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III. THE PREPARATION FOR JESUS’ MINISTRY 3:1-4:13
Luke next narrated events that paved the way for Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee and Judea.
Reference to Jesus’ fullness with the Spirit links this incident with Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3:22). There seems to be a deliberate comparison between Israel as God’s Son (Exodus 4:22-23; Hosea 11:1) and Jesus as the Son of God in this story. Both sons experienced temptation in the wilderness for 40 periods of time, Israel for 40 years and Jesus for 40 days (cf. Genesis 7:4; Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8; Jonah 3:4). Perhaps God regarded a period of days as the appropriate counterpart for a man compared to years for a nation. [Note: Ibid., pp. 41-42.] Moses also went without food for 40 days in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 9:9). Israel failed, but Jesus succeeded. God led Israel into the wilderness, and God’s Spirit led Jesus there. God tested Israel there, and God allowed the devil to test Jesus there.
Satan tempts people to depart from God’s will, but God never does this (James 1:13). People tempt God by making unreasonable demands on Him (Numbers 14:22; Deuteronomy 6:16; Psalms 106:14). God tests, but does not tempt, people (Exodus 16:4; Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Judges 2:22; Judges 3:4; 2 Chronicles 32:31). All three types of testing occurred in Israel’s temptation in the wilderness and in Jesus’ temptation there. [Note: Liefeld, p. 863.]
Jesus proved completely pleasing to God in His trials, but Satan was displeasing to Him. Jesus, filled with the Spirit, sided with God, whereas Satan, not filled with the Spirit, opposed Him. [Note: See Sydney H. T. Page, "Satan: God’s Servant," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50:3 (September 2007):449-65.] Jesus was physically hungry, but He was full of the Spirit. Thus the importance of Spirit control is obvious in this passage as is the importance of familiarity with and fidelity to the Scriptures. Jesus had been fasting (Matthew 4:2; cf. Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9). Evidently Jesus experienced temptation all 40 days, but the three instances Luke recorded happened at the end of that period (cf. Mark 1:13).
D. The temptation of Jesus 4:1-13 (cf. Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13)
Luke stressed how the Spirit who had come upon Jesus at His baptism guided and empowered Him in His temptation and how Jesus, God’s approved Son, pleased His Father by His obedience. Jesus overcame the devil, who opposed God’s plans. This story is also edifying because it helps believers understand how to recognize and overcome Satan’s attacks. We do so as Jesus did by obeying God’s will as revealed in Scripture. Jesus drew His responses to Satan from Old Testament passages that relate to Israel in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:3; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 6:16). Jesus succeeded, in the wilderness no less, where Israel had failed. [Note: See R. T. France, Jesus and the Old Testament, pp. 50-53; G. H. P. Thompson, "Called - Proved - Obedient," Journal of Theological Studies NS11 (1960):1-12; and B. Gerhardsson, The Testing of God’s Son.]
Luke recorded the same three temptations as Matthew did, but he reversed the order of the second and third incidents. Apparently Luke rearranged the order to stress Jesus’ victory in Jerusalem. Luke viewed Jerusalem as the center toward which Jesus moved in this Gospel and the center from which the gospel radiated to the uttermost part of the earth in Acts (Acts 1:8). Matthew, on the other hand, concluded his account of the temptation with a reference to the kingdom, his particular interest.
Greek readers had an interest in the idea of the Son of God, explicitly present in two of the temptations. They also had an interest in miracles, which appear in one if not two of them, and Satan, who appears in all three.
All three of the tests recorded enticed Jesus to abandon His dependence on God. The first one was a temptation to gratify self but not by doing something wicked since eating is necessary. The devil attacked Jesus where He was vulnerable since He was then hungry. To continue to exist in the wilderness, Jesus, and the Israelites before Him, had to believe that God’s word was trustworthy (Deuteronomy 8:3). God had revealed a plan for both that assured them that they would not die in the wilderness. Satan assumed that Jesus was the Son of God, as is clear from the first class condition in the Greek text (Luke 4:3; cf. Luke 3:22).
Human welfare does not depend primarily on food or even physical provisions. It depends mainly on obedience to God’s will even though that may mean physical deprivation. By applying this passage to Himself Jesus put Himself in the category of a true "man" (Gr. anthropos). Luke had special interest in the testing of Jesus’ humanity, and he presented Jesus as the example for the Christian to follow.
