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Luke 4

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-13

The Witness of Jesus Christ as the Son of God who is Without Sin (Matthew 4:1-11 , Mark 1:12-13 ) Luke 4:1-13 contains the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness by Satan prior to His entrance into His public ministry. Although the Synoptic Gospels give parallel accounts of Jesus’ wilderness temptation, Luke’s Gospel places emphasis upon His empowerment by the Spirit (Luke 4:14-15). This empowerment was a prerequisite to the prophetic office, which is emphasized throughout Luke. For example, the opening narrative material in Luke 1:5 to Luke 3:38 clearly provides testimonies of Jesus’ deity by those who were filled with the Spirit and prophesied.

The Gospel of Luke narrates the temptation story of Jesus Christ in order to offer the third of three testimonies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who is without sin. The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit led Jesus Christ into the wilderness to face this temptation (Luke 4:1). As God allowed Satan to tempt Job, so did God the Father allow His Son to face temptations by Satan as well. The purpose of Jesus experiencing this temptation was to prove His sinless nature, serving as a testimony to justify our Lord as a worthy sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He was tempted by the devil on three occasions during His 40-day trial in the wilderness, in His flesh, His spirit, and His soul.

When rebuking Satan, Jesus gives three prophetic statements from three Old Testament passages. Specifically, He quoted all three times from a popular passage in Deuteronomy 8:3; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 6:16. It is in this same discourse of Moses in Deuteronomy that the famous “Shema” is found:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

In this Old Testament passage of Scripture, God commands Israel to keep the Law with their heart, mind and strength; thus, fulfilling the Law. However, the children of Israel failed to fulfill the Law throughout their history. The story of the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness will serve as valid testimony that Jesus Christ fulfilled the entire Law of Moses by living without sin, thus justifying Him as sinless. The first century Jews would understand that Jesus Christ alone fulfilled the Shema, perhaps the most important passage in the Old Testament.

In this context, we can clearly see how Satan tempted Jesus in all three realms of His life: physically, mentally and spiritually. Satan tempted Him in the physical (Luke 4:3-4) by asking Him to turn the stones into bread. He was attempting to get Jesus to yield to His physical desires rather than the commandments of God. Satan then tempted Jesus in the spiritual realm (Luke 4:5-8) by asking Him to bow down and give His heart to Satan in worship. Satan then tempted Jesus in his mental realm (Luke 4:9-12) by asking Him to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple. He was asking Jesus to make a foolish decision that was not in God’s plan for His life. For you or I to jump off a tall building would be the dumbest decision of our lives.

A Comparison of the Temptations of Adam and Jesus Christ - Note that both Adam and Jesus Christ faced three aspects of temptation from Satan:

1. The Lust of the Flesh: Adam - The tree was good for food.

Jesus - Command this stone to become bread.

2. The Lust of the Eyes: Adam - The tree was pleasant to the eyes.

Jesus - The devil...showed Him all the kingdoms.

3. The Pride of Life: Adam - A tree to be desired to make one wise.

Jesus - Throw yourself down from here.

The Temptations of Jesus Christ - Jesus experienced several times of testing, when God the Father tested Him to demonstrate His love and devotion to God. The most obvious time was Jesus’ forty days of temptation in the wilderness preceding His public ministry (Luke 4:1-13). However, Jesus’ decision to stay in Jerusalem and dialogue with the priests was perhaps His first tests (Luke 2:49), when He chose to pursue His love for God’s Word instead of following His parent’s home to Nazareth. The next time when Jesus faced a difficult decision was when His set His face towards Jerusalem, where Calvary awaited (Luke 9:51). Another time of testing came in the Garden of Gethsemane when His prayed, “Not my will, but thine.” (Luke 22:41-42) Reflecting upon these four periods of testing, we see how they each preceded Jesus’ move from one phase of ministry into a higher phase, leading Him from justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance, to glorification with the Father. For example, His decision to stay with the teachers of the Law in the temple as the age of twelve indicated that He was moving from a time of justification as a child to indoctrination and training in God’s Word. His forty days of tempting in the wilderness preceded His phase of divine service. His decision to set His face towards Jerusalem preceded a period of perseverance, and His decision in the Garden to go to the Cross preceded His glorification with the Father. We, too, will face similar seasons of testing, where our Heavenly Father wants us to demonstrate our love and devotion to Him.

:1 “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost” Comments - Of the parallel passages in the Synoptic Gospels, only Luke’s Gospels testifies to Jesus’ anointing by the Holy Ghost as He returned from the Jordan to be tempted in the wilderness. This statement is important in that it reflects the underlying secondary theme of Luke-Acts, which states that those who were eye-witnesses testified of the anointing and authority by which He taught and ministered the Gospel. This fullness of the Holy Spirit will be the empowerment needed by the apostles and Church in the book of Acts to establish the Kingdom of God to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Luke 4:2 “Being forty days tempted” - Comments - This is the Greek adverbial or genitive of time. Thus, it literally reads, “a 40-day temptation.”

Luke 4:4 Comments - In Luke 4:4 Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 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 .”

Why does man need to know the Word of God? The Word of God brings faith into the heart of man (Romans 10:17). This faith in the heart of man is the reason that man can then walk by the Word of God.

Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

In the time of temptation, knowing the Word of God and living by this Word is the victory that overcomes Satan.

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.

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.

Luke 4:6 Comments - In Luke 4:6 Satan mentions the power, or dominion, that he has here on planet earth. He says that such was “delivered unto him,” or “handed over to him.” When did this hand-over take place? It took place at the time of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Man was originally given dominion over this earth. Satan tricked Adam and Eve into giving up this dominion to him, and like Ephesians 4:27 says, they gave place to the devil. Satan takes things by force or violence (Matthew 11:12). So he leads men and guides them to do his own will in blindness (1 Tim 2:26, Ephesians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 4:4). Thus, Satan is commanding and controlling on earth whatever man allows him to control.

Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.”

Matthew 11:12, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

2 Timothy 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Note also John 8:44. The lost man is now serving Satan. He is no longer taking his own dominion on this earth.

John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Satan does have power to wield on this earth. The Scriptures call him “the god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air.”

