one of them, he healed them; 41 and demons also went out from many, crying out and saying, “Thou” art the Son of God. And rebuking them, he suffered them not to speak, because they knew him to be the Christ.

Withdrawal to a Desert Place (vv.42-44)

42 And when it was day he went out, and went into a desert place, and the crowds sought after him, and came up to him, and would have kept him back that he should not go from them. 43 But he said to them, I must needs announce the glad tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for for this I have been sent forth. 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.