The devil also took Jesus up on a mountain (Matthew 4:8; cf. Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1-3). Evidently he showed Jesus the kingdoms in a vision since He saw them all "in a moment of time (instant)." This was a temptation to exalt self. Jesus could not enter into His glory without suffering first, according to God’s will (Luke 24:26). Jesus’ response was that of the perfect man, the last Adam (Romans 5:19). He worshipped and served God alone (Deuteronomy 6:13).
Next Satan tempted Jesus to glorify Himself. Jesus refused to repeat Israel’s sin in the wilderness of putting God to the test by forcing His hand. The Israelites had wondered if God was still with them (Exodus 17:7). Instead Jesus committed Himself to simply following God’s will in God’s time. Satan quoted Psalms 91:11-12 and Jesus responded with Deuteronomy 6:16. The Deuteronomy passage applied to Satan as well as to Jesus.
"Satan questioned the Father’s love when he tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. He questioned His hope when he offered Jesus the world’s kingdoms this side of the Cross (see Hebrews 12:1-3). Satan questioned the Father’s faithfulness when he asked Jesus to jump from the temple and prove that the Father would keep His promise (Psalms 91:11-12). Thus, the enemy attacked the three basic virtues of the Christian life-faith, hope, and love." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:183.]
The devil only left Jesus temporarily; he continued to tempt Him later. However, Luke viewed Jesus’ victory here as significant. His lack of reference to the fact that angels then ministered to Jesus (Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13) reinforces Jesus’ personal victory over Satan.
"Moses fasted in the middle, Elijah at the end, Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. Moses fasted in the Presence of God; Elijah alone; Jesus assaulted by the Devil. Moses had been called up by God; Elijah had gone forth in the bitterness of his own spirit; Jesus was driven by the Spirit. Moses failed after his forty day’s fast, when in indignation he cast the Tables of the Law from him; Elijah failed before his forty day’s fast; Jesus was assailed for forty days and endured the trial. Moses was angry against Israel; Elijah despaired of Israel; Jesus overcame for Israel." [Note: Edersheim, 1:294.]
A. Jesus’ teaching ministry 4:14-5:11
This section of the third Gospel records some of Jesus’ initial preaching and various responses to it. Much of the material appears only in Luke. Interspersed are instances of Jesus performing mighty works. Luke, as the other evangelists, stressed the essential message that Jesus proclaimed.
1. An introduction to Jesus’ Galilean ministry 4:14-15 (cf. Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15)
Luke again drew his readers’ attention to the fact that Jesus was under the control of the Holy Spirit as He began His public ministry (cf. Luke 1:35; Luke 3:22; Luke 4:1). The Spirit empowered and enabled Jesus in His words and deeds. Luke would stress His teaching ministry. Luke attributed Jesus’ success to His orientation to the Spirit, not His essential deity. Consequently He was a model that all believers can and should copy. Luke continued to stress the Holy Spirit’s ministry in Acts.
Everyone who had contact with Jesus praised Him, not just the Jews. This was the initial popular response to Him, and it is the normal initial response that Spirit-directed believers experience.
IV. JESUS’ MINISTRY IN AND AROUND GALILEE 4:14-9:50
Luke commenced his account of Jesus’ public ministry with His return to Galilee following His temptation. This section of his Gospel ends with Jesus’ decision to leave Galilee for Jerusalem and the Cross (Luke 9:51). Luke did not give as much information about Jesus’ Galilean ministry as the other synoptic writers did (cf. Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 16:12; Mark 1:14 to Mark 8:26). He chose, rather, to emphasize Jesus’ ministry as He traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 to Luke 19:27), which the other synoptic evangelists did not highlight as much.
Luke reminded his readers that Jesus had grown up in Nazareth where this incident took place. He also drew attention to Jesus’ piety by noting His regular habit of attending synagogue services, probably to teach as well as to worship. This was the synagogue that the Roman centurion, whose beloved servant Jesus later healed, had built for the Jews of Capernaum (cf. Luke 7:2-10).
"It was our Lord’s custom to attend public worship, a custom His followers should imitate today (Hebrews 10:24-25). He might have argued that the ’religious system’ was corrupt, or that He didn’t need the instruction; but instead, He made His way on the Sabbath to the place of prayer." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:184.]
