Luke 4

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 where for forty days he was tempted[a] 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 shall not live on bread alone.’[b]
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; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[c]
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.’[d]
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[e]
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
15 He was teaching 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. He stood up to read,
17 and 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 proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[f]
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 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!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ”
24 “Truly I tell you,” 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[g] 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 off the cliff.
30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit

31 Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people.
32 They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice,
34 “Go away! 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 words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!”
37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Jesus Heals Many

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 At sunset, 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 Messiah.
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 proclaim 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 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 53

  • 1. ver 14,18; S Luke 1:15,35; Luke 3:16,22; Luke 10:21
  • 2. Luke 3:3,21
  • 3. Ezekiel 37:1; Luke 2:27
  • 4. Exodus 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8
  • 5. Hebrews 4:15
  • 6. S Matthew 4:3
  • 7. Deuteronomy 8:3
  • 8. S Matthew 24:14
  • 9. John 12:31; John 14:30; 1 John 5:19
  • 10. Deuteronomy 6:13
  • 11. Psalms 91:11,12
  • 12. Deuteronomy 6:16
  • 13. Hebrews 4:15
  • 14. John 14:30
  • 15. Matthew 4:12
  • 16. S Matthew 9:26
  • 17. S Matthew 4:23
  • 18. S Matthew 2:23
  • 19. Matthew 13:54
  • 20. S 1 Timothy 4:13
  • 21. S John 3:34
  • 22. Mark 16:15
  • 23. Leviticus 25:10; Isaiah 61:1,2; Psalms 102:20; Psalms 103:6; Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 49:8,9; Isaiah 58:6
  • 24. ver 17; S Matthew 26:55
  • 25. S Matthew 1:22
  • 26. Matthew 13:54,55; John 6:42; John 7:15
  • 27. ver 16; S Matthew 2:23
  • 28. Mark 1:21-28; Mark 2:1-12
  • 29. Matthew 13:57; John 4:44
  • 30. 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:1; James 5:17,18; Revelation 11:6
  • 31. 1 Kings 17:8-16; S Matthew 11:21
  • 32. 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • 33. Numbers 15:35; Acts 7:58; Hebrews 13:12
  • 34. John 8:59; John 10:39
  • 35. ver 23; S Matthew 4:13
  • 36. S Matthew 7:28
  • 37. ver 36; Matthew 7:29
  • 38. S Matthew 8:29
  • 39. S Mark 1:24
  • 40. James 2:19
  • 41. ver 41; S Mark 1:24
  • 42. ver 39,41; Matthew 8:26; Luke 8:24
  • 43. S Matthew 7:28
  • 44. ver 32; Matthew 7:29; S Matthew 10:1
  • 45. ver 14; S Matthew 9:26
  • 46. ver 35,41
  • 47. S Mark 5:23
  • 48. S Matthew 4:23
  • 49. S Matthew 4:3
  • 50. S ver 35
  • 51. S Matthew 8:4
  • 52. S Matthew 3:2
  • 53. S Matthew 4:23

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. The Greek for "tempted" can also mean "tested" .
  • [b]. Deut. 8:3
  • [c]. Deut. 6:13
  • [d]. Psalm 91:11,12
  • [e]. Deut. 6:16
  • [f]. Isaiah 61:1,2 (see Septuagint); Isaiah 58:6
  • [g]. The Greek word traditionally translated "leprosy" was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

Luke 4 Commentaries