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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 4

Verses 1-13

  1. The Temptation
    1. Lust of the Flesh
      1. ​​​​​​​Temptation
        Luk 4:1-2 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
        1. Taking place after His baptism…He is full of the Holy Ghost and returned from the Jordan (where He was baptized): He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. This wilderness is a place where each of us go after we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. There we are tried and tempted and must make the choice as to whether we will really follow Jesus.
        2. Personally, we have seen more people, after they are baptized, walk away from the Lord through temptation… it is a common theme that temptation comes after baptism.
        3. Why are we seeing Jesus tempted…the same reason He had to be baptized – to be able to, as a sinless man, identify with sinful man.
        4. Heb 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For 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. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
        5. Jas 1:2-4 tells us that temptations bring us to maturity.
        6. Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him
        7. 1Co 10:12-13 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 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.
      2. The Word of God
        Luk 4:3-4 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
        1. The devil said…the devil is the great tempter: the great deceiver. He is a liar and the father of lies. He’s come to kill, steal and destroy our faith and he comes as an angel of light – yet he’s a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour.
        2. When Satan comes against us, we must remember: Eph 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
        3. Here, in this particular temptation of Jesus, it is the temptation of the flesh – the lust of the flesh! Verse 2 says that Jesus was hungry – so He is tempted in His flesh to make the stones into bread.
        4. Jesus, who is our example, responded to the temptation with appropriate Word of God for the situation. It is the sword of the Spirit…the rhema – the revealed Word of God for the situation or moment. This is how we should respond…not only by quoting the scripture but by following it!
    2. ​​​​​​​Lust of the Eyes
      Luk 4:5-8 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 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. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 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.
      1. The lust of the eyes…you can have all of this – the whole world, if you worship me!
      2. Satan is called the prince of this world and it is his dominion until the battle of Armageddon – Satan was willing to give it to Jesus if he would bow to him…why? He’d be like God!
      3. Isa 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    3. Pride of Life
      Luk 4:9-13 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: 10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
      1. There appears to be a challenge with a sneer here…Satan is challenging Jesus about His position as the Son of God and he’s using the written Word of God against the living Word of God –
      2. Satan quotes Psalm 91:11…the problem is that he only quotes part of it. It’s important that we use scripture correctly and rightly divide the Word of truth as we share it. The entire passage begins in v. 10: “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 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. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”
      3. Then Satan departed for a season…Satan is not omnipresent – he’s not everywhere at once like God is. Satan is finite and fights from the position of defeat!
      4. 1Co 15:56-57 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​As we conclude, we must ask the “So What” of this passage…so what does this mean to me?
    2. 2Co 10:3-6 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; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
    3. We must choose to do the right thing…choose to take every thought into captivity – evaluating them against the Word of God and then casting down every thought that exalts itself above the knowledge of God!
    4. 1Jn 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For 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. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
    5. Rom 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Verses 14-20

  1. Introduction
    READ: Luke 4:13-21
    1. Life is a journey -- the Bible tells us we are sojourners…strangers in a strange land!
    2. Think of us as cars on a highway…some of us are fast – some are slow.
    3. On the road of life, some of us are tiny sportscars with little or no baggage – and some of us are full-sized vans loaded down and overwhelmed.
    4. A few of us are in great condition, but most of us have been beat up in some way…some look good on the outside but are dying on the inside; some look awful on the outside but are great on the inside.
    5. Our journey must have direction – we need to know where we’re going – we ask, “What is the meaning of my life…what’s the point? Why am I here?”
    6. Jesus knew why He came…this passage in Luke 4:18-19 is His mission statement – His reason for being here. He came to preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, the recovering of sight to the blind and set at liberty them that are bruised.
    7. Our focus needs to be on the same people Jesus came to…and sharing the same message He shared with the same heart for the lost He had…
    8. Jesus came to bring “Help and Hope”. That’s our message, that’s our mission, that’s our mantra!
  2. Jesus’ Mission Statement
    Luk 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.
    1. Full of the Spirit
      The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… Jesus needed the Holy Spirit’s anointing: we need it that much more!
      1. ​​​​​​​Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
      2. Luk 11:13b how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
      3. 2Ti 1:7 We see that God has given us, “…the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.
    2. Called to Preach
      “…because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor”
      1. ​​​​​​​Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
      2. Rom 10:14, 17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      3. 2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3. Jesus’ Goal
      Luk 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.
      1. ​​​​​​​Jesus’ goal was to share in a way that people knew who He was, what He was about and How they might follow Him…that’s discipleship! Jesus was about making disciples.
      2. Mat 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
      3. Peter said, (in 2Pe 3:18) “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.
      4. Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
      5. 2Ti 2:1-2 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
    4. Be a Witness for Jesus
      “…To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
      1. ​​​​​​​Although it is not explicit in this passage…preaching the things that God has done, is doing and will do, for us, means sharing our own witness as well.
      2. Being a witness means to testify to something…for the purpose of communicating to others a knowledge of something not known to them.
      3. We are to share with the world our knowledge of Jesus, or who He is and what He has done for us and for the world!
      4. Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Verses 21-44

  1. The Audience
    1. Who “NOT” to go to…
      1. Luk 4:21c-30 And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? 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. 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 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; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 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. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
      2. Jesus clearly points out that there are some that we are not designed to witness to…but that doesn’t mean we can keep praying for them.
      3. The sovereign hand of God speaks to the fact that Elijah, Elisha, Jesus Himself, and implied to us – there are some people who will not receive from us.
      4. Mar 6:2-6 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
    2. The Focus of the Ministry
      In Luk 4:31-44 Jesus taught with Authority – rebuked demons in people, healed Peter’s Mother in law and preached the Kingdom of god.
      1. Who did Jesus minister to? Those who were humble, broken and acknowledged their need!
      2. Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
      3. ALL who labor and are heavy laden… ALL who see their need for rest for their souls!
  2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our Call
    1. ​​​​​​​Our Call: To bring Help and Hope (period!)
      1. ​​​​​​​Jesus brought HOPE through preaching the gospel – the cry to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand calls to an immediate decision…turn to Jesus and the HOPE of Eternity with Him in Heaven – or turn to the world and away from God?
      2. Jesus brought help by healing the brokenhearted…by preaching deliverance to the captives…by sharing the recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty them that are bruised.
      3. Blessed are the poor in Spirit – the brokenhearted – those who see their spiritual depravity and are led to the source of HOPE…Jesus on the cross!
      4. Deliverance to the captives…those who are captive to sin and those who are captive to expectations… We point people to Jesus so that they might be saved and become a new creation and become dead to sin…thus is can no longer hold any power over us.
      5. Remember, Jesus’ yoke is easy, His burden is light…as people turn to Jesus they learn that grace rules and as our hearts are established in grace…the bonds of expectations will fall away.
      6. Sight to the blind: 2Cor 4 tells us that Satan has blinded the unbelievers…when they turn their lives to Him their eyes open, they gain sight, discernment and understanding throught the Holy Spirit who guides them in all truth. The Word illuminates the World with respect to Jesus!
  3. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​As we conclude, Paul said to follow him as he followed Christ…the “So What” of this passage is that we, like Jesus, need to bring help and hope to the world.
    2. How? Minister here to the hurting parts of the body. Teach in the children’s ministry. Or maybe serve in a homeless shelter; or Visit a nursing home and bring hope to people who are about out of time.
    3. Carry church cards with you and walk slowly through the aisles in Walmart or other stores. Strike up conversations…share hope and provide help and invite people to church where they can be loved on, ministered to and empowered to share help and hope themselves.
    4. Start a food pantry or a prayer ministry. Do free carwashes or oil changes for single moms.
    5. Go house to house around the church and ask people how you can pray for them… leave them a church card and a tract with the gospel on it.
    6. Rom 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    7. 1Co 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
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Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Luke 4". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/luke-4.html. 2017.