One of the synagogue rulers (Jairus? cf. Mark 5:22; Luke 8:41) may have asked Jesus to read the Scriptures since Jesus was a popular teacher. Customarily Jewish teachers stood to read the Scriptures, out of respect for them, and then sat down to expound them. [Note: Martin, p. 214. See Edersheim, 1:430-50, for explanation of synagogue worship and arrangements.] No one knows for sure if someone asked Him to read this particular passage or if He chose to do so, but the context favors the second alternative by stressing Jesus’ initiative.
2. Jesus’ teaching in Nazareth 4:16-30
In contrast to most people, the inhabitants of Jesus’ hometown did not praise Him. When Jesus began to speak of God extending salvation to the Gentiles, a particular interest of Luke’s, the Jews there opposed Him violently. Perhaps Luke meant this incident to represent a classic case of rejection in which Nazareth symbolizes all Israel. [Note: Marshall, The Gospel . . ., p. 178.] If so, this is another instance of metonymy. He may also have intended that it become a paradigm of the church’s ministry as well as Jesus’ ministry. [Note: Bo Reicke, "Jesus in Nazareth - Lk 4, 14-30," in Das Wort und die Wörter, pp. 51-53.]
Many students of the Synoptics take this pericope as parallel to Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6. However, the differences between Luke’s account and that of Matthew and Mark seem to indicate two separate incidents. Luke’s incident probably occurred early in Jesus’ Galilean ministry whereas the one that Matthew and Mark recorded happened later.
The passage Jesus read was Isaiah 61:1-2 a (cf. Isaiah 58:6). This passage prophesied the mission of Messiah. It is appropriate that Jesus should have read it at the beginning of His ministry and that Luke should have recorded it here. As the Servant of the Lord, which the context of the Isaiah passage contributes, Messiah would possess the Spirit. He would also be the bearer of good news (Luke 1:19; cf. Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 41:27; Isaiah 52:7). Luke highlighted Jesus’ prophetic ministry of proclamation (Luke 4:24; Luke 7:16; Luke 7:39; Luke 9:8; Luke 9:19; Luke 13:33; Luke 24:19). Moreover Messiah would bring release to the oppressed (cf. Luke 7:22).
The reference to the favorable year of the Lord is an allusion to the year of jubilee when all the enslaved in Israel received their freedom (Leviticus 25). It points to the messianic kingdom but is more general and includes God’s favor on individual Gentiles as well as on Israel nationally.
Jesus stopped reading before He read the words "and the day of vengeance of our God" in Isaiah 61:2 b. This is a reference to the Tribulation, among other judgments. The omission highlights the gracious nature of Messiah’s ministry then compared with its judgmental character in the future. [Note: See Gary Yates, "The Use of Isaiah 61:1 (and 58:6) in Luke 4:18-19," Exegesis and Exposition 2:1 (Summer 1987):13-27.] One writer listed many passages in addition to Isaiah 61:1-2 that contain prophecies with a nearer fulfillment of some statements and a farther fulfillment of others. [Note: J. Randall Price, "Prophetic Postponement in Daniel 9 and Other Texts," in Issues in Dispensationalism, pp. 159 and 160.]
Probably Luke narrated these events step by step because his Gentile readers would have been unfamiliar with synagogue worship. His description also heightens the sense of anticipation in the story. The people present were alert and expectant, waiting to hear Jesus’ comments on the passage.
When He announced the fulfillment of this passage, Jesus revealed that He was the predicted Messiah and that the time for God’s gracious deliverance had arrived. [Note: See Daniel Doriani, "The Deity of Christ in the Synoptic Gospels," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37:3 (September 1994):333-50.] This is one of only two instances in which Luke recorded the fulfillment of Scripture by Messiah, the other being in Luke 24:44. These occurred at the beginning and at the end of Jesus’ ministry. They constitute an inclusio, implying that the whole of Jesus’ ministry was a fulfillment of messianic prophecy. Jesus began preaching the gospel that enriches the poor, releases bound people, enlightens the spiritually blind, and gives the downtrodden freedom. He also announced that the kingdom was at hand (cf. Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15).
