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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 4

 

 


Verses 1-13

Luke 4:1-13. The Temptation (Mark 11:21.*, Matthew 4:1-11*).—In the order of the episodes Lk. follows a geographical (rather than a psychological) sequence, putting the Jerusalem incident last. The other divergences from Mt. are of no moment, but we may note Lk.'s stress on the inspiration of Jesus (Luke 4:1, cf. Luke 4:14), and the apt saying that the devil left Him only "for a season" (cf. Luke 22:28, Matthew 16:23, John 6:15; John 14:30). For a good study of the Temptation see Seeley's Ecce Homo, ch. ii.


Verses 14-30

Luke 4:14-30. Jesus in Nazareth (Mark 1:14 f.*, Matthew 4:12-17*, Mark 6:1-6*, Matthew 13:53-58*).—Lk. brings Jesus to Galilee, but, anxious to make the mission begin in His own town, departs from Mk.'s order (though it leads him into difficulty, see Luke 4:23), and puts the rejection at Nazareth (Mark 6) at the beginning of the ministry. The episode is prophetic of the later and larger rejection. And the activity which Jesus is said to have displayed outside Nazareth (Luke 4:23) is prophetic of the spread of the Gospel outside Israel, a point illustrated by the cases of the widow of Sarepta and Naaman (Luke 4:26 f.). The whole incident is a summary of Lk.'s two books. Luke 4:17-21 is found only in Lk. Jesus goes to the synagogue in the usual way. and is asked to read. We should follow Syr. Sin., which transfers "he stood up to read" from the end of Luke 4:16 to the middle of Luke 4:17. He carefully chooses a passage (Isaiah 61), and proclaims Himself as its fulfilment. According to Lk. He is no warrior-king (Luke 17:9*), but the Servant of God bringing the blessings of spiritual light and liberty to the poor and afflicted. The pronouncement at Nazareth corresponds to the Sermon on the Mount as a programme prefaced to the narrative of the ministry. Luke 4:21 is only a summary of the preacher's exposition. In Luke 4:22 f. Lk. returns to Mk., but with considerable freedom The hearers are at first pleased as well as astonished. But almost at once they remember that He is one of themselves, and so not worth much. He is Joseph's son; Lk. omits mentioning the other members of the family, perhaps because of the honour in which they came to be held by his day. The people of Nazareth invite Jesus to secure their belief and adherence by a sign (contrast Mark 6:5); to Lk.'s mind they typify Israel in general. Luke 4:25-30 is peculiar to Lk.; as in the days of the prophets, so in the days of the Gospel, Jews are rejected, Gentiles are chosen. Contrast Matthew 10:5 f. Such sayings enrage the Nazareth folk; they eject the Preacher, and would fain murder Him. But He suffers no harm—either His mysterious majesty or the Divine protection enables Him to pass unharmed through their midst.

Luke 4:19. the acceptable year of the Lord.—This may point to a one-year ministry, cf. p. 653.

Luke 4:26. a widow: Wellhausen acutely reads "an Aramæan" or Syrian; the two Aramaic words only differ by one letter, hence the Gr. error. [Dalman rejects this (Words of Jesus, p. 64). Wellhausen replies in the note on the passage in his commentary. It should be added that he takes "Aramæan" not in its strict sense, but as a general term for "heathen," just as "Greek" (Hellen) is often used for "Gentile." He thinks that the reference to the fact that she was a widow is superfluous, as it would be understood.—A. S. P.]


Verses 31-37

Luke 4:31-37. A Case of Exorcism (Mark 12:1-28*).—Lk. brings Jesus at once to Capernaum and so postpones the call of the first disciples (Mark 1:16-20) to ch. 5. The narrative keeps close to Mk., but note the phrase "spirit of an unclean demon" (Luke 4:33), and the assertion that the expelled spirit, though it threw the man down, did not hurt him (Mk. says it tore him).


Verse 38-39

Luke 4:38 f. Simon's Wife's Mother (Mark 1:29-31*, Matthew 8:14 f.*).—Lk. heightens the miracle. Jesus rebukes the fever as though it were an evil spirit, and does not touch the sufferer. Note how Simon is introduced without comment; Lk. is really following Mark 1:29.


Verses 40-44

Luke 4:40-44. Other Healings (Mark 1:32-39*, Matthew 8:16 f.*, Matthew 4:23-25*).—The medical interest of Lk. here appears strongly. He distinguishes ordinary ailments from cases of demoniacal possession. Luke 4:43 is an announcement made earlier by Mk. (Mark 1:15); Lk. has had to defer it through his treatment of the Nazareth episode.

Luke 4:43. I was sent is less original than Mk.'s "came I forth" (i.e. from Capernaum).

Luke 4:44. Galilee. The true reading is Juda (mg.), which is thus used in the wide sense of all Jewish territory (cf. Luke 6:17, Luke 7:17, Luke 23:5), and so includes Galilee, to which the context refers. Spitta argues keenly for the ordinary interpretation of the term and a Judan ministry such as we have in the Fourth Gospel (cf. Luke 5:17, where the two are distinguished).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 4:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-4.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 25th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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