2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air , the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

Luke 4:5-8 Comments - Satan chose not to worship the Lord. Instead, he rebelled in the pride of his heart.

Isaiah 14:13, “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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

Luke 4:9 Comments - According to Eusebius, James the Lord’s brother stood upon the high pinnacle of the Temple in order to address the crowd, from where he was cast down and killed. Evidently, this was an accessible place where people sometimes stood.

“Do thou therefore persuade the multitude not to be led astray concerning Jesus. For the whole people, and all of us also, have confidence in thee. Stand therefore upon the pinnacle of the temple, that from that high position thou mayest be clearly seen, and that thy words may be readily heard by all the people. For all the tribes, with the Gentiles also, are come together on account of the Passover.” ( Ecclesiastical History 2.23.11)

Verses 1-30

Witnesses of Jesus’ Justification as the Saviour of the World (God the Father’s Calling of Jesus) In Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:30 the narrative story jumps ahead about eighteen years in the life of Jesus Christ to the time of His public appearance. This passage of Scripture testifies of how God the Father called His Son Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the World using four testimonies: the testimony of John the Baptist, of God the Father, of Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:15). This passage is followed by a discourse in which Jesus Christ teaches on His calling as the Saviour of the World (Luke 4:16-30).

Outline - Here is an outline:

A. Narrative: Three Witnesses of Jesus’ Calling Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:15

B. Discourse: Jesus Declares His Calling as Saviour Luke 4:16-30

Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:15 Narrative: Four Witnesses of Jesus’ Justification Luke 3:1 to Luke 4:15 offers four witnesses of Jesus Christ’s justification: John the Baptist, God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Witness of John the Baptist Luke 3:1-20

2. The Witness of the Father in Baptism and Genealogy Luke 3:21-38

3. The Witness of Jesus Christ being without Sin Luke 4:1-13

Verses 14-15

The Conclusion to the Testimony Jesus’ Justification (Matthew 4:12-17 , Mark 1:14-15 ) Luke 4:14-15 serves as a conclusion to the three-fold testimony of Jesus’ justification to redeem mankind. These verses also record the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry as He ministered under the anointing. The rest of the narrative material of His Galilean ministry (Luke 4:16 to Luke 9:50) serves as a testimony that Jesus ministered under the power and anointing of the Spirit. It characterizes His ministry from the time He returned from His wilderness temptation until He taught His last discourse in the Temple (Luke 21:38). In other words, the fame referred to in Luke 4:14 does not refer to the people’s excitement as He returned from the wilderness; but rather, this fame describes the growing hope and expectation that grew in the hearts of the Galileans during the course of His public ministry there. Throughout His public ministry the people were amazed at His words and anointing (see Luke 4:32; Luke 4:36-37; Luke 4:44; Luke 13:17), which serves as a testimony that Jesus ministered under the power and anointing of the Spirit.

Luke 4:32, “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”

Luke 4:36-37, “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. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.”

Luke 4:44, “And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.”

Luke 13:17, “And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”

Comparison of Parallel Passages Recording the Beginning of the Public Ministry of Jesus Christ - When we compare the parallel passages of Jesus beginning His public ministry in the four Gospels, we find the third underlying themes clearly reflected.

The Gospel of Matthew - Matthew’s Gospel emphasizes the testimony of Old Testament Scriptures, which prophesies of the Messiah coming to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. In this Gospel, the Kingdom of Heaven is established by making disciples of all nations. Thus, Matthew explains how Jesus’ public ministry began as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Luke 4:12-17). Jesus then calls disciples, who will be trained to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations (Luke 4:18-22). Jesus then begins to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth through His teaching ministry (Luke 4:23-25). Thus, Matthew’s Gospel places emphasis upon Jesus’ teaching ministry as Matthew states, “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” (Matthew 4:23)

The Gospel of Mark - Mark’s Gospel emphasizes the office of the evangelist, who preaches the Gospel with signs following. Therefore, he describes Jesus beginning His public ministry with the statement, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15) Mark describes Jesus beginning His public ministry by preaching (Mark 1:14-15), which emphasizes Mark’s theme of the testimony of Jesus’ miracles through the preaching of the Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke - The parallel passage in Luke records the testimony of His ministry as one of great anointing and power (Luke 4:14-15), which emphasizes the testimony of those who were eye-witnesses of the authority of Jesus’ public ministry. Within the context of Luke’s Gospel, which reflects the prophetic ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, the statement, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” emphasizes the fact that Jesus was walking in the office of the prophet. In the opening chapters of Luke, we have already seen a number of people filled with the Spirit and deliver prophetic utterances. Zechariah, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon and Anna have all been filled with the spirit and spoke of the Messiah. To show that this motif runs through the Gospel of Luke, in the closing chapter we see Jesus commanding His disciples to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Thus, the fact that Jesus was “full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” (Luke 4:1) then “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” (Luke 4:14) to tell the people that “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” (Luke 4:18) tells us that Jesus will deliver prophetic messages throughout the Gospel of Luke.

The Gospel of John - John’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus in the office of the pastor. Thus, John describes Jesus as a Shepherd gathering His flock and gently leading the disciples. In this Gospel Jesus begins His public ministry in the office of a pastor by gathering His first disciples: John, Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael (John 1:35-51). He will not move into the offices of Evangelist, Teacher, and Prophet until after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.

