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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 4

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

Full of the Holy Spirit (πληρης πνευματος αγιου). An evident allusion to the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism (Luke 3:21). The distinctness of the Persons in the Trinity is shown there, but with evident unity. One recalls also Luke's account of the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Matthew 4:1 says that "Jesus was led of the Spirit" while Mark 1:12 states that "the Spirit driveth him forth" which see for discussion. "Jesus had been endowed with supernatural power; and He was tempted to make use of it in furthering his own interests without regard to the Father's will" (Plummer).

Was led by the Spirit (ηγετο εν το πνευματ). Imperfect passive, continuously led. Εν may be the instrumental use as often, for Matthew 4:1 has here υπο of direct agency. But Matthew has the aorist passive ανηχθη which may be ingressive as he has εις την ερημον (into the wilderness) while Luke has εν τω ερημω (in the wilderness). At any rate Luke affirms that Jesus was now continuously under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Hence in this same sentence he mentions the Spirit twice.

During the forty days (ημερας τεσσερακοντα). Accusative of duration of time, to be connected with "led" not with "tempted." He was led in the Spirit during these forty days (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2, forty years). The words are amphibolous also in Mark 1:13. Matthew 4:2 seems to imply that the three recorded temptations came at the close of the fasting for forty days. That can be true and yet what Luke states be true also. These three may be merely specimens and so "representative of the struggle which continued throughout the whole period" (Plummer).

Verse 2

Being tempted (πειραζομενος). Present passive participle and naturally parallel with the imperfect passive ηγετο (was led) in verse Luke 4:1. This is another instance of poor verse division which should have come at the end of the sentence. See on Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:13 for the words "tempt" and "devil." The devil challenged the Son of man though also the Son of God. It was a contest between Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, and the slanderer of men. The devil had won with Adam and Eve. He has hopes of triumph over Jesus. The story of this conflict is given only in Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13. There is a mere mention of it in Mark 1:12. So then here is a specimen of the Logia of Jesus (Q), a non-Markan portion of Matthew and Luke, the earliest document about Christ. The narrative could come ultimately only from Christ himself. It is noteworthy that it bears all the marks of the high conception of Jesus as the Son of God found in the Gospel of John and in Paul and Hebrews, the rest of the New Testament in fact, for Mark, Matthew, Luke, Acts, Peter, and Jude follow in this same strain. The point is that modern criticism has revealed the Messianic consciousness of Jesus as God's Son at his Baptism and in his Temptations at the very beginning of his ministry and in the oldest known documents about Christ (The Logia, Mark's Gospel).

He did eat nothing (ουκ εφαγεν ουδεν). Second aorist (constative) active indicative of the defective verb εσθιω. Mark does not give the fast. Matthew 4:2 has the aorist active participle νηστευσας which usually means a religious fast for purposes of devotion. That idea is not excluded by Luke's words. The entrance of Jesus upon his Messianic ministry was a fit time for this solemn and intense consecration. This mental and spiritual strain would naturally take away the appetite and there was probably nothing at hand to eat. The weakness from the absence of food gave the devil his special opportunity to tempt Jesus which he promptly seized.

When they were completed (συντελεσθεισων αυτων). Genitive absolute with the first aorist passive participle feminine plural because εμερων (days) is feminine. According to Luke the hunger (επεινασεν, became hungry, ingressive aorist active indicative) came at the close of the forty days as in Matthew 4:2.

Verse 3

The Son of God (υιος του θεου). No article as in Matthew 4:3. So refers to the relationship as Son of God rather than to the office of Messiah. Manifest reference to the words of the Father in Luke 3:22. Condition of the first class as in Matthew. The devil assumes that Jesus is Son of God.

This stone (τω λιθω τουτω). Perhaps pointing to a particular round stone that looked in shape and size like a loaf of bread. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, p. 154) on Mt. Carmel found crystallizations of stones called "Elijah's melons." The hunger of Jesus opened the way for the diabolic suggestion designed to inspire doubt in Jesus toward his Father. Matthew has "these stones."

Bread (αρτος). Better "loaf." For discussion of this first temptation see on Matthew 4:3. Jesus felt the force of each of the temptations without yielding at all to the sin involved. See discussion on Matthew also for reality of the devil and the objective and subjective elements in the temptations. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 in reply to the devil.

Verse 5

The world (της οικουμενης). The inhabited world. In Matthew 4:8 it is του κοσμου.

