Luke Chapter 4

June 19, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Luke. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Luke Chapter 4 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Luke 4:1-44 (NIV)
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'” 24 “I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed–only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. 31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. 32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority. 33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” 35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. 36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. 38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. 40 When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. 42 At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Luke 4:1-13

There are some fascinating elements that we need to examine in these temptation verses. One of the things we need to see is how Jesus uses scripture to know what the next right thing to do is. For each temptation that comes His way, Jesus relies on the truth of scripture as His authority for making decisions. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for us to read, study and memorize scripture. If we don’t know scripture than the enemy can actually attempt to use it against us in a slightly twisted form.

For example, when the enemy tries to get Jesus to jump from a high place, he uses this scripture:

Psalm 91:11-12 (NIV)
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

How is the enemy twisting the verse? By taking it out of context and not including verse 10 which says:

Psalm 91:10 (NIV)
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

This verse makes it clear that God’s protection is for events that befall His servants, not as an excuse to go and seek out such dangers.

Another thing revealed in this passage is that the enemy uses the same tricks in temptation. This set of temptations is very similar to the temptation of Adam and Eve. In 1 John 2 this series of temptations is referred to this way:

1 John 2:16 (KJV)
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

With Jesus
Lust of the flesh | tell this stone to become bread
Lust of the eyes | I will give you all their authority and splendor
Pride of life | throw yourself down

With Adam and Eve
Lust of the flesh | good for food
Lust of the eyes | pleasing to the eyes
Pride of life | you will be like God

For us
Lust of the flesh | if it feels good do it
Lust of the eyes | materialism
Pride of Life | I did it my way

The antidote for falling into the trap of the temptation is to seek God’s will and to know His way so that you can choose to do the next right thing. Unlike Adam, and unlike us, Jesus passes the testing in the wilderness and the enemy is handed a defeat.

Luke 4:14-30

Jesus goes to His hometown in Nazareth where He attends synagogue. Please note that Jesus reads Isaiah 61:1-2 and then sits down to teach them. Enough said.

There is another interesting development in this section. Jesus has already demonstrated how He would use scripture to defeat the evil one, but in the synagogue He again uses the scripture, this time to challenge the traditions of the religious leaders. As Jesus begins to teach the people in the synagogue become furious as He points out their hypocrisy. Their hearts are hardened and they are far from God.

It is also worth noting that the references Jesus uses of Old Testament people who receive these miracles from God are both non-jewish. The religious leaders are so caught up in their traditions, rules and regulations, that they often miss God at work. This is happening again as Jesus reaches out to the leaders of Israel and yet He is largely rejected y them.

They decide to throw him off a cliff but He just walks through the crowd. It was not unusual in the event of stoning someone to first throw them off of a cliff and then toss head sized rocks down on them from above to finish off the job. Not a very welcoming church.

Luke 4:31-37

Not being well received in Nazareth in the synagogue, He goes to Capernaum and attends synagogue there. This time He is not met with an unruly crowd, but a man possessed by a demon. Jesus is having a tough time finding a nice church.

Jesus commands the demon to leave and it does. The people are amazed that Jesus is able to do this by command. They are amazed at the authority of His teaching. Unlike the teaching they have been hearing their whole lives, which never produced change, the Words of Jesus are life changing.

Luke 4:38-44

Jesus goes from synagogue to synagogue preaching the good news of the Kingdom and demonstrating His authority by healing the sick and casting out demons.

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