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Bible Commentaries
Luke 4

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


And was led by the Spirit into the desert. See notes on Matthew 4:1-11.

Verse 14


Then Jesus returned to Galilee. For the events before the return, see note on Matthew 4:12. And the power of the Holy Spirit was with him. He had conquered Satan in the Temptation. Conquering evil gives new strength.

Verse 15


He taught in their synagogues. See note on Matthew 4:23. Synagogue: the place where Jews met every Sabbath day for their public worship; it was also used as a social center and as a school for Jewish children during week days.

Verse 16


He went as usual to the synagogue. All religious Jews went to the Sabbath worship. This was a “ready made” opportunity for Jesus to teach. Compare Matthew 13:53-58 and see notes there. Matthew probably gives a different visit, making at least two visits with similar events. He stood up to read. Anyone could read, and he did grow up here.

Verse 17


The book of the prophet Isaiah. There were regular readings for each Sabbath, and this one was partly in the book of Isaiah. [Scroll: a book made by gluing pages together to form long strips, which were rolled up for storage.] And found the place. He read from Isaiah 61:1-3. [The quotation agrees more closely with the Septuagint, with a few words from Isaiah 58:6.] Note how accurately this describes his mission.

Verse 20


Jesus rolled up the scroll. After doing this, he gave it back to the attendant who was responsible for the building and its furniture. and sat down. It was the custom to stand while reading, and to sit while teaching. Had their eyes fixed on him. One who “grew up there” was about to teach them for the first time, Since the “news about him spread throughout all that territory,” there would be unusual interest in what he was about to say. His mother, brothers, sisters, and perhaps Joseph [since the date of his death is not known] were probably all here at the synagogue.

Verses 21-22


This passage of scripture has come true today. By his reading of it, and by his mission. We are not told all he taught, but the people were well impressed with him. Isn’t he the son of Joseph? A “sour note” creeps in. Compare Matthew 13:54-58 : John 6:42. Joseph was his “FOSTER FATHER,” but probably no one knew this but Mary and Joseph [and of course, Jesus himself]. They were both astonished and impressed by the words he spoke, and annoyed that one so “common” [he was a local boy] would teach them!

Verses 23-24


Doctor, heal yourself. He answers the whispers and the unspoken words in their minds. They had heard the news of his fame, but he is just a poor young man from a poor family to them. A prophet is never welcomed in his own home town. “Familiarity breeds contempt.”

Verses 25-27


Listen to me. He points out that Elijah saved a Sidonian widow in Zarephath; and Elisha healed Naaman, a Syrian leper. He points to the saving of the Gentiles.

Verses 28-30


Were filled with anger when they heard this. If the Gentiles could be saved, that meant they were as good as they were, and this filled them with rage! (Compare Acts 22:22.) Dragged Jesus out of town. In their anger, they are going to kill him. (Compare notes on Matthew 5:21-22.) But he walked through the middle of the crowd. He is calm, cool; they are wild with anger. This is not really a miracle. His majesty surprises and dazzles them.

Verse 31


Then Jesus went to Capernaum. Nazareth was in the hills; Capernaum was in the concavity of Lake Galilee.

Verses 33-37


There was a man in the synagogue. See notes on Mark 1:21-27. Matthew does not give this account.

Verses 38-39


Simon’s mother-in-law was sick. See notes on Matthew 8:14-17.

Verse 43


I must preach . . . in other towns also. See notes on Matthew 8:14-17.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/luke-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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