In a moment of time (εν στιγμη χρονου). Only in Luke and the word στιγμη nowhere else in the N.T. (from στιζω, to prick, or puncture), a point or dot. In Demosthenes, Aristotle, Plutarch. Like our "second" of time or tick of the clock. This panorama of all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them in a moment of time was mental, a great feat of the imagination (a mental satanic "movie" performance), but this fact in no way discredits the idea of the actual visible appearance of Satan also. This second temptation in Luke is the third in Matthew's order. Luke's order is geographical (wilderness, mountain, Jerusalem). Matthew's is climacteric (hunger, nervous dread, ambition). There is a climax in Luke's order also (sense, man, God). There is no way to tell the actual order.

Verse 6

All this authority (την εξουσιαν ταυτην απασαν). Matthew 4:9 has "all these things." Luke's report is more specific.

And the glory of them (κα την δοξαν αυτων). Matthew 4:8 has this in the statement of what the devil did, not what he said.

For it hath been delivered unto me (οτ εμο παραδεδοτα). Perfect passive indicative. Satan here claims possession of world power and Jesus does not deny it. It may be due to man's sin and by God's permission. Jesus calls Satan the ruler of this world (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11).

To whomsoever I will (ο αν θελω). Present subjunctive with αν in an indefinite relative sentence. This audacious claim, if allowed, makes one wonder whether some of the world rulers are not, consciously or unconsciously, agents of the devil. In several American cities there has been proven a definite compact between the police and the underworld of crime. But the tone of Satan here is one of superiority to Jesus in world power. He offers him a share in it on one condition.

Verse 7

Wilt worship before me (προσκυνησηις ενωπιον εμου). Matthew 4:9 has it more bluntly "worship me." That is what it really comes to, though in Luke the matter is more delicately put. It is a condition of the third class (εαν and the subjunctive). Luke has it "thou therefore if" (συ ουν εαν), in a very emphatic and subtle way. It is the ingressive aorist (προσκυνησηις), just bow the knee once up here in my presence. The temptation was for Jesus to admit Satan's authority by this act of prostration (fall down and worship), a recognition of authority rather than of personal merit.

It shall all be thine (εστα σου πασα). Satan offers to turn over all the keys of world power to Jesus. It was a tremendous grand-stand play, but Jesus saw at once that in that case he would be the agent of Satan in the rule of the world by bargain and graft instead of the Son of God by nature and world ruler by conquest over Satan. The heart of Satan's program is here laid bare. Jesus here rejected the Jewish idea of the Messiah as an earthly ruler merely. "He rejects Satan as an ally, and thereby has him as an implacable enemy" (Plummer.)

Verse 8

Thou shalt worship (προσκυνησεις). Satan used this verb to Jesus who turns it against him by the quotation from Deuteronomy 6:13. Jesus clearly perceived that one could not worship both Satan and God. He had to choose whom he would serve. Luke does not give the words, "Get thee hence, Satan" (Matthew 4:10), for he has another temptation to narrate.

Verse 9

Led him (ηγαγεν). Aorist active indicative of αγω. Matthew 4:5 has παραλαμβανε (dramatic present).

The wing of the temple (το πτερυγιον του ιερου). See on Matthew 4:5. It is not easy to determine precisely what it was.

From hence (εντευθεν). This Luke adds to the words in Matthew, which see.

To guard thee (του διαφυλαξα σε). Not in Matthew 4:6 quoted by Satan from Psalms 91:11; Psalms 91:12. Satan does not misquote this Psalm, but he misapplies it and makes it mean presumptuous reliance on God. This compound verb is very old, but occurs here alone in the N.T. and that from the LXX. Luke repeats οτ (recitative οτ after γεγραπτα, is written) after this part of the quotation.

Verse 12

It is said (ειρητα). Perfect passive indicative, stands said, a favourite way of quoting Scripture in the N.T. In Matthew 4:7 we have the usual "it is written" (γεγραπτα). Here Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16. Each time he uses Deuteronomy against the devil. The LXX is quoted. It is the volitive future indicative with ουκ, a common prohibition. Jesus points out to the devil that testing God is not trusting God (Plummer).

Verse 13

Every temptation (παντα πειρασμον). These three kinds exhaust the avenues of approach (the appetites, the nerves, the ambitions). Satan tried them all. They formed a cycle (Vincent). Hence "he was in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15). "The enemy tried all his weapons, and was at all points defeated" (Plummer). Probably all during the forty days the devil tempted him, but three are representatives of all.

