Luke 4

The Temptation of Jesus

1 1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, 2returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness
2 for 3forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing * during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.
3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, '4MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.' "
5 5And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of 6the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; 7for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever * I wish.
7 "Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours."
8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, '8YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' "
9 9And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;
10 for it is written, '10HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,'
11 and, '11ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.' "
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is said, '12YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.' "
13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

Jesus' Public Ministry

14 And 13Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and 14news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.
15 And He began 15teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
16 And He came to 16Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, 17He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and 18stood up to read.
17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 "19THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE * THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 20TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."
20 And He 21closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and 22sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
22 And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "23Is this not Joseph's son?"
23 And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done 24at Capernaum, do here in 25your hometown as well.' "
24 And He said, "Truly I say to you, 26no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
25 "But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel 27in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land;
26 and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but 28only * to Zarephath, in the land of 29Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but 30only * Naaman the Syrian."
28 And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things;
29 and they got up and 31drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.
30 But 32passing through their midst, He went His way.
31 And 33He came down to 34Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath;
32 and 35they were amazed at His teaching, for 36His message was with authority.
33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34 "Let us alone! 37What business do we have with each other, Jesus of 38Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-39the Holy One of God!"
35 But Jesus 40rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.
36 And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, "What is this message? For 41with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out."
37 And 42the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.

Many Are Healed

38 43Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon's home. Now Simon's mother-in-law was 44suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her.
39 And standing over her, He 45rebuked the fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on them.
40 46While 47the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and 48laying His hands on each one of them, He was 49healing them.
41 Demons also were coming out of many, shouting, "You are 50the Son of God!" But 51rebuking them, He would 52not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.
42 53When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.
43 But He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, 54for I was sent for this purpose."
44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues 55of 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 55

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

Footnotes 21

Luke 4 Commentaries