Luke 4

Listen to Luke 4

The Temptation of Jesus

1 1And Jesus, 2full of the Holy Spirit, 3returned from the Jordan and was led 4by the Spirit in the wilderness
2 for 5forty days, 6being tempted by the devil. 7And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, 8he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, "If you are 9the Son of God, command 10this stone to become bread."
4 And Jesus answered him, 11"It is written, 12'Man shall not live by bread alone.'"
5 13And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,
6 and said to him, "To you 14I will give all this authority and their glory, 15for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.
7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours."
8 And Jesus answered him, 16"It is written, 17"'You shall worship the Lord your God, and 18him only shall you serve.'"
9 19And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are 20the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
10 for it is written, 21"'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,'
11 and 22"'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
12 And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 23'You shall not 24put the Lord your God to the test.'"
13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him 25until an opportune time.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 26And Jesus returned 27in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and 28a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
15 And 29he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

16 30And he came to 31Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And 32as was his custom, 33he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up 34to read.
17 And 35the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 36"The Spirit of the Lord 37is upon me, because he has anointed me to 38proclaim good news to the poor. 39He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and 40recovering of sight to the blind, 41to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 42to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and 43sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were 44fixed on him.
21 And he began to say to them, "Today 45this Scripture 46has been fulfilled in your hearing."
22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at 47the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, 48"Is not this 49Joseph's son?"
23 And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 50'Physician, heal yourself.' What we have heard you did 51at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well."
24 And he said, "Truly, I say to you, 52no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when 53the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land,
26 and Elijah was sent to none of them 54but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And 55there were many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, 56but only Naaman the Syrian."
28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
29 And they rose up and 57drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
30 But 58passing through their midst, he went away.

Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Demon

31 59And he 60went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And 61he was teaching them 62on the Sabbath,
32 and 63they were astonished at his teaching, 64for his word possessed authority.
33 And 65in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34 "Ha![b]66What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? 67I know who you are--68the Holy One of God."
35 But Jesus 69rebuked him, saying, "Be silent and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
36 And 70they were all amazed and said to one another, "What is this word? 71For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!"
37 And 72reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Jesus Heals Many

38 73And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now 74Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf.
39 And he stood over her and 75rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and 76he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.
41 77And demons also came out of many, 78crying, "You are 79the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and 80would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was 81the Christ.

Jesus Preaches in Synagogues

42 82And when it was day, he departed and went 83into a desolate place. And 84the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,
43 but he said to them, 85"I must 86preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose."
44 And he was preaching 87in the synagogues of Judea.[c]

Luke 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

The temptation of Christ. (1-13) Christ in the synagogue of Nazareth. (14-30) He casts out an unclean spirit and heals the sick. (31-44)

Verses 1-13 Christ's being led into the wilderness gave an advantage to the tempter; for there he was alone, none were with him by whose prayers and advice he might be helped in the hour of temptation. He who knew his own strength might give Satan advantage; but we may not, who know our own weakness. Being in all things made like unto his brethren, Jesus would, like the other children of God, live in dependence upon the Divine Providence and promise. The word of God is our sword, and faith in that word is our shield. God has many ways of providing for his people, and therefore is at all times to be depended upon in the way of duty. All Satan's promises are deceitful; and if he is permitted to have any influence in disposing of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, he uses them as baits to insnare men to destruction. We should reject at once and with abhorrence, every opportunity of sinful gain or advancement, as a price offered for our souls; we should seek riches, honours, and happiness in the worship and service of God only. Christ will not worship Satan; nor, when he has the kingdoms of the world delivered to him by his Father, will he suffer any remains of the worship of the devil to continue in them. Satan also tempted Jesus to be his own murderer, by unfitting confidence in his Father's protection, such as he had no warrant for. Let not any abuse of Scripture by Satan or by men abate our esteem, or cause us to abandon its use; but let us study it still, seek to know it, and seek our defence from it in all kinds of assaults. Let this word dwell richly in us, for it is our life. Our victorious Redeemer conquered, not for himself only, but for us also. The devil ended all the temptation. Christ let him try all his force, and defeated him. Satan saw it was to no purpose to attack Christ, who had nothing in him for his fiery darts to fasten upon. And if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Yet he departed but till the season when he was again to be let loose upon Jesus, not as a tempter, to draw him to sin, and so to strike at his head, at which he now aimed and was wholly defeated in; but as a persecutor, to bring Christ to suffer, and so to bruise his heel, which it was told him, he should have to do, and would do, though it would be the breaking of his own head, ( Genesis 3:15 ) . Though Satan depart for a season, we shall never be out of his reach till removed from this present evil world.

Verses 14-30 Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, to pray and praise. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit were upon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may be loosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace from the bondage of corruption. He came by the word of his gospel, to bring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power of his grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And he preached the acceptable year of the Lord. Let sinners attend to the Saviour's invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed. Christ's name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than in the word of his grace, and the power that went along with it. We may well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to such graceless wretches as mankind. Some prejudice often furnishes an objection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and while it is the word of God that stirs up men's enmity, they will blame the conduct or manner of the speaker. The doctrine of God's sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men. They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry when others have the favours they neglect. Still is Jesus rejected by multitudes who hear the same message from his words. While they crucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by our obedience.