For a season (αχρ καιρου). Until a good opportunity should return, the language means. We are thus to infer that the devil returned to his attack from time to time. In the Garden of Gethsemane he tempted Jesus more severely than here. He was here trying to thwart the purpose of Jesus to go on with his Messianic plans, to trip him at the start. In Gethsemane the devil tried to make Jesus draw back from the culmination of the Cross with all its agony and horror. The devil attacked Jesus by the aid of Peter (Mark 8:33), through the Pharisees (John 8:40), besides Gethsemane (Luke 22:42; Luke 22:53).

Verse 14

Returned (υπεστρεψεν). Luke does not fill in the gap between the temptations in the wilderness of Judea and the Galilean Ministry. He follows the outline of Mark. It is John's Gospel alone that tells of the year of obscurity (Stalker) in various parts of the Holy Land.

In the power of the Spirit (εν τη δυναμε του πνευματος). Luke in these two verses (Luke 4:14; Luke 4:15) gives a description of the Galilean Ministry with three marked characteristics (Plummer): the power of the spirit, rapid spread of Christ's fame, use of the Jewish synagogues. Luke often notes the power of the Holy Spirit in the work of Christ. Our word dynamite is this same word δυναμις (power).

A fame (φημη). An old Greek word found in the N.T. only here and Matthew 9:26. It is from φημ, to say. Talk ran rapidly in every direction. It assumes the previous ministry as told by John.

Verse 15

And he taught (κα αυτος εδιδασκεν). Luke is fond of this mode of transition so that it is not certain that he means to emphasize "he himself" as distinct from the rumour about him. It is the imperfect tense, descriptive of the habit of Jesus. The synagogues were an open door to Jesus before the hostility of the Pharisees was aroused.

Being glorified (δοξαζομενος). Present passive participle, durative action like the imperfect εδιδασκεν. General admiration of Jesus everywhere. He was the wonder teacher of his time. Even the rabbis had not yet learned how to ridicule and oppose Jesus.

Verse 16

Where he had been brought up (ου ην τεθραμμενος). Past perfect passive periphrastic indicative, a state of completion in past time, from τρεφω, a common Greek verb. This visit is before that recorded in Mark 6:1-6; Matthew 13:54-58 which was just before the third tour of Galilee. Here Jesus comes back after a year of public ministry elsewhere and with a wide reputation (Luke 4:15). Luke may have in mind Luke 2:51, but for some time now Nazareth had not been his home and that fact may be implied by the past perfect tense.

As his custom was (κατα το ειωθος αυτω). Second perfect active neuter singular participle of an old εθω (Homer), to be accustomed. Literally according to what was customary to him (αυτω, dative case). This is one of the flashlights on the early life of Jesus. He had the habit of going to public worship in the synagogue as a boy, a habit that he kept up when a grown man. If the child does not form the habit of going to church, the man is almost certain not to have it. We have already had in Matthew and Mark frequent instances of the word synagogue which played such a large part in Jewish life after the restoration from Babylon.

Stood up (ανεστη). Second aorist active indicative and intransitive. Very common verb. It was the custom for the reader to stand except when the Book of Esther was read at the feast of Purim when he might sit. It is not here stated that Jesus had been in the habit of standing up to read here or elsewhere. It was his habit to go to the synagogue for worship. Since he entered upon his Messianic work his habit was to teach in the synagogues (Luke 4:15). This was apparently the first time that he had done so in Nazareth. He may have been asked to read as Paul was in Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:15). The ruler of the synagogue for that day may have invited Jesus to read and speak because of his now great reputation as a teacher. Jesus could have stood up voluntarily and appropriately because of his interest in his home town.

To read (αναγνωνα). Second aorist active infinitive of αναγινωσκω, to recognize again the written characters and so to read and then to read aloud. It appears first in Pindar in the sense of read and always so in the N.T. This public reading aloud with occasional comments may explain the parenthesis in Matthew 24:15 (Let him that readeth understand).

Verse 17

Was delivered (επεδοθη). First aorist passive indicative of επιδιδωμ, to give over to, a common verb. At the proper stage of the service "the attendant" or "minister" (υπηρετης, under rower) or "beadle" took out a roll of the law from the ark, unwrapped it, and gave it to some one to read. On sabbath days some seven persons were asked to read small portions of the law. This was the first lesson or Parashah. This was followed by a reading from the prophets and a discourse, the second lesson or Haphtarah. This last is what Jesus did.

The book of the prophet Isaiah (βιβλιον του προφητου Εσαιου). Literally, "a roll of the prophet Isaiah." Apparently Isaiah was handed to Jesus without his asking for it. But certainly Jesus cared more for the prophets than for the ceremonial law. It was a congenial service that he was asked to perform. Jesus used Deuteronomy in his temptations and now Isaiah for this sermon. The Syriac Sinaitic manuscript has it that Jesus stood up after the attendant handed him the roll.

Opened (ανοιξας). Really it was

unrolled (αναπτυξας) as Aleph D have it. But the more general term ανοιξας (from ανοιγω, common verb) is probably genuine. Αναπτυσσω does not occur in the N.T. outside of this passage if genuine.

Found the place (ευρεν τον τοπον). Second aorist active indicative. He continued to unroll (rolling up the other side) till he found the passage desired. It may have been a fixed lesson for the day or it may have been his own choosing. At any rate it was a marvellously appropriate passage (Isaiah 61:1; Isaiah 61:2 with one clause omitted and some words from Isaiah 58:6). It is a free quotation from the Septuagint.

Where it was written (ου ην γεγραμμενον). Periphrastic pluperfect passive again as in Luke 4:16.

Verse 18

Anointed me (εχρισεν με). First aorist active indicative of the verb χριω from which

Christ (Χριστος) is derived, the Anointed One. Isaiah is picturing the Jubilee year and the release of captives and the return from the Babylonian exile with the hope of the Messiah through it all. Jesus here applies this Messianic language to himself. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" as was shown at the baptism (Luke 3:21) where he was also "anointed" for his mission by the Father's voice (Luke 3:22).

To the poor (πτωχοις). Jesus singles this out also as one of the items to tell John the Baptist in prison (Luke 7:22). Our word Gospel is a translation of the Greek Ευαγγελιον, and it is for the poor.

He hath sent me (απεσταλκεν με). Change of tense to perfect active indicative. He is now on that mission here. Jesus is God's Apostle to men (John 17:3, Whom thou didst send).

Proclaim (κηρυξα). As a herald like Noah (2 Peter 2:5).

To the captives (αιχμαλωτοις). Prisoners of war will be released (αιχμη, a spear point, and αλωτος, from αλισκομα, to be captured). Captured by the spear point. Common word, but here only in the N.T.

Set at liberty (αποστειλα). First aorist active infinitive of αποστελλω. Same verb as απεσταλκεν, above. Brought in here from Isaiah 58:6. Plummer suggests that Luke inserts it here from memory. But Jesus could easily have turned back the roll and read it so.

Them that are bruised (τεθραυσμενους). Perfect passive participle of θραυω, an old verb, but here only in the N.T. It means to break in pieces broken in heart and often in body as well. One loves to think that Jesus felt it to be his mission to mend broken hearts like pieces of broken earthenware, real rescue-mission work. Jesus mends them and sets them free from their limitations.

Verse 19

The acceptable year of the Lord (ενιαυτον Κυριου δεκτον). He does not mean that his ministry is to be only one year in length as Clement of Alexandria and Origen argued. That is to turn figures into fact. The Messianic age has come, Jesus means to say. On the first day of the year of Jubilee the priests with sound of trumpet proclaimed the blessings of that year (Leviticus 25:8-17). This great passage justly pictures Christ's conception of his mission and message.

Verse 20

He closed the book (πτυξας το βιβλιον). Aorist active participle of πτυσσω. Rolled up the roll and gave it back to the attendant who had given it to him and who put it away again in its case.

Sat down (εκαθισεν). Took his seat there as a sign that he was going to speak instead of going back to his former seat. This was the usual Jewish attitude for public speaking and teaching (Luke 5:3; Matthew 5:1; Mark 4:1; Acts 16:13).

Were fastened on him (ησαν ατενιζοντες αυτω). Periphrastic imperfect active and so a vivid description. Literally, the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing fixedly upon him. The verb ατενιζω occurs in Aristotle and the Septuagint. It is from the adjective ατενης and that from τεινω, to stretch, and copulative or intensive α, not α privative. The word occurs in the N.T. here and in Luke 22:56, ten times in Acts, and in 2 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 3:13. Paul uses it of the steady eager gaze of the people at Moses when he came down from the mountain when he had been communing with God. There was something in the look of Jesus here that held the people spellbound for the moment, apart from the great reputation with which he came to them. In small measure every effective speaker knows what it is to meet the eager expectations of an audience.

Verse 21

And he began to say (ηρξατο δε λεγειν). Aorist ingressive active indicative and present infinitive. He began speaking. The moment of hushed expectancy was passed. These may or may not be the first words uttered here by Jesus. Often the first sentence is the crucial one in winning an audience. Certainly this is an arresting opening sentence.

Hath been fulfilled (πεπληρωτα). Perfect passive indicative,

stands fulfilled . "Today this scripture (Isaiah 61:1; Isaiah 61:2, just read) stands fulfilled in your ears." It was a most amazing statement and the people of Nazareth were quick to see the Messianic claim involved. Jesus could only mean that the real year of Jubilee had come, that the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah had come true today, and that in him they saw the Messiah of prophecy. There are critics today who deny that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. To be able to do that, they must reject the Gospel of John and all such passages as this one. And it is no apocalyptic eschatological Messiah whom Jesus here sets forth, but the one who forgives sin and binds up the broken-hearted. The words were too good to be true and to be spoken here at Nazareth by one of their own townsmen!

Verse 22

Bare him witness (εμαρτυρουν). Imperfect active, perhaps inchoative. They all began to bear witness that the rumours were not exaggerations (Luke 4:14) as they had supposed, but had foundation in fact if this discourse or its start was a fair sample of his teaching. The verb μαρτυρεω is a very old and common one. It is frequent in Acts, Paul's Epistles, and the Johannine books. The substantive μαρτυρ is seen in our English μαρτψρ, one who witnesses even by his death to his faith in Christ.

And wondered (κα εθαυμαζον). Imperfect active also, perhaps inchoative also. They began to marvel as he proceeded with his address. This verb is an old one and common in the Gospels for the attitude of the people towards Jesus.

At the words of grace (επ τοις λογοις της χαριτος). See on Luke 1:30; Luke 2:52 for this wonderful word χαρις so full of meaning and so often in the N.T. The genitive case (case of genus or kind) here means that the words that came out of the mouth of Jesus in a steady stream (present tense, εκπορευομενοις) were marked by fascination and charm. They were "winning words" as the context makes plain, though they were also "gracious" in the Pauline sense of "grace." There is no necessary antithesis in the ideas of graceful and gracious in these words of Jesus.

Is not this Joseph's son? (Ουχ υιος εστιν Ιωσηφ ουτοσ;). Witness and wonder gave way to bewilderment as they began to explain to themselves the situation. The use of ουχ intensive form of ουκ in a question expects the answer "yes." Jesus passed in Nazareth as the son of Joseph as Luke presents him in Luke 3:23. He does not stop here to correct this misconception because the truth has been already amply presented in Luke 1:28-38; Luke 2:49. This popular conception of Jesus as the son of Joseph appears also in John 1:45. The puzzle of the people was due to their previous knowledge of Jesus as the carpenter (Mark 6:3; the carpenter's son, Matthew 13:55). For him now to appear as the Messiah in Nazareth where he had lived and laboured as the carpenter was a phenomenon impossible to credit on sober reflection. So the mood of wonder and praise quickly turned with whispers and nods and even scowls to doubt and hostility, a rapid and radical transformation of emotion in the audience.

Verse 23

Doubtless (παντως). Adverb. Literally, at any rate, certainly, assuredly. Cf. Acts 21:22; Acts 28:4.

This parable (την παραβολην ταυτην). See discussion on Luke 4:13. Here the word has a special application to a crisp proverb which involves a comparison. The word physician is the point of comparison. Luke the physician alone gives this saying of Jesus. The proverb means that the physician was expected to take his own medicine and to heal himself. The word παραβολη in the N.T. is confined to the Synoptic Gospels except Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 11:19. This use for a proverb occurs also in Luke 5:36; Luke 6:39. This proverb in various forms appears not only among the Jews, but in Euripides and Aeschylus among the Greeks, and in Cicero's Letters. Hobart quotes the same idea from Galen, and the Chinese used to demand it of their physicians. The point of the parable seems to be that the people were expecting him to make good his claim to the Messiahship by doing here in Nazareth what they had heard of his doing in Capernaum and elsewhere. "Establish your claims by direct evidence" (Easton). This same appeal (Vincent) was addressed to Christ on the Cross (Matthew 27:40; Matthew 27:42). There is a tone of sarcasm towards Jesus in both cases.

Heard done (ηκουσαμεν γενομενα). The use of this second aorist middle participle γενομενα after ηκουσαμεν is a neat Greek idiom. It is punctiliar action in indirect discourse after this verb of sensation or emotion (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1040-42, 1122-24).

Do also here (ποιησον κα ωδε). Ingressive aorist active imperative. Do it here in thy own country and town and do it now. Jesus applies the proverb to himself as an interpretation of their real attitude towards himself.

Verse 24

And he said (ειπεν δε). Also in Luke 1:13. The interjection of these words here by Luke may indicate a break in his address, though there is no other indication of an interval here. Perhaps they only serve to introduce solemnly the new proverb like the words

Verily I say unto you (αμην λεγω υμιν). This proverb about the prophet having no honour in his own country Jesus had already applied to himself according to John 4:44. Both Mark 6:4 and Matthew 13:57 give it in a slightly altered form on the last visit of Jesus to Nazareth. The devil had tempted Jesus to make a display of his power to the people by letting them see him floating down from the pinnacle of the temple (Luke 4:9-11).

Verse 25

Three years and six months (ετη τρια κα μηνας εξ). Accusative of duration of time without επ (doubtful). The same period is given in James 5:17, the popular Jewish way of speaking. In 1 Kings 18:1 the rain is said to have come in the third year. But the famine probably lasted still longer.

Verse 26

Unto Zarephath (εις Σαρεπτα). The modern village Surafend on the coast road between Tyre and Sidon.

Unto a woman that was a widow (προς γυναικα χηραν). Literally, unto a woman a widow (like our vernacular widow woman). This is an illustration of the proverb from the life of Elijah (1 Kings 17:8; 1 Kings 17:9). This woman was in the land of Sidon or Phoenicia, a heathen, where Jesus himself will go later.

Verse 27

In the time of Elisha the prophet (επ Ελισαιου του προφητου). This use of επ with the genitive for "in the time of" is a good Greek idiom. The second illustration of the proverb is from the time of Elisha and is another heathen,

Naaman the Syrian (Ναιμαν ο Σψρος). He was the lone leper that was cleansed by Elisha (2 Kings 5:1; 2 Kings 5:14).

Verse 28

They were all filled with wrath (επλησθησαν παντες θυμου). First aorist passive indicative of the common verb πιμπλημ followed by the genitive case. The people of Nazareth at once caught on and saw the point of these two Old Testament illustrations of how God in two cases blessed the heathen instead of the Jewish people. The implication was evident. Nazareth was no better than Capernaum if as good. He was under no special obligation to do unusual things in Nazareth because he had been reared there. Town pride was insulted and it at once exploded in a burst of rage.

Verse 29

They rose up and cast him forth (ανασταντες εξεβαλον). Second aorist ingressive active participle and second aorist effective active indicative. A movement towards lynching Jesus.

Unto the brow of the hill (ηος οφρυος του ορους). Eyebrow (οφρυς), in Homer, then any jutting prominence. Only here in the N.T. Hippocrates speaks of the eyebrow hanging over.

Was built (ωικοδομητο). Past perfect indicative, stood built.

That they might throw him down headlong (ωστε κατακρημνισα αυτον). Neat Greek idiom with ωστε for intended result, "so as to cast him down the precipice." The infinitive alone can convey the same meaning (Matthew 2:2; Matthew 20:28; Luke 2:23). Κρημνος is an overhanging bank or precipice from κρεμαννυμ, to hang. Κατα is down. The verb occurs in Xenophon, Demosthenes, LXX, Josephus. Here only in the N.T. At the southwest corner of the town of Nazareth such a cliff today exists overhanging the Maronite convent. Murder was in the hearts of the people. By pushing him over they hoped to escape technical guilt.

Verse 30

He went his way (επορευετο). Imperfect tense, he was going on his way.

Verse 31

Came down (κατηλθεν). Mark 1:21 has the historical present,

they go into (εισπορευοντα). Capernaum (Tell Hum) is now the headquarters of the Galilean ministry, since Nazareth has rejected Jesus. Luke 4:31-37 is parallel with Mark 1:21-28 which he manifestly uses. It is the first of Christ's miracles which they give.

Was teaching them (ην διδασκων αυτους). Periphrastic imperfect. Mark has εδιδασκεν first and then εν διδασκων. "Them" here means the people present in the synagogue on the sabbath, construction according to sense as in Mark 1:22.

Verse 32

Rest of the sentence as in Mark, which see, except that Luke omits "and not as their scribes" and uses οτ ην instead of ως εχων.

Verse 33

Which had (εχων). Mark has εν.

A spirit of an unclean demon (πνευμα δαιμονιου ακαθαρτου). Mark has "unclean spirit." Luke's phrase here is unique in this combination. Plummer notes that Matthew has δαιμονιον ten times and ακαθαρτον twice as an epithet of πνευμα; Mark has δαιμονιον thirteen times and ακαθαρτον eleven times as an epithet of πνευμα. Luke's Gospel uses δαιμονιον twenty-two times and ακαθαρτον as an epithet, once of δαιμονιον as here and once of πνευμα. In Mark the man is in (εν) the power of the unclean spirit, while here the man "has" a spirit of an unclean demon.

With a loud voice (φωνη μεγαλη). Not in Mark. Really a scream caused by the sudden contact of the demon with Jesus.

Verse 34

Ah! (Εα). An interjection frequent in the Attic poets, but rare in prose. Apparently second person singular imperative of εαω, to permit. It is expressive of wonder, fear, indignation. Here it amounts to a diabolical screech. For the rest of the verse see discussion on Mark 1:24 and Matthew 8:29. The muzzle (φιμος) occurs literally in 1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18, and metaphorically here and Mark 1:25; Mark 4:39; Matthew 22:12.

Verse 35

Had thrown him down in the midst (ριψαν αυτον εις το μεσον). First aorist (effective) participle of ριπτω, an old verb with violent meaning, to fling, throw, hurl off or down.

Having done him no hurt (μηδεν βλαψαν αυτον). Luke as a physician carefully notes this important detail not in Mark. Βλαπτω, to injure, or hurt, occurs in the N.T. only here and in Mark 16:18, though a very common verb in the old Greek.

Verse 36

Amazement came (εγενετο θαμβος). Mark has εθαμβηθησαν.

They spake together one with another (συνελαλουν προς αλληλους). Imperfect indicative active and the reciprocal pronoun. Mark has simply the infinitive συνζητειν (question).

For (οτ). We have here an ambiguous οτ as in Luke 1:45, which can be either the relative "that" or the casual οτ "because" or "for," as the Revised Version has it. Either makes good sense. Luke adds here δυναμε (with power) to Mark's "authority" (εξουσιαν).

And they come out (εξερχοντα). So Luke where Mark has "and they obey him" (κα υπακουουσιν αυτω).

Verse 37

Went forth a rumour (εξεπορευετο ηχος). Imperfect middle, kept on going forth. Our very word εχο in this word. Late Greek form for ηχω in the old Greek. Used for the roar of the waves on the shore. So in Luke 21:25. Vivid picture of the resounding influence of this day's work in the synagogue, in Capernaum.

Verse 38

He rose up (αναστας). Second aorist active participle of ανιστημ, a common verb. B. Weiss adds here "from the teacher's seat." Either from his seat or merely leaving the synagogue. This incident of the healing of Peter's mother-in-law is given in Mark 1:29-34 and Matthew 8:14-17, which see for details.

Into the house of Simon (εις την οικιαν Σιμωνος). "Peter's house" (Matthew 8:14). "The house of Simon and Andrew" (Mark 1:29). Paul's reference to Peter's wife (1 Corinthians 9:5) is pertinent. They lived together in Capernaum. This house came also to be the Capernaum home of Jesus.

Simon's wife's mother (πενθερα του Σιμωνος). The word πενθερα for mother-in-law is old and well established in usage. Besides the parallel passages (Mark 1:30; Matthew 8:14; Luke 4:38) it occurs in the N.T. only in Luke 12:53. The corresponding word πενθερος, father-in-law, occurs in John 18:13 alone in the N.T.

Was holden with a great fever (ην συνεχομενη πυρετω μεγαλω). Periphrastic imperfect passive, the analytical tense accenting the continuous fever, perhaps chronic and certainly severe. Luke employs this verb nine times and only three others in the N.T. (Matthew 4:24 passive with diseases here; 2 Corinthians 5:14 active; Philippians 1:23 passive). In Acts 28:8 the passive "with dysentery" is like the construction here and is a common one in Greek medical writers as in Greek literature generally. Luke uses the passive with "fear," Luke 8:37, the active for holding the hands over the ears (Acts 7:57) and for pressing one or holding together (Luke 8:45; Luke 19:43; Luke 22:63), the direct middle for holding oneself to preaching (Acts 18:5). It is followed here by the instrumental case. Hobart (Medical Language of Luke, p. 3) quotes Galen as dividing fevers into "great" (μεγαλο) and "small" (σμικρο).

Verse 39

He stood over her (επιστας επανω αυτης). Second aorist active participle. Only in Luke. Surely we are not to take Luke to mean that Jesus here took the exorcist's position and was rebuking a malignant personality. The attitude of Jesus is precisely that of any kindly sympathetic physician. Mark 1:31; Matthew 8:15 mention the touch of her hand rather than the tender look over her head.

Rebuked (επετιμησεν). Only in Luke. Jesus bade the fever leave her as he spoke to the wind and the waves and Luke uses this same verb (Luke 8:24).

Rose up and ministered (αναστασα διηκονε). Second aorist active participle as in verse Luke 4:38, but inchoative imperfect tense διηκονε, from διακονεω (note augment of compound verb). She rose up immediately, though a long high fever usually leaves one very weak. The cure was instantaneous and complete. She began to minister at once and kept it up.

Verse 40

When the sun was setting (δυνοντος του ηλιου). Genitive absolute and present participle (δυνω, late form of δυω) picturing the sunset scene. Even Mark 1:32 has here the aorist indicative εδυσεν (punctiliar active). It was not only cooler, but it was the end of the sabbath when it was not regarded as work (Vincent) to carry a sick person (John 5:10). And also by now the news of the cure of the demoniac of Peter's mother-in-law had spread all over the town.

Had (ειχον). Imperfect tense including all the chronic cases.

With divers diseases (νοσοις ποικιλαις). Instrumental case. For "divers" say "many coloured" or "variegated." See on Matthew 4:24; Mark 1:34.

Brought (ηγαγον). Constative summary second aorist active indicative like Matthew 8:16, προσενεγκαν, where Mark 1:32 has the imperfect εφερον, brought one after another.

He laid his hands on every one of them and healed them (ο δε εν εκαστω αυτων τας χειρας επιτιθεις εθεραπευεν αυτους). Note the present active participle επιτιθεις and the imperfect active εθεραπευεν, picturing the healing one by one with the tender touch upon each one. Luke alone gives this graphic detail which was more than a mere ceremonial laying on of hands. Clearly the cures of Jesus reached the physical, mental, and spiritual planes of human nature. He is Lord of life and acted here as Master of each case as it came.

Verse 41

Came out (εξηρχετο, singular, or εξηρχοντο, plural). Imperfect tense, repetition, from one after another.

Thou art the Son of God (Συ ε ο υιος του θεου). More definite statement of the deity of Jesus than the witness of the demoniac in the synagogue (Luke 4:34; Mark 1:24), like the words of the Father (Luke 3:22) and more so than the condition of the devil (Luke 4:3; Luke 4:9). In the Canterbury Revision "devils" should always be "demons" (δαιμονια) as here.

Suffered them not to speak (ουκ εια αυτα λαλειν). Imperfect third singular active of εαω, very old and common verb with syllabic augment ε. The tense accents the continued refusal of Jesus to receive testimony to his person and work from demons. Cf. Matthew 8:4 to the lepers.

Because they knew (οτ ηιδεισαν). Causal, not declarative, οτ. Past perfect of the second perfect οιδα.

That he was the Christ (τον Χριστον αυτον εινα). Infinitive in indirect assertion with the accusative of general reference. Τον Χριστον =

the Anointed , the Messiah.

Verse 42

When it was day (γενομενης ημερας). Genitive absolute with aorist middle participle. Mark 1:35 notes it was "a great while before day" (which see for discussion) when Jesus rose up to go after a restless night. No doubt, because of the excitement of the previous sabbath in Capernaum. He went out to pray (Mark 1:35).

Sought after him (επεζητουν αυτον). Imperfect active indicative. The multitudes kept at it until "they came unto him" (ηλθον εως αυτου, aorist active indicative). They accomplished their purpose, εως αυτου, right up to him.

Would have stayed him (κατειχον αυτον). Better,

They tried to hinder him . The conative imperfect active of κατεχω, an old and common verb. It means either to hold fast (Luke 8:15), to take, get possession of (Luke 14:9) or to hold back, to retain, to restrain (Philemon 1:13; Romans 1:18; Romans 7:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:6; Luke 4:42). In this passage it is followed by the ablative case.

That he should not go from them (του μη πορευεσθα απ' αυτων). Literally, "from going away from them." The use of μη (not) after κατειχον is the neat Greek idiom of the redundant negative after a verb of hindering like the French ne (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1171) .

Verse 43

I must (με δε). Jesus felt the urge to go with the work of evangelism "to the other cities also," to all, not to a favoured few.

For therefore was I sent (οτ επ τουτο απεσταλην). "A phrase of Johannine ring" (Ragg). Second aorist passive indicative of αποστελλω. Christ is the great Apostle of God to men.

Verse 44

Was preaching (ην κηρυσσων). Periphrastic imperfect active, describing his first tour of Galilee in accord with the purpose just stated. One must fill in details, though Mark 1:39 and Matthew 8:23-25 tell of the mass of work done on this campaign.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/luke-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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