Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Take our poll

Bible Commentaries
Luke 4

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Honor Life - Sanctity of Human Life week.
      1. There have been at least 43 million babies lost since Roe v. Wade was decided on Jan.22, 1973. [33 years]
      2. Prayer: The laws of our land; babies whose lives hang in the balance as we speak; mothers who have had abortions [seek & accept God’s forgiveness]; that our society wouldn’t pass laws to abort our elderly!
        1. Who defines: “Quality of Life”? - Who is ‘Wanted”? (only U)
  2. TRIPLE ASSAULT! (1-13)
    1. Intro Story The year? 1974; The place? Trumball St., Whittier Ca.; Location? Empty lot across from my house(old lemon grove);The Event? A “Lemon War”!
      1. A 3-direction attack on Nick D. {Frank on left - Me on right. My 1st throw, way up in the air. Nicks response(just as planned) trash can lid(his shield) straight above his head. 2nd throw Frank from left. 3rd throw me from the right} [unfortunately, I hit him right in the eye]
      2. Most assaults come from more than 1 direction – as we have in our story this morning. A triple attack on the Son of God!
        1. But unlike Nick, Jesus was able to block all 3!!!
    3. Q: How would you like to know the secret of Victory over temptations?
      1. Temptation/Testing = “is a difficult situation, a pressure that brings a reaction through which the character or commitment of a believer is demonstrated.” [The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words; pg.593]
      2. God permits such situations to prove & improve our faith.
        1. The evil is not in the situations God permits, but in responding sinfully to them.
      3. Temptations are not designed to trap, but to approve us.
        1. God even provides a back door to every temptation so we might overcome it!
        2. 1 Cor.10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
    4. Q: Why did temptations/testing’s come Jesus way?
      1. Not to determine His character or ability.
      2. Not to give Satan a chance to defeat Him.
      3. But so He could personally experience what we go through & so be prepared to assist us.
      4. So we could know how to overcome the evil one by means of the Spirit of God & the Word of God.
        1. The 1st Adam was tested in a beautiful garden & failed, but the last Adam was victorious in a terrible wilderness/desert. (Warren Wiersbe; Outlines in the NT.)
        2. Explain Desert = not wilderness like we might picture it.
    5. Before offering a new life to others, He proved in a personal demonstration that a new life was possible!
      1. He showed His own freedom from the inadequacies & the sin which trap you & me.
      2. Jesus shows freedom is possible & gives each of us hope!
    6. Q: When might temptations come?
    7. When you’re filled with the Holy Spirit!
      1. If I started a story, “I was walking in the Spirit the other day when…” You probably wouldn’t expect me to say, “and I was radically attacked spiritually!”
      2. Often the strongest force of temptation comes when one is closest to God!
      3. The Devil even caused 1 disciple to say he didn’t even know Christ.
    8. Also we notice temptations come when we are alone!
      1. I was walking in the moonlight on the property in Belize, & was just overcome with the thought: “Here I am in a Rain Forest paradise. All alone. Completely isolated from the world. And yet even at that moment, still having to battle the temptations of my mind.”
    9. Being filled…He was being tested – Why? To prepare us for the conflict. To give us strength proportioned to our need!
      1. It’s not a sin to be tempted; but it is a sin to yield.
    10. Jesus shows us you can be filled w/the Spirit & obedient to God’s will & still experience temptations/testing’s/& trials.
      1. Jesus can identify w/you in your temptations & can help you win the victory!
      2. Heb.2:18 “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
    11. THE TEST! – To use His power to meet physical needs??????????
      1. Fast for 40 days, now what might be the 1st test…hmmm!
        1. A hard test for the 30 year old Nazarene.
        2. He ate nothing for 40 days & (another biblical “understatement”)was hungry” (in case you think He didn’t have human hunger pains!)
        3. He was physically drained of the natural resources inherent in our bodies.
      2. Really not “if” but “since You are the Son of God, act like God & command these stones be made bread.”
      3. “It was a test to put His immediate physical needs ahead of eternal purposes.”
        1. In selecting this verse He places the emphasis on “man”!
        2. Thus, Jesus didn’t meet the testing’s of Satan in His deity; Jesus met each test in his human nature as a true man.
        3. Again, in this we find hope!
        4. If He won victory using His divine nature, He would have only proved that God is greater than Satan!
        5. Jesus was born into our world to live as a human being, & to be hungry & tired, misunderstood & hurt as we all have been
        6. He used the resources available to every believer!
      1. ​​​​​​​Armored with the sword of the Spirit for His battle w/the Devil Jesus is able to parry each thrust of Satan’s plastic child’s sword, with the steel-bladed sword of Gods Word!