Comparison of Jesus’ Visit to Nazareth in the Synoptics The Synoptic Gospels give parallel accounts of Jesus’ visit to Nazareth (Matthew 13:54-58, Mark 6:1-6, Luke 4:16-30). While the Gospel of Luke introduces Jesus’ public ministry beginning with His visit to His hometown of Nazareth, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark offer a prior record of Jesus’ early public ministry before He entered His hometown. Thus, Jesus had “taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all” (Luke 4:15) prior to entering the town of Nazareth. In other words, the narrative material of Jesus’ public ministry prior to His visit to Nazareth recorded in Matthew and Mark (Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 13:53, Mark 1:14 to Mark 5:43) shows us how Jesus was glorified throughout Galilee for His miracles and healing power before entering His hometown. Luke’s introductory statement (Luke 4:14-15) also tells us that Jesus continued to minister mightily in Galilee after being rejected in Nazareth. Jesus ministered in the power of the Spirit, teaching in their synagogues, and being glorified by the people. Thus, Luke 4:14-15 serves as an introductory passage of Jesus’ anointing and fame in Galilee, with examples found in the narrative material of Luke that follows. Although He was initially rejected in His hometown of Nazareth and was not able to heal the sick (Luke 4:16-30), the Galileans glorified Him while teaching in the synagogues (Luke 4:15; Luke 4:22). Later in a synagogue in Capernaum “they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power” (Luke 4:32), “they were all amazed” (Luke 4:36), “(Peter) was astonished, and all that were with him” (Luke 5:9), “there a fame abroad of him” (Luke 5:15), “they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear” (Luke 5:26). The Galileans were amazed and declared that with authority and power He speaks. It is this authority that gave Him dominion all manner of sickness and disease. Luke’s account of Jesus’ Galilean ministry will place emphasis upon Jesus teaching and preaching with divine authority and power over every area of man’s life: sickness, sin and Jewish customs, including nature itself. He begins His Galilean ministry in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14). As a result, He heals the multitudes in the region of Galilee. This is the two-fold emphasis in Luke’s Gospel of His Galilean ministry, of preaching the Gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, an emphasis not found in Matthew and Mark.

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.

Luke 4:14 “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” Comments - Luke 4:14 records the first use of the word “power” in Jesus’ ministry. This power came by the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the same way that it comes in our lives. This power came because of His time of separation; it was not there before His wilderness temptation. We must have times of separation and stand in the presence of God in order to partake of this anointing. The Lord once spoke to me and said that each time Paul was imprisoned his anointing increased. It was necessary that Jesus take the same journey that every believer would have to take in order to walk in the fullness of the Spirit. By experiencing this temptation in the wilderness, Jesus yielded to the Spirit of God, thus allowing the Spirit to manifest Himself through Christ. We, too, will be led through trials for the sole purpose of learning how to yield our will to the Spirit of God that dwells within us.

Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

Luke 4:15 “And he taught in their synagogues” - Comments - It is important to note that the maimed and sick people could not go into the Temple and hear the teaching of the Law. Many people, such as lepers, could not enter the synagogues as well. Therefore, Jesus taught the people in rural synagogues and open fields and by the lake so that everyone had access to the Gospel.

Luke 4:15 “being glorified of all” - Comments What did the people see in Jesus’ public ministry that called them to glorify Him. Luke 4:32 tells us that His words amazed them because it was with power. Luke 4:33-41 expounds upon this express by describing His ministry of healing the sick and casing out demons.

Luke 4:32, “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”

Verses 16-30

Discourse: Jesus Declares His Calling as Saviour (Matthew 13:53-58 , Mark 6:1-6 ) Luke 4:16-30 tells us the story of how Jesus Christ stood up in the synagogue of His home town of Nazareth to testify of His calling and ministry as Saviour of the world. He will spend part of His ministry testifying of Himself (Luke 4:16 to Luke 9:50). Then He will begin to train His disciples how to become witnesses of Him (Luke 9:51 to Luke 21:38). After His Passion He will give them His final commission to be witnesses of Him and the things they have seen.

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Expounds an Old Testament Passage Luke 4:16-21

2. Jesus Illustrates His Message from the Old Testament Luke 4:22-27

3. The Rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Nazareth Luke 4:28-30

Comparison of Synoptic Narrative Material - Jesus’ testimony at Nazareth was rejected by His hometown. We find this story in Luke’s Gospel placed at the beginning of His Galilean ministry. This is because Luke’s Gospel uses this story to show how some people rejected the authority and anointing of His prophetic ministry over every sickness and disease and were not able to be healed. Mark’s Gospel records this same story by placing emphasis upon how Jesus preached the Gospel with miracles following. Matthew’s Gospel is the most brief as it simply emphasizes how Jesus faced offences and how He handled it.

The Order of Jesus’ Ministry in the Cities of Galilee - Kenneth Hagin writes about one of his divine visitations and says that Jesus told him that the sermon in Luke 4:16-30 records the first sermon that He preached after the wilderness temptation and that it was the first sermon that He preached in each subsequent city that He entered. If they believed in His message, they would receive and be healed. When they rejected this message, Jesus was not able to heal them. [175]

[175] Kenneth Hagin, Hear and Be Healed (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c1987, 1991), 17.

The Ministry of the Prophet and Apostle The four Gospels and Acts will emphasize as their third imperative theme the five-fold office of the Church: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the office and ministry of a teacher, who is called to made disciples of all nations by following the format of Jesus’ ministry in this Gospel. The Gospel of Mark emphasizes the office and ministry of the evangelist, who is called to preach the Gospel with signs following by following the format of Jesus’ ministry in this Gospel. The Gospel of Luke and Acts emphasizes the office and ministries of the prophet and apostle, who are called to testify to the ends of the earth following the format of Jesus’ ministry in Luke/Acts. The Gospel of John emphasizes the office and ministry of the pastor, who is called to shepherd God’s sheep by following the format of Jesus’ ministry in this Gospel.

In light of this emphasis in Luke/Acts, we now can easily see in Luke 4:16-30 how Jesus was walking in both offices of prophet and apostle as He read from the prophet Isaiah to the people in the synagogue in Nazareth and told them that God had sent Him and anointed Him to preach the Gospel to them. This sermon in Nazareth was Jesus first prophetic utterance as He declared that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him. Up to this passage in Luke’s Gospel, prophetic utterances have been given concerning Jesus’ birth and childhood by other eyewitnesses. Jesus has already wrought miracles (Mark), fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Matthew), and declared Himself the Son of God (John), but in Luke Jesus is walking in His prophetic office.

The Infancy Gospels Grant Osborne notes how the recognition of Jesus as a simple carpenter by the people of Nazareth contradicts the stories recorded in the Infancy Gospels of miracles that Jesus performed as a child recorded. [176] Had Jesus performed miracles as a child, the people of Nazareth would have reacted differently, greatly fearing Him, rather than running Him out of the city.

