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Bible Commentaries
Luke 4

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

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Verse 1

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Returned from Jordan, and was led — No sooner out of the water of baptism, but in the fire of temptation. After greatest feelings, we are to expect sharpest assaults; neither can we better quench the devil’s fiery darts, than with the water of baptism. We lead, saith Luther, of a certain holy virgin, who, whensoever solicited to sin, would stop the tempter’s mouth with this one answer, Christiana sum, I am a Christian. Intellexit enim hostis statim virtutem baptismi et fidei-et fugit ab ea. Satan could not abide the mention of baptism, but fled from her presently.

Verse 2

Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

Being forty days — During which time be was set upon all sorts of temptations. These three here recorded were likely the very worst, in quibus diabolus omnes astus et fraudis sum sacculos deplevit (as one saith), wherein the devil did his utmost.

Verse 3

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

Command this stone — "Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel," Proverbs 20:17 . Compare this verse withProverbs 20:9; Proverbs 20:9 , and see how the devil usually tempteth by extremes, to make men offend either in defect or excess. Thus he tempted master Knox upon his death bed, if not to despair, then to presume that heaven should be his, for his zeal in the Scottish Reformation. (Perkins.)

Verse 4

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

See Trapp on " Matthew 4:4 "

Verse 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.

Showed unto him all the kingdoms — In a visible landscape of his own making, presented to the eye.

Verse 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.

To whomsoever I will I give it — The pope, as heir to the devil, takes upon him to be Dominus regnorum mundi, Lord of the kings of the world. Boniface VIII wrote to Philip, king of France, that he was Lord of all, both temporals and spirituals, in all countries. Os papae et culeus diaboli in eodem sunt praedicamento, saith one. But, Cui volo do illa is God’s only to say, Daniel 4:22 .

Verse 7

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

If thou wilt worshipPapa dulia adorandus, say the Canonists.

Verse 8

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Get thee behind meSee Trapp on " Matthew 4:10 "

Verse 9

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

See Trapp on " Matthew 4:5 " See Trapp on " Matthew 4:6 "

Verse 10

For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

See Trapp on " Matthew 4:6 "

Verse 11

And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

See Trapp on " Matthew 4:6 "

Verse 12

And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

See Trapp on " Matthew 4:7 "

Verse 13

And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

He departed from him for a season — We must look for the other bout, and in a calm prepare for a storm. The tempter is restless and impudent; so that a man is to expect, if he live out his days, to be urged to all sins, to the breach of every branch of the ten commandments, and to be put to it in respect of every article of the Creed.

Verse 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.

In the power of the Spirit — Without which the word is preached to no purpose. Cathedram in coelo habet, qui corda docet, saith Augustine. It is with the word and spirit, as with the veins and arteries; as the veins carry the blood, so the arteries carry the spirits to quicken the blood.

Verse 15

And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

Glorified of all — Envy itself was throttled, which yet usually waits upon virtue. Every Zopyrus hath his Zoilus. Lipsius complaineth ( an Iustus ipse viderit ) that today men have left off, not only to do things praiseworthy, but also to praise those that do so.

Verse 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.

Where he had been brought up — The Jews were to be kind to the Egyptians, and to pray for the prosperity of Babylon, where they had been bred and fed. "Be ye thankful," Colossians 3:15 , viz. to your friends and benefactors.

And stood up for to read — In honour of the word that he read. So Nehemiah 8:5 , a commendable custom.

Verse 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,

He found the place — Whether he looked for it, or it so happened by a providence, it is uncertain. Origen, after his fall, lighting on that text, Psalms 50:16 . "What hast thou to do to take my words," …, fell into a passion of weeping, and came out of the pulpit, as not able to speak to the people. Augustine hearing from heaven, Tolle, lege, and happening upon that place, Romans 13:14 ; "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ," …, was presently converted thereby. So was Cyprian, by reading the prophecy of Jonah.

Verse 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,

He hath anointed me to preach — Therefore the gospel is a sure saying, and worthy of all acceptation, since it is an effect of the Holy Spirit: doubt not its excellence, authority, certainty, sufficiency. See my "True Treasure."

Verse 19

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

The acceptable year of the Lord — A joyful jubilee. Let us not stand out the time, lest we be bored in the ear by the devil.

Verse 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.

Were fastened on him — A good help against distractions. Our hearts are fickle and fugitive, if not hard held to it.

Verse 21

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

This day is this scripture, … — This the sum of his sermon, as were also the prophecies we read, the heads only and short notes of the prophets’ larger discourses. Brevity breeds obscurity.

Verse 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?

Is not this Joseph’s son? — And what of that? But it is still the course of our hearers, to look round about us, if possibly they may find any hole in our coat, through which to slight and slip the cords of our doctrine, though they cannot but admire it.

Verse 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.

Physician, heal thyself — That is, thy country. So that for a man to cure his country is to cure himself.

Verse 24

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

No prophet is acceptedSee Trapp on " Matthew 13:57 "

Verse 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;

Many widows were in Israelq.d. God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, … He is a free agent, and may do with his own as he pleaseth. If the prophets, by the Spirit’s direction, healed and helped foreigners sooner than Israelites, what so great wonder that Christ did not for his own country that which he did for others?

Verse 26

But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

That was a widow — A calamitous name, 2 Samuel 14:5 . The Hebrews call her Almanah, a dumb woman, because either she dare not or may not speak for herself: but God professeth himself the patron of such; and he can speak for them in the hearts of their greatest adversaries. Happy they in such an advocate.

Verse 27

And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

Naaman the Syrian — Nor he neither so long as he looked upon God’s Jordan with Syrian eyes.

Verse 28

And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

And all they in the synagogue — Though but plain rustics, yet they soon understood this saying of preaching to the Gentiles: which put them into an anger, and our Saviour into a danger.

Verse 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.

Thrust him out of the city — As unworthy to tread on their pavement. And so mad they were, that they could neither stay till the business were brought to a judicial trial, nor forbear execution till the sabbath were over.

Verse 30

But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

But he passing, … — Like a second Samson; his own arm saved him. This might have convinced his adversaries, except they were mad with malice.

Verse 31

And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

And came down to Capernaum — Contempt drives away Christ. And woe be unto you if I forsake you,Hosea 9:12; Hosea 9:12 . Contend earnestly for the faith, since it is but once delivered to the saints, Jude

You must never expect another edition of it.

Verse 32

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

For his word was with power — He preached not frigide et trepide, as the scribes; but uttered oracles, and did miracles.

Verse 33

And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

And in the synagogueSee Trapp on " Mark 1:23 "

Verse 34

Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

The Holy One of God — The pope will needs be called "Most Holy;" and so lifts up himself above Christ.

Verse 35

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

See Trapp on " Matthew 8:16 " See Trapp on " Mark 1:25 " See Trapp on " Mark 1:26 "

Verse 36

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.

See Trapp on " Mark 1:27 "

Verse 37

And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

See Trapp on " Matthew 8:16 " See Trapp on " Mark 1:28 "

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 4". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/luke-4.html. 1865-1868.
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