        1. We also can picture darkness coming after light!!!
      2. Q: How did Jesus use the Scripture?
        1. Not like the Hindu prayer wheels, saying words over & over again by rote.
        2. There is nothing magical about the words of Scripture.
      3. Jesus is saying, “here is a principle to live by…& I will live by it!”
        1. God’s word is given to be lived.
        2. Here is where Jesus found victory, & in doing God’s word is where we’ll find ours also!
      4. The physical is one avenue of temptation for all of us.
        1. Some are ruled by gluttony, others by sexual appetites.
      5. Yes we all have physical needs & it is alright to satisfy them [biblically]
        1. BUT, we are more than our bodies!!!
      6. Don’t let physical needs & urges dominate your life, choose to live by the Word of God. [or to do the will of God]
        1. Q: Which physical temptation are you struggling with?
        2. Q: What specific Scripture can you store up in your heart, that directly applies to your temptation?
          1. Ps.119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”
        3. Q: What have you been reminded of this morning that will aide you next time a physical temptation comes your way?
        4. Q: What steps will you need to take to make sure you are living by that scripture?
    14. Now, an attack from another direction!
    15. THE TEST!
      1. ​​​​​​​To seek the power of a world ruler. (This would match popular expectations about the Messiah)
      2. Satan asked for the worship that belongs only to God, offering all the world’s kingdoms in return.
        1. It was an opportunity for Jesus to escape the cross!
      3. Authority over all kingdoms of this world IS Jesus’ destiny!
        1. Ps.2:7,8 “The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
      4. Certainly what God has planned for Jesus cannot be, in itself, a bad thing – or worldly.
        1. It would have been a good thing for our planet for Jesus to jump in & rule the nations.
        2. There wouldn’t be wars & killings if Jesus was in charge. No sickness or cancer. No crime, or discrimination, or injustice!
      5. So this was a “good” temptation…or better yet, a temptation to do good…but not accept God’s “best”!
        1. Some of the most powerful temptations are those that involve good things!
    16. All will be yours? – But in Jesus Christ we already have all things!
      1. 1 Cor.3:21-23 “Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
      1. ​​​​​​​Don’t fall for the Good; determine to do God’s Will alone!
      2. Choosing God’s will was costly for Jesus. It cost Him His life, but His reward? “The nations” (folks from all nations, tribes, peoples, & tongues)!
      3. Like Jesus, determine to do the right thing, determining that in every situation you will worship God, & Him only you will serve!
    19. This “if” implies doubt.
    20. THE TEST!
      1. ​​​​​​​Perform a dazzling miracle at the Temple site, as many people are anxiously awaiting a Messiah who would perform spectacular signs.
        1. He tells Jesus to jump, & backs it with an “edited” quotation from Psalm 91:11,12.
      2. How long will you wait until you begin to wonder, Did God really lead me here, or was it my imagination?”
      3. How long before you yearn for some proof that God has been directing you & is still w/you?
      4. The passage implies, “Why not settle it!” – Prove to yourself the relationship you claim, once & for all!
        1. Look at the passage he quoted. Yes it’s from Deut.6:16 (read) but it looks back even farther to Ex.17:7 (read).
        2. They were given demonstration after demonstration of God’s power. They run out of water & cry again, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
        3. In questioning God’s presence & His love, they “put God to the test!”
        4. ​​​​​​​Come on Jesus, make God prove Himself! – Jesus wouldn’t.
      1. ​​​​​​​Relationship with God must always rest on faith, rest on His Faithfulness, & on Confidence in God’s Trustworthiness.
      2. How quick you & I are, when troubles & pressures come, to begin to doubt God & to question His love!
        1. Is God still here? Did I make a mistake?
      3. When we are under these pressures we need to remember the principles that Jesus Himself applied. We don’t need proof. We can trust God. We are not to test Him.
    22. Jesus did not use His divine powers to win the victory; He used the same spiritual weapons that any of us can use, if we will yield to him!

Verses 14-44

  1. MESSAGE OF JESUS! (14-30)
    2. Between vs.13 & 14 of this chapter comes John 2-5.
      1. Cana(wine) - Capernaum(couple days) - Jer(cleanse Temp; Talk w/Nic) – Judea - Samaria(2 dys) – to Galilee.
      2. Actually spent 14 months in Judea, but 8 in obscurity, perhaps cuz 1st the people needed the ministry of John the Bap to prepare them
    3. JESUS’ 1ST SERMON! (16-30)
    4. As was his custom – the value of regular church attendance!
      1. He would have seen many familiar faces, His mother doubtless in the women’s gallery.
    5. Sermon Read! (16-20)
    6. (18,19) He reads from Isaiah about “Divine Deliverance!”