Verses 31-44 Christ's preaching much affected the people; and a working power went with it to the consciences of men. These miracles showed Christ to be a controller and conqueror of Satan, a healer of diseases. Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in his service, to his glory. Our business should be to spread abroad Christ's fame in every place, to beseech him in behalf of those diseased in body or mind, and to use our influence in bringing sinners to him, that his hands may be laid upon them for their healing. He cast the devils out of many who were possessed. We were not sent into this world to live to ourselves only, but to glorify God, and to do good in our generation. The people sought him, and came unto him. A desert is no desert, if we are with Christ there. He will continue with us, by his word and Spirit, and extend the same blessings to other nations, till, throughout the earth, the servants and worshippers of Satan are brought to acknowledge him as the Christ, the Son of God, and to find redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Cross References 87

  • 1. For ver. 1-13, see Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12, 13
  • 2. ver. 18; Luke 3:22; John 1:33; John 3:34; Acts 10:38; [Luke 1:15; Acts 6:5]
  • 3. Luke 3:3, 21
  • 4. ver. 14
  • 5. [Deuteronomy 9:9, 18; 1 Kings 19:8]
  • 6. [Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15]
  • 7. [Deuteronomy 9:9, 18; 1 Kings 19:8]
  • 8. [John 4:6, 7]
  • 9. See Matthew 14:33
  • 10. [Luke 3:8]
  • 11. ver. 8, 10; Ephesians 6:17
  • 12. Cited from Deuteronomy 8:3; [John 4:34]
  • 13. Matthew 4:8
  • 14. Revelation 13:2
  • 15. Revelation 13:2
  • 16. ver. 4; [ver. 12]
  • 17. Cited from Deuteronomy 6:13
  • 18. 1 Samuel 7:3
  • 19. Matthew 4:5
  • 20. ver. 3
  • 21. Cited from Psalms 91:11, 12
  • 22. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 23. Cited from Deuteronomy 6:16
  • 24. [Isaiah 7:12]
  • 25. [Luke 22:53; John 14:30]
  • 26. Matthew 4:12
  • 27. ver. 1; [Acts 1:8]
  • 28. ver. 37
  • 29. See Matthew 4:23
  • 30. For ver. 16-30, [Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6]
  • 31. Luke 2:39, 51
  • 32. [Acts 17:2]
  • 33. ver. 31; See Mark 6:2
  • 34. Acts 13:15, 27; Acts 15:21
  • 35. Luke 3:4; [Acts 8:28]
  • 36. Cited from Isaiah 61:1, 2
  • 37. ver. 1; [Acts 1:2]
  • 38. Matthew 11:5; [Luke 6:20]
  • 39. Psalms 146:7, 8
  • 40. [Isaiah 42:7; John 9:39; Acts 26:18]
  • 41. Isaiah 58:6
  • 42. Leviticus 25:10; [Isaiah 49:8; 2 Corinthians 6:2]
  • 43. Matthew 26:55; [John 8:2]; [Matthew 5:1; Matthew 13:2]
  • 44. Acts 3:4; [Luke 19:48]
  • 45. Mark 12:10; Acts 8:35
  • 46. See Matthew 1:22
  • 47. Psalms 45:2
  • 48. [Matthew 13:55; John 6:42]
  • 49. Luke 3:23
  • 50. [Luke 23:39; Matthew 27:42]
  • 51. Matthew 11:23; Mark 2:1-12; John 4:46-53
  • 52. See Matthew 13:57
  • 53. 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:1; James 5:17; [Revelation 11:6]
  • 54. 1 Kings 17:9
  • 55. [2 Kings 7:3]
  • 56. 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • 57. [Numbers 15:35; Acts 7:58]
  • 58. John 8:59; John 10:39
  • 59. For ver. 31-37, see Mark 1:21-28
  • 60. Matthew 4:13
  • 61. ver. 15, 16; See Matthew 4:23
  • 62. See Mark 6:2
  • 63. ver. 36; See Matthew 7:28, 29
  • 64. ver. 36; See Matthew 7:28, 29
  • 65. [See ver. 31 above]
  • 66. See Matthew 8:29
  • 67. [Acts 19:15; James 2:19]
  • 68. John 6:69; Acts 3:14; Revelation 3:7; [Luke 1:35; Hebrews 7:26; 1 John 2:20]
  • 69. ver. 41; See Matthew 12:16
  • 70. ver. 32; [Matthew 8:27]
  • 71. ver. 32; [Matthew 8:27]
  • 72. ver. 14
  • 73. For ver. 38-41, see Matthew 8:14-16; Mark 1:29-34
  • 74. 1 Corinthians 9:5
  • 75. Luke 8:24; Luke 9:42; Matthew 8:26; Matthew 17:18; Mark 4:39; Mark 9:25
  • 76. See Mark 5:23
  • 77. Mark 3:11, 12; [Acts 16:17, 18]
  • 78. ver. 33
  • 79. See Matthew 14:33
  • 80. Mark 3:11, 12; [Acts 16:17, 18]
  • 81. See Matthew 1:17
  • 82. For ver. 42, 43, see Mark 1:35-38
  • 83. Luke 5:16
  • 84. [Mark 1:36]
  • 85. See Luke 13:33
  • 86. Luke 8:1; Luke 16:16; Matthew 4:23; Matthew 24:14; Acts 8:12
  • 87. [Mark 1:39]

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
  • [b]. Or Leave us alone
  • [c]. Some manuscripts Galilee

Luke 4 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.