[176] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 550. The stories of Jesus working miracles as a child are recorded in the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel fo Pseudo-Matthew, and The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy. See Montague Rhodes James, The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c1924, 1963), 49-82.

Luke 4:16-21 Jesus Expounds an Old Testament Passage In Luke 4:16-21 Jesus Christ expounds an Old Testament passage of Scripture from Isaiah 60:1-2 in His home town of Nazareth.

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.

Luke 4:16 Comments - Luke 4:16 very likely tells us that it was Jesus’ custom prior to His public appearance to attend the Sabbath services in the synagogue of His home town in Nazareth. However, it can be understood to say that this text also means this tradition began after His public appearance. It can also be understood that it was His custom as well to stand up and read. Because Jesus Christ was at least thirty years old, He was now considered an adult by His society. This allowed Him to speak in public with authority. Perhaps the reason He is called upon to read on this Sabbath in His home town of Nazareth is due to the recent publicity arising from His water baptism by John the Baptist who announced Him as the Messiah. As a result, the people of his hometown wanted to hear what He had to say in light of this astounding declaration from John, which Jesus accepted.

Jesus’ public ministry will go through several phrases so that His message will progress through the phases of God’s plan of redemption for mankind. He begins here in Nazareth by asking the Jews to accept His divine calling as the Messiah. He will later shift His emphasis of the Gospel to justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance, and finally the glorification of the Church, after which He will enter into His Passion.

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,

Luke 4:17 “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias” - Comments Luke 4:17 does not tell us whether Jesus requested to read from the scroll of Isaiah or the attendant simply gave Him this book by divine providence, with the biblical text most likely suggesting the latter. Also, the Scriptures do not tell us if Jesus Christ visited the synagogues in Galilee each week and read from various passages regarding prophecies concerning Him, or if He always read first from Isaiah 61:1-2.

Early Church tradition held that it was Ezra the scribe who finally compiled the books of the Old Testament Scriptures as we know them today. Eusebius (A.D. 260 to 340) says Ezra was inspired to restore the Sacred Scriptures after his return from Exile. Note:

“And this was nothing wonderful for God to do, who, in the captivity of the people trader Nebuchadnezzar, when the Scriptures had been destroyed, and the Jews had returned to their own country after seventy years, afterwards, in the time of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians, inspired Ezra the priest, of the tribe of Levi, to relate all the words of the former prophets, and to restore to the people the legislation of Moses .” Such are the words of Irenaeus.” (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.8.15) [177]

[177] Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol. 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (Oxford: Parker and Company, c1890, 1905), 224.

The purpose of compiling or editing Sacred Writings would be for the purpose of teaching the people of a later era than which a book was written. This is exactly what happened during the time of Ezra the scribe. E. W. Bullinger tells us the Jewish tradition how that after the Babylonian captivity, Ezra and Nehemiah began the task of setting the Old Testament Scriptures in order. We see this in Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:11 and Nehemiah 8:8. They created an order of scribes called the Sopherim (from the Hebrew word “saphar,” which means, “to count or number”). Their task was to set the original text in order. This means, that they counted each line, each word and each letter of the books of the Old Testament. They devised the way each page of Scripture was to have a certain column of text with the known amount of words and letters on each particular page. These pages could then be copied without error using this counting system because each page would always look the same. This meant that each letter was locked into same place on its designated page in the Scriptures and could never be moved. Only the order of the Sopherim had the authority to revise the original text or to move text to a new place. Jewish tradition tells us that the men of “the Great Synagogue” as they were known, took about 100 years to complete this work, from the time of Nehemiah to Simon the first, 410-300 B.C.

After the text was set, the order of the Massorites was established. This title comes from the Hebrew word “maser,” which means, “to deliver something into the hand of another, so as to commit it to his trust.” This order of Jewish scribes became the custodians of the Sacred Scriptures. Their job was to preserve the Scriptures so that no changes took place. A look at an ancient Hebrew manuscript reveals how this was done. In the upper and lower margins of these ancient manuscripts and between and along the outside of the columns of Sacred Text, you can see small writings by these Massorites which contain a counting system for the text. These side notes are not commentaries, but rather information about the text on that particular page, such as the number of times the several letters occur in the various books of the Bible; the number of words, and the middle word; the number of verses, and the middle verse; the number of expressions and combinations of words, etc. It even listed the one hundred thirty four (134) passages in which the Hebrew word “Adonai” was substituted for the original “YHWH.” When the Hebrew Bible came into print in the fifteenth century, only the Sacred Text was printed and all of the marginal notes were disregarded. This is why we are not familiar with this ancient Hebrew tradition today. [178]

[178] E. W. Bullinger, Appendix 30: Massôrah, in The Companion Bible Being The Authorized Version of 1611 With The Structures And Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive And With 198 Appendixes (London: Oxford University Press, c1909-22), 31.

Regarding the number of Old Testament books originally canonized by the Jews, Josephus (A.D. 37 to 100) tells us that the ancient Jews counted twenty-two books as the canon of the Old Testament. They did this by combining together some of the books that are separated in the English Bible ( Against Apion 1.8). [179] Thus, the synagogues which Jesus visited in Galilee may have had twenty-two scrolls stored in a room of the synagogue. The attendant would have gone to these shelves and pulled out the scroll of Isaiah to read.

[179] Flavius Josephus, Flavius Josephus Against Apion, in The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged, trans. William Whiston (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, c1987, 1996), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004).

Luke 4:17 “And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written” - Comments - Luke 4:17 does not say that Jesus began to read from the text, but simply that he turned to Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue scroll. However, the context of this passage shows that Jesus did in fact read from it by saying, “And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.” (Luke 4:20)

There were no chapter and verse divisions in the ancient Hebrew scrolls. However, Jesus was able to find the passage He read in the scroll of Isaiah by column number and by row since the Hebrew text of the entire Hebrew Scriptures was set in the same place in every copy of the scrolls. This took place shortly after the Babylonian Captivity.

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,

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me” Comments - The statement by our Lord and Saviour in Luke 4:18, unique among the Gospels, reflects the fact that Jesus is currently ministering in the office of the prophet, which the Gospel of Luke emphasizes. Jesus is delivering this message to the Jews in the synagogue under the anointing of the prophet. There is an anointing when God sends you with a message to preach.