    7. In this he describes Jesus own description of His mission & ministry!
    8. This is one of the oldest descriptions of what took place in a synagogue service. [Stood to read – sat to teach(16,20)]
      1. Usually 2 lessons from Law & from prophets:
      2. Acts 13:15 “And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
      3. Manners & Customs of the Bible – “Every Sabbath, 7 persons read: a priest, a Levite, & 5 ordinary Israelites.”
    9. This is the story of our Savior's life, death and resurrection.
      1. He came looking for us in the sick, the maimed, the lame, the bruised, the broken hearted, the wretched wanderer, the poor and forgotten, the prisoner, and the lonely rich.
      2. Q: Has he found you?
      3. This is what he came to do…& is still doing in lives today!
    10. He came to proclaim liberty to captives, to set at liberty the downtrodden.
      1. Lady Liberty says it well on her base, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore; Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
    11. We are living in the “year of acceptance”, the day of grace!
      1. Q: Have you entered your Jubilee?
        1. It’s all about freedom/liberty!
        2. Freedom from a greater slavery!!!
    12. Q: Anyone poor, in spirit? (opposite of proud in spirit!)
    13. Q: Anyone brokenhearted over their sin?
    14. Q: Anyone need liberty from phobias, insecurities, worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, temper, wrong desire, passion.
    15. Q: Anyone need released from a prison of despair, depression, or despondency?
    16. Q: Anyone need released from a prison of conscience?
    17. I guess that’s what I like most about this is “the WHO” He came for.
      1. Not the perfect, the strongest, the physically healthy, or the spiritually healthy.
      2. Yet that’s what we often feel who He’s “really” looking for!
      3. Come on, He’s looking for the “A” team! Not me!
    18. (20) The attendant – had charge of the furniture in the synagogue. He kept the building in good order. Summoned the people at the appointed hour.
      1. He also called the names the ruler of the synagogue selected to read the lesson of the day, hand them the scroll, & retrieve it when the reading was finished.
    19. The scribes normally split hairs about trivial matters. Or would just quote another rabbi said about another rabbi.
      1. What freshness this must have brought this synagogue that day.
    20. Sermon Expounded! (21)
    21. I’m the Messiah Isaiah wrote about.
    22. Sermon Illustrations! (24-27)
    23. (22a) Hometown Buffet!
      1. Wow, known for His gracious words! - Are you?
    24. (22b) Isn’t this Joseph’s son? – An average life.
      1. I agree with Abraham Lincoln remark about God preferring common people or He would not have made so many of them!
    25. (23,24) Jesus, sensing their skepticism, used 2 Proverbs to illustrate their feelings.
    26. [1] Physician heal yourself! – A proverb found both in Gk & Jewish lit.
      1. Gk – “A physician for others, but himself teeming with sores.” [Euripides, Fragments 1086] (New International Biblical Commentary; pg.75)
        1. Gk – “Physician, heal thine own limp.” (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.18)
      2. Heb - “Physician, heal your own lameness.” [Genesis Rabbah 23.5] (New International Biblical Commentary; pg.75)
    27. [2] No prophet is accepted in his own country – reflect a Jewish tradition that Israel routinely rejected & persecuted the prophets.
    28. Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum do also here in Your country!
      1. But, He hadn’t come to satisfy mere curiosity of fellow-townsmen.
      2. 2 OT examples to illustrate why he cannot perform the miracles in Nazareth that He has elsewhere…i.e. their unbelief!
    29. (25-27) His ministry was as broad as human need!
      1. He couldn’t be confined to his hometown, or even His own nation.
      2. So, the illustration of these 2 Gentiles being healed, when Israel of old wouldn’t listen.
      3. But, they wanted a comforting sermon not a convicting one!
    30. Sermon Detested! (28-30)
    31. (28) Filled with wrath – Grace to the Gentiles? Get out of Dodge!
    32. This goes to show “Blossoms aren’t always a sign of fruit!”
      1. The Peoples reactions were initially Positive:
        1. [1] Rapt attention{all eyes fixed no Him}(20a) [2] Marveled(22a) [3] Thought His words were gracious(22b) [4] Great surprise {Joseph’s son?}(22c)
        2. Then Negative:
          1. [1] Angry opposition{filled w/wrath}(28) [2] Thrust Him out(29)
        3. “Blossoms aren’t always a sign of fruit!”
        4. Grace to all, yet it must be received & appropriated!
    33. (29) Out of the city – Executions were to take place outside the city Lev. 24:14.