These words about God’s grace (cf. Acts 14:3; Acts 20:24) evoked a positive response from Jesus’ hearers and amazed them (Gr. ethaumazon). They were glad to hear these things. However they balked at Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. They did not understand how He could be the Messiah since He had grown up with them and seemed so similar to them.
Evidently Jesus had been ministering in Capernaum before this incident (cf. Luke 4:14-15). The accounts of Jesus in Nazareth in Matthew 13:53-58 and Mark 6:1-6 also follow instances of His doing miracles in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13; Mark 1:21-28). This has encouraged some interpreters to regard this passage in Luke as parallel to the others in Matthew and Mark, but this is probably incorrect. Jesus’ decision to refrain from doing miracles in Nazareth apparently led some of the Nazarenes to question His ability to do them at all. This cast further doubt on His messiahship in their minds. They thought that if He was the Messiah He should bring blessing to Nazareth and do signs there too.
Luke recorded Jesus saying, "Truly I say to you," or, "I tell you the truth," six times (Luke 4:24; Luke 12:37; Luke 18:17; Luke 18:29; Luke 21:32; Luke 23:43). [Note: See J. C. O’Neill, "The Six Amen Sayings in Luke," Journal of Theological Studies NS10 (1959):1-9; and J. Strugnell, "’Amen I say unto you’ in the Sayings of Jesus and in Early Christian Literature," Harvard Theological Review 67 (1974):177-90.] This phrase always introduces a significant and authoritative comment, as in the other Gospels. The Greek word dektos, translated "welcome" or "accepted," is the same one that occurs in Luke 4:19. Perhaps Jesus used this word in Luke 4:24 to indicate that even though God wanted to accept people they would not accept the prophet whom He had sent to tell them of His grace. [Note: Liefeld, p. 869.] Prophets were not welcome in their hometowns because home folks hardly ever fully trust one of their own who becomes famous and then returns home. In saying what He did Jesus was again claiming to be a prophet.
"People are always more ready to see greatness in strangers than in those they know well." [Note: Morris, p. 107.]
Jesus did not say that Elijah and Elisha went to Gentiles because the Jews rejected them but because God sent them there. God sent them there even though there were many needy people in Israel. Nevertheless Israel then was in an apostate condition. The three and one-half years was a period of divine judgment on Israel (cf. Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3; Revelation 12:6; Revelation 12:14; Revelation 13:5). The implication of these two illustrations was that God had sent Jesus to Gentiles as well as to Jews. The Nazarenes, therefore, should not expect preferential treatment. Jesus ministered to Jews first, but He also ministered to Gentiles. These examples would have encouraged Luke’s original Gentile readers since they had a similar mission.
"This remark [of Jesus’] is strong for two reasons: (a) It compares the current era to one of the least spiritual periods in Israel’s history, and (b) it suggests that Gentiles, who were intensely disliked among the Jews, were more worthy of ministry than they were." [Note: Bock, Luke, p. 138.]
Jesus allowed the crowd to drive Him out of town and to the brow of the hillside near where Nazareth stood. Later He allowed another crowd to drive Him out of Jerusalem and nail Him to a cross. However this was not the time for Him to die, and Nazareth was not the place. Luke did not give the details whereby He escaped His neighbors’ wrath. We need not suppose that His deliverance came through some supernatural act or intervention. The description of His escape does picture Jesus in sovereign control of the situation, however.
This pattern of violent Jewish rejection continued and mounted through Jesus’ ministry. It is significant that it began at the start of His ministry because of a revelation of God’s desire to bless His people.
"Thus in the first scene in the narrative of Jesus’ mission, Jesus announces ’words of grace’ but encounters the violent rejection which prophets can expect in their homeland. The good news which Jesus preaches is already shadowed by a conflict that will persist to the end of Acts." [Note: Tannehill, 1:73.]
"The visit to Nazareth was in many respects decisive. It presented by anticipation an epitome of the history of the Christ. He came to His own, and His own received Him not. The first time He taught in the Synagogue, as the first time He taught in the Temple, they cast Him out. On the one and the other occasion, they questioned His authority, and they asked for a ’sign.’ In both instances, the power which they challenged was, indeed, claimed by Christ, but its display, in the manner which they expected, refused. The analogy seems to extend even farther-and if a misrepresentation of what Jesus had said when purifying the Temple formed the ground of the final false charge against Him (Matthew 26:60-61), the taunt of the Nazarenes: ’Physician, heal thyself!’ found an echo in the mocking cry, as He hung on the Cross: ’He saved others, Himself He cannot save.’ (Matthew 27:40-42)" [Note: Edersheim, 1:451.]
"In all this we have a commentary on the third temptation. The people tried to put Jesus into the position Satan had suggested. But He did not let them." [Note: Morris, p. 108.]
"It is important to appreciate how central good teaching is to ministry. In an era when feelings and interpersonal relationships are high on the agenda, it is wise to reflect on why Jesus spent so much time instructing people." [Note: Bock, Luke, p. 139.]
Jesus had to go down topographically from Nazareth, that stood approximately 1,200 feet above sea level, to Capernaum, that lay almost 700 feet below sea level. This notation, and the mention that Capernaum was a city of Galilee, were undoubtedly for Luke’s original readers’ benefit many of whom were unfamiliar with Palestinian geography. Again Luke recorded that Jesus was teaching in the synagogue (cf. Luke 4:16). There He demonstrated the liberating work that Isaiah wrote that Messiah would do (Luke 4:18).
"Teaching [Gr. didache] in Luke-Acts is seen as a broad term encompassing much more than the offer of the gospel, whereas preaching [kerygma] in Luke-Acts [only in Luke 11:32] tends to be limited to the salvation message." [Note: Idem, "A Theology . . .," p. 119.]
Jesus’ unusual authority amazed (Gr. exeplessonto) those present (cf. Deuteronomy 18:18). Later Jesus’ works elicited the same response (Luke 9:43). It was particularly Jesus’ word (Gr. logos, cf. Luke 1:1-4) that impressed them here. As a prophet, Jesus spoke directly from God and for God. The people of Capernaum recognized Jesus’ authority, but the Nazarenes did not.
The exorcism of a demoniac in the Capernaum synagogue 4:31-37 (cf. Mark 1:21-28)
3. Jesus’ ministry in and around Capernaum 4:31-44
The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus because they did not believe that He was the Messiah or the Son of God. Luke next gave many proofs of Jesus’ messiahship and deity. He chose incidents from Jesus’ ministry in and around Galilee to demonstrate this. The first four incidents happened in Capernaum and its environs. Even though these incidents involved miracles, they occurred in a broader context of teaching.
Messiah’s appearance served notice on the demon world that He purposed to destroy their work. Consequently the demons began to oppose Jesus immediately. Jesus continued this holy war throughout His ministry, and His disciples extended it after His departure (Luke 9:1-2; Luke 10:9-10; Luke 10:17). The Gospel writers used the terms "evil" and "unclean" interchangeably to describe these demons. They were evil in their intent and they produced uncleanness in contrast to the goodness and holiness that the Holy Spirit produces in those whom He inhabits. [Note: See Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, s.v. "Demon, Demoniac, Demonology," by R. K. Harrison, 2:92-101.] Possibly Luke specified that this was an unclean demon because the Greeks thought there were good and evil demons. [Note: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. "daimon," by W. Foerster, 2:9.]
"Ha!" translates an expression of "indignant surprise." [Note: J. M. Creed, The Gospel According to St. Luke. A Commentary on the Third Gospel, p. 30.] "What do we have to do with you" means something like, "Why this interference?" [Note: Danker, p. 61.] The demon testified to Jesus’ messianic and divine character. He was the "Holy One of God" in contrast to the unclean demon. Jesus may have silenced the demon to prevent a premature movement to recognize Him as simply a political Messiah. Again Jesus’ authority is obvious in His command to keep quiet. Jesus also expelled the demon on His own authority, not by invoking the name of some other power. Luke, who consistently showed interest in people’s physical conditions, noted that even though the demon exited violently he did not hurt the man. Jesus effected the release of one whom Satan had held captive, and He did it completely (Luke 4:18).
Again Luke noted the amazement of the observers (Gr. thambos, wonder mixed with fear). The people questioned the powerful word (Gr. logos, Luke 4:32) of Jesus marked by authority (Gr. exousia) and power (Gr. dynamei) over unclean spirits (i.e., demons). Perhaps Luke stressed the "word" of Jesus because the Greeks put much stock in the power of a great person’s words, people such as the great Greek orators, for example. The reports of this miracle spread Jesus’ fame farther into the surrounding areas.
This incident established the authority that Jesus had claimed in Nazareth. Testimony to His deity from the spirit world should have convinced many of Jesus’ hearers. Luke probably recorded the incident to strengthen Jesus’ greatness in the minds of his readers.
The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law 4:38-39 (cf. Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31)
Luke’s account does not include some details that Matthew and Mark recorded, but it stresses the immediacy of Jesus’ healing. Luke did not introduce Peter to his readers, probably because they knew about him before reading this Gospel.
"Undoubtedly, the key disciple in Luke’s writings is Peter. He was the representative disciple, as well as the leading apostle. [Note: Bock, "A Theology . . .," p. 148.]
Doctor Luke (cf. Colossians 4:14) alone wrote that this was a high fever. He described Jesus as standing over Peter’s mother-in-law as a doctor would, perhaps suggesting Jesus’ role as the Great Physician. He also wrote that Jesus rebuked the fever. We need not infer that a demon had produced it and that Jesus was rebuking the demon. Luke may have just been personifying the fever to show the power of Jesus’ words. Peter’s mother-in-law’s ability to serve others testified to the complete recovery that Jesus effected (cf. Luke 4:35). Luke showed special interest in women in his Gospel, and this is another indication of that (cf. Elizabeth, Mary, Anna). He apparently wanted his Greek readers, who held women in esteem, to realize that Jesus honored them too.
Luke’s emphasis in this healing was the miraculous element and Jesus’ great power and authority over sickness.
The Jewish crowds waited to come to Jesus until the Sabbath ended at sundown. Luke did not draw attention to the Sabbath but noted the sun setting as the background for what followed. Luke distinguished between the sick and the demon possessed. He did not think demons were responsible for all disease, as some Greeks did. However, he would have acknowledged that sin is responsible for all sickness ultimately. Luke alone also mentioned Jesus laying His hands on those who came to Him for healing. This demonstrates Jesus’ compassion for the afflicted and the fact that the healing came from Him. It was common in pagan Hellenistic accounts of supposedly miraculous healings for healers to lay their hands on the sick. [Note: Marshall, The Gospel . . ., p. 196.]
Jesus’ healing of many Galileans after sundown 4:40-41 (cf. Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 1:32-34)
Having recorded two individual healings, Luke now mentioned a group of people that Jesus healed. Again Luke omitted some details that the other synoptic writers included but added others to stress other points for his particular readers.
Only Luke recorded that the demons called Jesus "the Son of God." This was another testimony to His true identity. Again Jesus told them to keep quiet (cf. Luke 4:35). He wanted people, not just demons, to believe that He was the Son of God. Moreover the testimony of demons might appear suspect to the people present since they serve the father of lies. Note that Luke equated "Son of God" and "Christ (Messiah)," which many of Jesus’ followers had difficulty comprehending and acknowledging.
The demons’ witness to Jesus’ identity seems to be the point of this story.
Jesus’ first preaching tour of Galilee 4:42-44 (cf. Mark 1:35-39)
Again Luke stressed the wide ministry that Jesus purposely carried on. This pericope records what happened the morning following the previous incident (cf. Luke 4:40). The people of Nazareth had wanted Jesus to leave, but the people of Capernaum begged Him to stay. Jesus wanted to reach as many people as possible with His message. "Judea" (Luke 4:44) evidently refers to the whole Roman province that included Galilee, not just to southern Palestine. The words "must," "kingdom of God," and "sent" are all unique to Luke’s narrative here. Luke’s concept of the kingdom of God is the same as that of the other Gospel writers, namely, the rule of God on earth through David’s descendant, Messiah.
"Along with ’preach,’ these words constitute a programmatic statement of Jesus’ mission and also of Luke’s understanding of it." [Note: Leifeld, p. 874.]
This section (Luke 4:31-44) contains representative incidents from Jesus’ Galilean ministry that illustrate what He did and the reactions of people to Him (cf. Acts 10:38). Note that Jesus’ teaching ministry was primary and His healings were secondary. His miracles served to authenticate His message. This was true of the apostles’ preaching and miracles in Acts too.
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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 4". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/
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