Luke 4:18 “to preach the gospel to the poor” Word Study on “poor” Gesenius says the Hebrew word עָנָו (H6035) means, “meek, gentle.” The TDOT says it means, “humble.” Strong says the Greek word πτωχο ́ ς (G4434) literally means, “a beggar, a pauper,” and figuratively, “distressed.” BDAG says it means, “dependent upon others for support, poor.”

Comments The Hebrew text of Isaiah 61:1 reads, “to preach good tidings unto the meek .” Thus, Jesus is referring to those who are humble in hearts. Jesus taught and preached before He healed, whether in the Temple, in a synagogue, in a boat, or on a mountainside to those who would humble themselves and listen. However, I believe the Greek word “poor” can also refer more broadly to those who are poor spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially. In other words, it may refer to anyone who lacks wholeness. The remedy for poverty in any area of our lives begins with the preaching of God’s Word. However, the cure does not come until the person receives this message in meekness of heart. Preaching without hearing produces hardness of heart, while the preaching of the Gospel mixed with hearing produces abundance.

According to the Parable of the Sower, Jesus is planting seed into the hearts of men in this sermon at Nazareth; but it is the condition of the soil, or the heart, that will determine the harvest. The poor in general are more receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they are most aware of their need for a saviour from their distress. God chose the poor of this world to be rich in faith in hearing the Gospel (James 2:5).

James 2:5, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

Why does Jesus’ message of the Gospel of the kingdom of God begin with preaching to the poor? The reason is that poverty is the outward manifestation of the curse imposed upon mankind at the time of the Fall. In the curse upon man, the indicator of God’s curse was thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:18). Thus, when Jesus wore a crown of thorns, it represented the fact that He bore the curse of mankind upon the Cross of Calvary. Thorns produce poverty. Thus, systemic poverty in a nation is the outward indication of the curse. This is why Jesus also came redeem mankind from poverty, because it was a result of and manifestation of the curse.

This is why there was no poverty in the early Church. Acts 4:34 says, “Neither was there any among them that lacked.” The early Church leaders asked Paul to remember the poor (Galatians 2:10), so that it would not be in any of the churches. Paul ministered to his needs and those around him to eliminate lack (Acts 20:34). He spent much time taking up a collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem so that they would no lack.

Genesis 3:18, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;”

Acts 4:34, “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,”

Galatians 2:10, “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.”

Acts 20:34, “Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.”

Luke 4:18 “to heal the broken-hearted” Word Study on “heal” - The Greek verb ιάομαι (G2390) refers to the healing of an illness ( BDAG). In Isaiah 61:1 the Hebrew equivalent is ( חָבַשׁ ) (H2280), which literally means, “to wrap firmly,” and figuratively, “to stop, to rule.” ( Strong). Gesenius says ( חָבַשׁ ) means in the Piel, “to bind up (wounds).”

Word Study on “broken-hearted” - The Greek word for “broken-hearted” is taken from the Greek verb συντρίβω . This word describes those whose hearts were shattered, mistreated, crushed, or broken inside. It can also refer to mental or emotional pain. This same Greek word is used in Luke 9:39 to refer to physical harm, “And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.”

Luke 4:18 “to preach deliverance to the captives” Word Study on “captives” - The Greek word translated “oppressed” is καταδυναστεύω (G2616). This verb is used in the passive voice in Luke 4:18. καταδυναστεύω means, “to exercise harsh control over, to used one’s power against one” ( Thayer), or “to dominate, exploit, oppress” ( BDAG). It comes from two words:

1. κατά (G2596) “against, etc” ( Strong says it can denote opposition .)

2. δυναστευω “To hold power or lordship, be powerful or influential.” ( Liddel-Scott)

Literally, it refers to those under the domination or lordship of Satan.

Comments - Captives are those who are taken as prisoners in war. They are those overcome by someone who is stronger than they. They are captives to what? There are many different types of prisons that are not made of steel and wood. There are prisons that men create for themselves and that Satan creates over men. Paul refers to this imprisonment in his epistles.

Romans 7:23, “But I see another law in my members , warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

2 Timothy 2:26, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil , who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil ; for God was with him.”

Illustration (1) - The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on 1 January 1663, freed all Americans from slavery. [180]

[180] James M. McPherson, “Emancipation Proclamation,” in The World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 6 (Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1994), 253-54.

Illustration (2) - R. W. Shambach was saved on the street when a preacher shouted, “You don't have to sin anymore.”

Luke 4:18 “recovering of sight to the blind” - Comments - People are blind both mentally and physically.

1. Mentally:

2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

2. Physically - Jesus healed the blind physically.

Luke 4:18 “to set at liberty them that are bruised” - Comments - The word “bruised” here refers to those who are down trodden, broken, weakened, or oppressed.

Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Luke 4:19 Comments The acceptable year of the Lord is like the year of Jubilee referred to in Leviticus 25:8-17. It refers to a time when God accepts man and gives him His blessings.

This year of Jubilee is referred to in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time ; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Luke 4:18-19 Comments - Jesus Reads from the Book of Isaiah - T. J. McCrossan says that Jesus did not continue to quote the rest of the second verse of Isaiah 61:0, which finishes by saying, “and the day of vengeance of our God,” for the reason that Jesus Himself had not yet “come in vengeance, and would not do so until after the Great Tribulation.” [181] Thus, Jesus says He has fulfilled the first part of this prophecy. [182] However, Jesus did teach eschatology during the latter part of His earthly ministry, which meant that He taught on the Second Coming and the Day of Judgment that will come upon all mankind.

[181] T. J. McCrossan, Bodily Healing and the Atonement, re-edited by Roy H. Hicks and Kenneth E. Hagin, second edition (Tulsa, OK: Faith Library Publications, c1982, 1992), 17.

[182] Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1999), 117.

The Quotation from Isaiah 61:1-2 is an Emancipation Proclamation to the Children of Israel Luke 4:18-19 contains a quote from Isaiah 61:1-2. Why would Jesus choose this passage of Scripture in Isaiah 61:1-2 to read to the Jews above other passages? The nation of Israel was under the oppressive Roman rule in Jesus' day, and the Jews were looking for someone to liberate them from this strong hand. The Jews longed for a Jewish king, their Messiah to set them free. However, Jesus, the Messiah, had a different anointing, a different calling. After returning from His 40-day temptation in the wilderness, He returned in the power of the Spirit, stood in the synagogue at Nazareth and read out of Isaiah 61, a passage on deliverance. Jesus' anointing was not to liberate the Israelites from Roman rule, but to set people free from the bondages of Satan. The Jews wanted to be set free politically, but Jesus came to set them free spiritually. Their spiritual deliverance took precedence over their political bondages. Thus, Jesus chose a passage of Scripture that the Jews would be somewhat familiar with and would be able to relate to in their search for a deliverer. In addition, the passage in Isaiah 61:1-2 reveals that the Messiah would minister in the office of a prophet, which office is emphasized in the Gospel of Luke.

The book of Isaiah was a popular book for the first century Jews, being quoted many times in the New Testament, and it has a pronounced presence in the Dead Sea Scrolls. [183] The emphasis in the book of Isaiah on the coming of the Messiah may be a major reason for its popularity among first-century Jews.

[183] Harold Scanlin, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Translations of the Old Testament (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndall House Publishers, 1993), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004).

The Gospel that Jesus preaches to the Jews in the synagogue at Nazareth is probably the same message that Jesus declared in each synagogue that He had the opportunity to preach. Note that this Gospel is initially directed towards the people’s poverty, “he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. ” This is because poverty is directly linked to the Adamic fall in the Garden of Eden. Satan spoke a lie, which Adam and Eve believed. This lie blinded their sight and brought them into captivity to sin, which results in a life of poverty and death.

Luke 4:18-19 follows a progression of events. Sin brings one into poverty. Poverty breaks a man’s spirit. This weakened person is then easily taken into captivity. This captivity keeps a person blinded to the truth so that they live a life of oppression. Thus, oppression keeps one weak, bound, fearful and blinded to the truth.

We see this pattern when a country is taken over by a dictator. The people are first brought under control by fear through a lie of Satan. This is because fear causes blindness and stops a person from pursuing freedom. This fear brings one into bondage to an oppressor. Bondage breaks one’s spirit and robs him until there is nothing left but poverty. In such oppressed countries, the oppressor and his army generals gain the nation’s wealth, while the people sit in darkness and death. This is the condition that Jesus found the children of Israel.

Slavery was accepted in the United States for many years. When the people began to see slavery as a sin, that all people have the right to be free, then slavery was abolished. This freedom to the slaves did not come easily. On 1 January 1863, in the midst of the civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves free in the South. [184] This declaration came with the backing of the U.S. military. However, it took the victory of Civil War to enforce this proclamation before the slaves were truly free. The Lord favored the righteous who were fighting for liberty and gave them the victory.

[184] Abraham Lincoln, Letters and Proclamations of the President (n.p., 1864).

In the same way, Jesus Christ reads Isaiah 61:1-2 to the Jews as an Emancipation Proclamation to God’s people. Jesus came to set us free. Note:

John 8:31, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Some of the Jewish synagogues received Jesus’ message, and others rejected Him, as we see here at Nazareth. Jesus fought the battle all the way to the Cross and rose up victorious, giving liberty to all who will receive His forgiveness.

Although this freedom is now available to all, a battle must be fought to receive it. This is part of the process of sanctification that will bring us to eternal glory with the Father.

Note how the Sermon on the Mount also begins with a reference to the poor (Matthew 5:3)

Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount to all who had heard His Emancipation Proclamation declared in Isaiah 61:1-2. He taught it to His disciples, those who wanted to know how to be set free from the sins and bondages of this world. In a similar way that Moses separated the children of Israel from Egypt through the Exodus, delivered to them the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and led them to the Promised Land, so does Jesus Christ call out the true children of God from the world in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16). He explains the true meaning of the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:17-48. He tells them how to get to the Promised Land (Matthew 6:1 to Matthew 7:29).

Thus, we see how Jesus declared freedom to the children of Israel in Luke 4:18-19, and for those who received His message, He taught them how to walk in that freedom with the Sermon on the Mount.

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.

Luke 4:20 “And he closed the book” Comments The Greek text says that Jesus “rolled up” the scroll that He had previously unrolled to read.

Luke 4:20 Comments Jesus did not speak again until the audience looked upon Him in expectation. Any preacher understands how an expectant and receptive audience draws the anointing to preach out of him. So, Jesus opened His mouth to speak by inspiration and spoke.

Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:22-27 Jesus Illustrates His Message from the Old Testament In Luke 4:22-27 Jesus illustrates His sermon by quoting two Old Testament prophets who were not accepted by the children of Israel, but were accepted by the Gentiles, to whom God worked a miracle. Despite the many widows and lepers in nation of Israel, two non-Israelites accepted Elijah and Elisha as prophets of God and received their miracles. Both of these Gentiles of the Old Testament responded in faith to the words of the man of God and received their miracles. Also, these two examples of how the Gentiles received the man of God fit into the theme of the Gospel of Luke, which presents Jesus as the Savior of the World, and not just the Messiah to the Jews only.

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?

Luke 4:22 “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” Comments - When Jesus Christ stood up and read from the book of Isaiah, He did not read from the passages of divine judgment and wrath upon the children of Israel (Isaiah 1-30). Rather, He read words of grace and comfort (Isaiah 61:1-2). The war was over, and God’s wrath was about to be appeased on Calvary. God’s judgment would be completely fulfilled at the Cross so that the office of the New Testament prophet no long carried the role of decreeing divine judgment upon God’s people. The office of the New Testament prophet is summed up in Isaiah 61:1-2 as one who declares restoration and healing for all. This role of New Testament prophecy is summed up in 1 Corinthians 14:3, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”

Luke 4:22 “And they said, Is not this Joseph's son” - Comments - They were not accepting Jesus as being sent from God because they could only see Jesus with carnal eyes and not with the eyes of their heart. Because the people of Nazareth knew Jesus from a child in the natural realm, they were unable to recognize His divine nature, even though their hearts bore witness to the anointing of His words. In a similar way, the apostles of the Lamb became so familiar with Jesus during His earthly ministry that they had difficulty understanding His heavenly ministry. Paul, however, only knew Jesus as the resurrected Lord and Saviour, from a heavenly perspective, so that he was able to better perceive and understand Christ Jesus’ work of redemption as we read in the Pauline epistles. Perhaps for this reason it was necessary for God to raise up Paul the apostle in due season, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, to whom He would impart the understanding of the doctrines of the New Testament Church.

Luke 4:22 Comments - The people were touched by His anointing when He spoke, as this verse describes, “they wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” The word “gracious” here refers to the anointing. Thus, we see how the people were touched in their hearts by the anointing in Jesus’ ministry, but their minds reasoned against Him because they perceived him in the natural, as the son of Joseph, and not as the Son of God. Thus, we see that their reasoning dominated over their inner convictions and they chose to reject Jesus’ message. This type of reasoning is played out regularly in the carnal minds of those who hear men of God and reject them because of the outward appearance.

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.

Luke 4:23 “whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country” Comments - Jesus applies this familiar parable to His situation by saying, “whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

Why does Jesus use this particular city as an example? Because in Luke 4:31-44, Luke records the warm acceptance of Jesus in Capernaum as a comparison to the violent rejection that He experienced in Nazareth as recorded in Luke 4:14-30.

Luke 4:23 Comments - The people of Nazareth were basically telling Jesus to prove that He was sent from God. They were saying that if He were of God, then He should perform a miracle for them just as they had heard Him perform in Capernaum. Why does the Lord not respond to such challenges? Remember what Abraham told the rich man in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). When the rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to testify to his brothers, Abraham responded that if they would not believe God’s Word then they would not believe if they saw a miracle. Jesus also said that an evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign (Matthew 12:39). To a hardened heart a miracle will not soften.

Luke 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Luke 4:24 Comments The declaration by Jesus Christ that a prophet is not accepted in his own country is recorded in the all four Gospels (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:44). While the Synoptic Gospels place this statement within the story of Jesus’ rejection in His home town of Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58, Mark 6:1-6, Luke 4:16-30), John alone records this declaration of Jesus within the context of His testimony to the Jews in Judea of His call as the Saviour of the world.

Matthew 13:57, “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”

Mark 6:4, “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.”

Luke 4:24, “And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.”

Those family and friends who had grown up with Jesus and lived with Him had a difficult time accepting Him as the Messiah, while the rest of Galilee received Him gladly. Andrew Wommack quotes this proverb, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” [185] In other words, when we become too familiar with someone, we generally are less likely to praise his gifts, and more likely to condemn his weaknesses. Although Jesus Christ had not faults, no sin, He was fully human. Those who became familiar with His humanity had a difficult time embracing His deity. The writings of the New Testament reveal that Paul the apostle had a greater revelation of who Jesus Christ was than did the Twelve who walked with Him for three and a half years. This is because Paul only knew Jesus as the Resurrected Christ. He did not have to lay aside his experience of walking with Jesus as flesh and blood. It is easier for us to understand the revelation of the deity of Jesus Christ than it was for those who walked with Him on earth because we can only view Him by the Word of God through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) There is a greater blessing in believing for those who have not seen Him because it is easier to take hold of the Word of God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

[185] Andrew Wommack, “Familiarity Breeds Contempt,” in One Year With Jesus: February 16 th , [on-line]; accessed 17 February 2012; available from; Internet.

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;

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.

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.

Luke 4:28-30 The Rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Nazareth In Luke 4:28-30 the people of Nazareth reject the Gospel that Jesus Christ preached in their synagogue.

Luke 4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

Luke 4:28 Comments After Jesus reminded the Jews of two familiar Bible stores in which God delivered and healed Gentiles while being rejected by Israel, their skepticism turned to wrath. A similar incident took place when Paul tells an angry mob that God sent him to the Gentiles, enraging the Jews as well (Acts 22:22-23).

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.

Luke 4:29 Comments The Jewish mob intended on throwing Jesus Christ over the edge of the hill and stoning Him to death, accusing Him of blasphemy because of His claims as the Messiah. Jesus allowed them to persecute Him as they seized Him and brought Him to the edge of the hill. At this point Jesus moves in the supernatural realm, since it was the time for His atoning death.

Luke 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Luke 4:30 Comments - Luke 4:30 states that Jesus passed through the midst of the angry mob as they were taking him out of the synagogue and to the edge of a hill. I have witnessed angry mobs in Africa as they chased thieves, and beat them, and witnessed the pitiful thieves fighting with all their strength and adrenaline in their bodies to get free. This was obvious a supernatural action for Jesus to simply pass through them unharmed, although the text does not address this miraculous aspect. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. He could have come down from the Cross; but He chose to be crucified for our sins. Thus, He had the divine power to physically walk through this mob and render them incapable of holding Him.

Had Jesus allowed Himself to be pushed over the cliff and stoned to death, it would not have served as an atoning death for mankind. Jesus must offer Himself as the sacrificial Passover Lamb in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in order for His blood to atone for the sins of mankind. For example, a devout Jew had to bring his lamb offering to the Temple and offer it to the priest so that it serves as a sin offering under the Law. Had this devout Jew slain his lamb along his journey to the Temple, it would have lost its value as an acceptable offering unto the Lord. In a similar way, Jesus had to fulfill His death on Calvary as an acceptable offering unto God.

Jesus withdrew from a hostile, negative environment on numerous occasions. He first withdrew from Judea into Galilee when John the Baptist was cast into prison (Matthew 4:12). The people in His hometown of Nazareth tried to kill Him, and He supernaturally passed through the crowd, and moved His residence to Capernaum (Luke 4:30-31). He passed through hostile crowds miraculously on a number of other occasions (John 8:59; John 10:39). The people of the country of the Gergesenes asked Him to depart, and He did so (Matthew 8:34 to Matthew 9:1). He was persecuted while in Galilee and withdrew Himself (Matthew 12:14-15). He hid himself several times from those who were hostile (John 5:13; John 12:36). He stopped His public ministry in Judea because the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him (John 7:1). Jesus once escaped across the Jordan River because of persecution (John 10:39-40). At one point Jesus stopped His public ministry and withdrew Himself into the wilderness (John 11:53-54). Jesus taught His disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:23).

Matthew 4:12, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;”

Luke 4:30-31, “But he passing through the midst of them went his way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.”

John 8:59, “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

John 10:39, “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,”

Matthew 8:34 to Matthew 9:1, “And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.”

Matthew 12:14-15, “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;”

John 5:13, “And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.”

John 12:36, “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 7:1, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.”

John 10:39-40, “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.”

John 11:53-54, “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.”

Matthew 10:23, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”

Each time Jesus saved His own life, He knew that His time was not yet, and so He deliberately avoided being killed (John 7:30; John 8:20); for this power was in His hand and no man could take His life. However, when His time had come, He willingly gave Himself over into the hands of man (John 10:17-18).

John 7:30, “Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.”

John 8:20, “These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.”

John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Verses 31-44

Witnesses of Jesus Justifying Him as the Saviour of the World (God the Father’s Justification of Jesus) Luke 4:31 to Luke 21:38 contains the testimony of Jesus’ public ministry, as He justifies Himself as the Saviour of the world. In this major section Jesus demonstrates His divine authority over man, over the Law, and over creation itself, until finally He reveals Himself to His three close disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration as God manifested in the flesh. Jesus is the Saviour over every area of man’s life and over creation itself, a role that can only be identified with God Himself. This was the revelation that Peter had when he said that Jesus was Christ, the Son of the Living God. Luke 4:14 to Luke 9:50 begins with His rejection in His hometown of Nazareth and this section culminates in Luke 9:50 with Peter’s confession and testimony of Jesus as the Anointed One sent from God. In summary, this section of material is a collection of narratives that testifies to Jesus’ authority over every aspect of humanity to be called the Christ, or the Saviour of the world.

Luke presents Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world that was presently under the authority of Roman rule. He was writing to a Roman official who was able to exercise his authority over men. Thus, Luke was able to contrast Jesus’ divine authority and power to that of the Roman rule. Jesus rightfully held the title as the Saviour of the world because of the fact that He had authority over mankind as well as the rest of God’s creation. Someone who saves and delivers a person does it because he has the authority and power over that which oppresses the person.

In a similar way, Matthew portrays Jesus Christ as the Messiah who fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. Matthew’s presentation of Jesus as the King of the Jews supports His claim as the Messiah. John gives us the testimony of God the Father, who says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John uses the additional testimonies of John the Baptist, of His miracles, of the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and of Jesus Himself to support this claim. Mark testifies of the many miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing the preaching of the Gospel as the way in which these miracles take place.

This major section of the public ministry of Jesus Christ can be subdivided into His prophetic testimonies. In Luke 4:31 to Luke 6:49 Jesus testifies of true justification in the Kingdom of God. In Luke 7:1 to Luke 8:21 Jesus testifies of His doctrine. In Luke 8:22 to Luke 10:37 Jesus testifies of divine service in the Kingdom of God as He sets His face towards Jerusalem. In Luke 10:38 to Luke 17:10 Jesus testifies of perseverance in the Kingdom of God as He travels towards Jerusalem. Finally, in Luke 17:11 to Luke 21:38 Jesus teaches on glorification in the Kingdom of God.

The Two-Fold Structure in Luke of Doing/Teaching As Reflected in the Prologue to the Book of Acts - The prologue to the book of Acts serves as a brief summary and outline of the Gospel of Luke. In Acts 1:1 the writer makes a clear reference to the Gospel of Luke, as a companion book to the book of Acts, by telling us that this “former treatise” was about “all that Jesus began to do and to teach.” If we examine the Gospel of Luke we can find two major divisions in the narrative material of Jesus’ earthly ministry leading up to His Passion. In Luke 4:14 to Luke 9:50 we have the testimony of His Galilean Ministry in which Jesus did many wonderful miracles to reveal His divine authority as the Christ, the Son of God. This passage emphasized the works that Jesus did to testify of Himself as the Saviour of the world. The emphasis then shifts beginning in Luke 9:51 to Luke 21:38 as it focuses upon Jesus teaching and preparing His disciples to do the work of the Kingdom of God. Thus, Luke 4:14 to Luke 21:38 can be divided into this two-fold emphasis of Jesus’ works and His teachings. [186]

[186] We can also see this two-fold aspect of doing and teaching in the Gospel of Matthew, as Jesus always demonstrated the work of the ministry before teaching it in one of His five major discourses. The narrative material preceding his discourses serves as a demonstration of what He then taught. For example, in Matthew 8:1 to 9:38, Jesus performed nine miracles before teaching His disciples in Matthew 10:1-42 and sending them out to perform these same types of miracles. In Matthew 11:1 to 12:50 this Gospel records examples of how people reacted to the preaching of the Gospel before Jesus teaches on this same subject in the parables of Matthew 13:1-52. We see examples of how Jesus handled offences in Matthew 13:53 to 17:27 before He teaches on this subject in Matthew 18:1-35. Jesus also prepares for His departure in Matthew 19:1 to 25:46 before teaching on His second coming in Matthew 24-25.

Jesus’ Public Ministry One observation that can be made about Jesus’ Galilean ministry and his lengthy travel narrative to Jerusalem is that He attempts to visit every city and village in Israel that will receive Him. He even sends out His disciples in order to reach them all. But why is such an effort made to preach the Gospel to all of Israel during Jesus’ earthly ministry? Part of the answer lies in the fact that Jesus wanted everyone to have the opportunity to hear and believe. For those who rejected Him, they now will stand before God on the great Judgment Day without an excuse for their sinful lifestyles. Jesus wanted everyone to have the opportunity to believe and be saved. This seemed to be His passion throughout His Public Ministry. Another aspect of the answer is the impending outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the sending out of the Twelve to the uttermost parts of the earth. Jesus understood the necessity to first preach the Gospel to all of Israel before sending out the apostles to other cities and nations.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 4". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.