    34. In this reaction we see a cameo portrait of Jesus’ whole ministry.
      1. This will be repeated over & over...all the way to the cross!
    35. We must be careful our reaction isn’t the same as theirs!
      1. We must reject ourselves…or Him!
    36. When Kelly & I used to do prison ministry, I was always amazed to hear how many men/women we have locked up in our correctional institutions that didn’t deserve being in there!!! [I was framed, bad trial]
      1. See the people of Nazareth didn’t consider themselves those mentioned in vs.18. [Do you? Or is that speaking of “them”?]
    37. He says come &…
      1. Trade in your works for His Grace?
      2. Swap your Churchianity for Christianity?
      3. Exchange your, “I deserve better than this” for, “I’ll take His mercy”?
      4. Surrender your religion for just Jesus?
      5. Relinquish your Gloom for radiant Joy?
      6. Give up your spirit of heaviness & accept His garment of praise?
    38. Jesus will only return 1 more time, only to find the same attitude! (Mt.13:54-58; Mrk 6:1-6.)
  2. MIRACLES OF JESUS! (31-37)
    1. ​​​​​​​CAPERNAUM SYNAGOGUE! (31-37)
    2. He came down from Nazareth to Capernaum for 18 months.
      1. This was called in Mt.9:1 “His own city”.
      2. This continues Christ’s 1st circuit of Galilee (ends at 5:16)
    3. I just have 1 question…Where were the ushers? J
      1. A demon in the synagogue – not the 1st nor last time he has possessed a pew-holder!
    4. (33) I have 2 questions…How long had this man been attending? And, why has he gone unnoticed?
      1. Imagine a man in your home study group blurting out all of this while you’re teaching!
      2. Bring Jesus into a dead service & things change!
    5. 1st miracle recorded by Luke.
      1. In this section(to 5:16) there are more numerous & more varied cases of healing than any other time.
    6. Unclean demon – Luke writing to Greeks, who believed there were both good & evil demons.
    7. (34) What have we to do w/you? – What have we in common [How true!]
      1. (NASB) “What business do we have with each other”
      2. The knowledge & testimony of a Demon.
        1. He knew all about Jesus of Nazareth (holy, divine, tested)
        2. He knew much & talked well. (Griffith Thomas)
      3. This proves again that more than head belief is needed – it is only heart love acceptance. [Demons believe & at least they tremble!]
    8. (35) “Had he not overcome the devil privately, Jesus would not have defeated him publicly.” (Wiersbe)
    9. (36) His Power & Authority!
    10. (37) His Fame!
    11. INSIDE PETER’S HOUSE! (38,39)
    12. After church what do you do? Have Sunday Lunch, what else!
      1. And so they march right outside of the synagogue & right into Peter’s house (explain in Israel a rocks throw away)
    13. Here was a home loved by Jesus, near to Jesus, & yet sickness came!
      1. Note: No sternness or abhorrence because she was sick!
      2. If sin had brought on this illness, shouldn’t there be a rebuke for it?
    14. Service in home as well as in church!
    15. OUTSIDE PETER’S HOUSE! (40,41)
    16. Morning in the synagogue; midday at Peters; crowds at sunset & into the night.
      1. Now that Sabbath was over the people would bring them.
    17. (Mrk.1:33) “And the whole city was gathered together at the door.”
      1. How did they get there?(vs.32) “They brought them to Him…”
        1. Some couldn’t have made it to Jesus unless someone brought them!
      2. We need to go to our cities & bring Jesus to them, or bring them to Jesus!
      3. We need to go to the sin-sick & bring them to Him!
    18. A heart that feels is never callous! (Griffith Thomas)
      1. Jesus the compassionate!
      2. I wonder how happy this made Jesus feel being able to heal all these people?
      3. Q: What’s Jesus’ facial expression here?
      4. Q: Do you picture him serious or smiling as He’s doing this?
    19. I MUST PREACH! (42,43)
    20. (42) After work, rest in proportion.
    21. Read Mrk 1:35-39
    23. Really Judea, but not limited to the south.
      1. Luke’s point was that wherever Jesus went he constantly taught that He was the Messiah, who had come to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord! (Walvoord & Zuck)
    24. We see here Jesus’ priorities, & they should be equally important to us to: [1] Meet physical needs of people [2] Pray [3] Preach!
      1. Or, touch lives; be in devotion w/God; tell friends of your Jesus!
      2. Our message is not that we have it all together. Our message is that we know the One who does!
      3. Ask yourself: Does my life reflect only religious activity or does it bear the mark of profound love?
        1. Don’t fall into the trap of the Pharisees who “caught the disease of the devoted!” (Pippert)
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Luke 4". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/luke-4.html. 2017.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile