Jesus' Early Ministry
Comments for Study 9
Memory Verse: 18
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP OF PALESTINE IN JESUS' TIME.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW A MAP SHOWING JESUS' EARLY MINISTRY TRAVELS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A TIMELINE FROM BABYLON TO ROMAN CONTROL OVER ISRAEL.
I. Jesus Taught in their Synagogues (14-19)
* The map of Galilee to the right, c. 50 A.D. from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd (1923) is in the public domain.
>1. How and where did Jesus begin his ministry? (14)
* Luke 4:14 "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside."
* "Jesus returned to" -One of the first places Jesus went to after his temptation according to what is called the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) was the area of his youth. Chapter one of John points out that two days before Jesus left the Jordan River and John the Baptist he meet John, Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael. Then John 2:1 says the first place Jesus and his newly meet disciples went to was a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
* "Galilee" -Galilee is a place name meaning, circle or region.” Its in the northern part of Palestine above the hill country of Ephraim and the hill country of Judah (Joshua 20:7). The Septuagint or early Greek translation referred to a king of the nations of Galilee in Joshua 12:23, though the Hebrew reads, “Gilgal.” Many scholars see the Greek as original. This would indicate a leader of a coalition of city-states whom Joshua defeated. (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* Galilee at the time of Jesus had about three million people living in it. The Jews living there were considered by the Jews in Judea hot tempered, action oriented, uneducated, poor, and proud.
* Also in Matthew 4:12-13, 23-25 and Mark 1:14.
* Jesus ministry starting in Galilee was well known. When he was on trial just before he was crucified people testified, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here." (Luke 23:5) Later Peter would say, "You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached..." (Acts 10:37)
>What does it mean that he returned in the power of the Spirit?
* "the power of the Spirit" -The Holy Spirit coming in power is in both the Old and New Testament. (1 Samuel 11:6, 16:13; Isaiah 11:2; Micah 3:8; Luke 1:17, 35; Acts 1:8; etc.) One key difference between before and after Jesus' resurrection from the dead is in the past the Holy Spirit was given only to a few people; whereas now the Holy Spirit is given to all who call on the name of Jesus the Lord and Savior.
* Jesus was empowered after passing the tests. Temptation (Testing) will either strengthen or weaken, sweeten or sour, soften or harden, draw us closer to God or push us away. What determines the outcome? How we reacted when tested (tempted). Did we pass? If we pass the test God sends his Spirit to refresh and empower us even more than before the test. (James 1:3; Romans 5:3-5) More than that as James 1:12 states, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
Do not think that you will not or have not been tested? God tests all, especially his children. (1 Thessalonians 2:4; Luke 8:13) Armies test their soldiers before and after battle. Police and fire fighters are tested before and after service. All professional occupations have some sort of testing required before advancement. Nature has mechanisms that continually test and refine too. God also tests his children. Jesus was tested and so was Abraham.
How we endure the test is important as it shows our character. The same sun will melt the wax and harden the clay. The character of the wax and clay determine the reaction, not the sun. (J. Vernon McGee) Don't blame God when you fail and praise him when you pass. No one is tested beyond their ability to withstand the heat. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
* God was leading Jesus.
* Jesus had to have time to recover from fasting. If Jesus had to recover with the help of the Holy Spirit we to need time to recover after our testing and tempting.
>What was the general response to Jesus among the people of the Galilee countryside? (15)
* Luke 4:15 "He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him."
* "news about him spread through the whole countryside" -Scholars call the early part of Jesus' ministry, the popular stage. Many people came from near and far to hear Jesus and see him do miracles. Some came with open minds; others with judgemental minds. Slowly opposition amongst the elders, teachers of the law, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees grew. Eventually they disrupted Jesus' teaching and tried to keep people from listening to him. (Mark 7:5, 9:14)
* "He taught in their synagogues" -Jesus teaching the word of God is often recorded in the Bible. (Luke 4:16) During the early part of Jesus' ministry Jesus taught in the synagogues. During the middle part of his ministry he had to teach in open and lonely places partly because of the size of the crowds, but more because the elders and synagogue leaders branded him as a heretic.
* "their synagogues" -Jesus taught in the Jewish synagogues. Luke uses the Greek word "synagogue" here, a transliteration meaning "an assembly", "a collection", "a calling out", and "a congregation". The word also implies the action of learning and praying together. The Jews first established synagogues as local meeting places sometime after the destruction of Solomon's temple. (Ezekiel 14:1, 20:1) After the temple was rebuilt synagogues remain local places for Jews to gather. The importance of local synagogues increased when the Greeks took control of the promised land for Jews began living (by force and by choice) to far the travel to the temple routinely. The earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century B.C. prove that synagogues existed by that date. (The gospels are the first books of the Bible to use the word.) When Jesus told Peter, "on this rock I will build my church," (Matthew 16:18) he used the Greek "ekklesia" meaning the same as the Jewish use of the word synagogue. The apostles used "ekklesia" (Roman 16:5) when referring to a local church and to a Jewish synagogue. The church is not a building; its a gathering of God's people here on the earth.
* "everyone praised him" -The average person loved Jesus, especially during the early part of his ministry. They said good things about him and told others about him. They marvelled at his teaching, authority, and healing. Throughout the centuries since many at first react this way to Jesus only to fall away later. John records that after Jesus feed the five thousand (a few months before his crucifixion) common opinion of him shifted from doubt to belief to doubt again. (John 6:66, 7:12-13, 10:22-24, 40-42)
* Keep the joy you have for Jesus. Do not fall away. "But how," you may ask, "can I keep loving Jesus?" Pray, study the Bible, keep meeting with other Christians, tell others about him, worship him in song and life, stay away from sin; these are important in a person's life. In the end love for Jesus, hope in him, and faith in him are the remaining life blood of a believer. And these are all found in and through Jesus.
>2. What was Jesus' relationship to Nazareth? (16)
* Luke 4:16 "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."
* "Nazareth" -Nazareth in the district of Galilee was a small town, Mary and Joseph's home town. (Luke 1:26) According to John 2:46 the town was known for nothing good. "Nazer" means "despised," or "not honorable". Christians were at first called Nazarenes. (Acts 24:5)
Nazareth was on a major trade route. Being on a major trade route brought in many strangers and Gentiles. It would be hard to keep faith and purity in such an environment. Also being a small town made it easy for everyone to know everyone and everything about each other. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, but the area is referenced. (Isaiah 9:1) Poor Jews lived in towns like Nazareth. Many Jews left Judea to escape first the Syrian and then the Roman oppression. Mary and Joseph's family must have moved to this area because of the oppression.
* "where he had been brought up" -Jesus had a common Galilean Jewish home life.
* "on the Sabbath day" -The Sabbath day is the last day of the seven found in Genesis chapter one. The modern calendar labels it Saturday. After Jesus' resurrection the Jews who accepted the apostles' message about Jesus meet on the Sabbath and the day following the Sabbath, the day of Jesus' resurrection. As the gospel spread the average person could not afford to take two days off from work, so they began meeting on either the Sabbath and the day following the Sabbath. Eventually which one they should meet on became an issue and so Paul wrote, "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:5-8)
* "as was his custom" -Jesus, the Son of God regularly went to the synagogue. Any excuse to stop regularly meeting with God's people should be embarrassing in light of Jesus' custom.
* "he stood up to read" -The ruler of the local synagogue would ask visiting and specially well spoken of local male teachers to read the Scripture and teach during the service. Jesus' teaching was so well respected that he was asked to teach. The listeners would sit on the ground. Those who read the Scriptures stood in respect of the word of God. Teachers usually sat with their disciples, while preachers stood.
* Also in Matthew 4:12-17 and Mark 6:1-5.
>How does Isaiah announce his Messianic ministry? (17-19)
* Luke 4:17-19 "The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: '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, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
* "The scroll" -The Jewish synagogues contained copies of the Old Testament since their founding in the third century B.C. The scrolls were usually pieces of parchment (dried sheep or goat skin) sewn together into a large scroll. Copper was also used, but rarely because of the cost. Greek scrolls (called the Septuagint) were the most common language used since the few who could read only knew Greek. Hebrew scrolls existed and perhaps even Aramaic scrolls too. One scroll would contain several books of the Old Testament (i.e. the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch, the pre-king era historical books, the kingdom books, the psalms and proverbs, the major prophets each was a scroll, and the minor prophets was one scroll.)
* "the prophet" -A prophet was-is a messenger between God and people. Enoch, the first to be called a prophet was one before the flood. (Genesis 5:18-24; Luke 3:37; Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14-15) Israel's patriarchs, Moses, and Joshua were prophets as were others before Israel entered the promised land. By the time of Samuel a school of prophets had begun in Israel for the Lord God had chosen Israel to be a blessing to all the other nations. Israel could have relayed God's messages that came through the prophets to other nations. Only a few prophets had their dreams, oracles, and visions written down and passed down to us, ending up in the Bible. Some of the duties of a prophet can be seen in today's ministers, pastors, Bible teachers, and evangelists.
* "Isaiah" -His name means "The Lord saves." He was a contemporary of Amos, Hosea and Micah, beginning his ministry in 740 B.C. the year King Uzziah died (Isaiah 6:1).
* "he found the place where it is written" -Jesus purposely found this passage. He did not just open it to that exact spot by chance. Jesus knew the scripture well enough to find a specific passage concerning the start of his ministry. Jesus knew how to read, learning it in his youth and most Jewish boys did.
* "The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me" -Anointing a king and a priest with oil in the Old Testament time represented the Spirit of the Lord coming on a person. "Coming on" gives the impression that is comes from above and surrounds every part of a person. So the Holy Spirit dwells on and in someone chosen by God.
* "to preach good news" -Greek original is "euangelizo" meaning speaking good tidings and teach the gospel.
* "He has sent me" -God sent Jesus. A four fold gospel ministry is presented in Jesus' quote from Isaiah 61:1-2, 58:6.
1) "to proclaim freedom for the prisoners"
2) "recovery of sight for the blind"
3) "to release the oppressed"
4) "to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor"
* Isaiah pictures the deliverance of Israel from exile in Babylon as a Year of Jubilee when all debts are cancelled, all slavers are freed, and all property is returned to original owners (Leviticus 25). But the release from Babylonian exile had not brought the fulfillment the people had expected; they were still a conquered and oppressed people. So Isaiah must have been referring to a future messianic age. Jesus boldly announced that through him this passage is fulfilled. Jesus was proclaiming himself as the one who would bring this Good News t pass but in a way that the people would nt yet be able to grasp. (Life Application Bible Studies, Tyndale House Publishers)
* Jesus did not continue with the rest of the sentence, "and the day of vengeance of our God" because it deals with his second coming.
* See a picture of a scroll to the right. This was the kind of "book" that Jesus held in his hands. This scroll of Isaiah was recently found in a cave by the Dead Sea -a copy in the original language dating from at least a century before Christ. The rolls at each side show clear signs of constant use. The manuscript consists of pieces of parchment sewn together into a roll of just over 24 feet (7.3 meters) long. In the second line of the column which is completely visible are the words: "A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord" (Isaiah 40:3) -words which are specifically quoted with reference to John the Baptist's mission in relation to the impending commencement of Jesus' public ministry. (Luke 3:4) (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
>How did Jesus fulfill this?
* Good news means gospel. Poor means spiritually lacking.
* Prisoners of war locked in by sin and surrounded by the fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15) Jesus provided freedom from spiritual, mental, and physical captivity. (2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1, 13)
* Blind spiritually and physically. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 1:5-9; 1 John 2:11)
* Oppressed by men and demons.
* "Year" refers to Jesus' ministry which continues to this very day. The Lord's favor is his grace and mercy poured out from generation to generation since made he made this declaration. The age we are in has been called the age of grace and the age of preaching the gospel. Jesus here calls it the year of the Lord's favor. Today could be the day of the Lord's favor to you in that he extends to you an invitation to enter an eternal love relationship with him. Make today the day you accepted his invitation.
* Jesus changes people; their spirits and outlook. Are you a prisoner? (John 8:36) Are you blind? Do you see God's kingdom? (Ephesians 1:18) Are you oppressed? (Matthew 21:28) Jesus is good news for you.
II. Today This Scripture is Fulfilled (20-30)
>3. What did Jesus announce to them? (20-21)
* Luke 4:20-21 "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, and he began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'"
* "the attendant" -Either the synagogue ruler or his attendant.
* "sat down" -Jesus stood when he read the word of God, a common practice. The teaching from the word of God was done in a seated position in those days.
* "The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him" -Jesus had their full attention. All would here what he was going to say about this passage.
* "he began by saying" -Jesus most likely said much more that what Luke recorded here. Jesus must have expanded on what these words meant. As he did so peple began making internal decisions if what he was saying was correct or not.
* "Today" -Most of the Jewish teachers of Jesus' day spoke of the future work of God. The Essenes especially talked and wrote a lot about the future. Jesus was perhaps the only one who was saying God is working now, today. God is working right now in the lives of his people. Don't solely look toward the future kingdom and ignore God's work in and around you now. Luke uses the word "today" eleven times. He also uses the word "now" fourteen times.
* "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." -Jesus found his mission mandate in the word of God. He had clear direction and understanding. Jesus followed the word of God.
* Jesus' Galilean ministry is summed up by Isaiah.
* Luke did not record Jesus' message because though the Holy Spirit and Bible teachers today we can gain an understanding of what this passage means. The meaning has not changed.
* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.
>How did the people of Nazareth respond to Jesus' words? (22)
* Luke 4:22 "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."
* "gracious words that came from his lips" -The initial response to Jesus was based on what he said.
* Most understood that Isaiah's prophecy here concerned the Messiah.
* Before Jesus' declaration here, many people claimed to be leaders. A few claimed to be the promised Messiah and had proved false. (John 10:8)
* "Isn't this Joseph's son?" -At first they spoke well of him. Then they remembered that he was merely a carpenter, a poor country boy with no formal training. They began wondering how one of them could learn to speak so graciously. So, they ended up seeing him from a human point of view. They began judging him not by what he said, but his social status.
>How did Jesus interpret their seeming compliments? (23)
* Luke 4:23 "Jesus said to them, 'Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your home town what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.''"
* "Jesus said to them" -Jesus could have avoided trouble by merely leaving them. He remained and answered their objections.
* "Physician, heal yourself!" -They wanted Jesus to do miracles to prove his authority. They didn't accept him based on the word of God. When Jesus was on the cross some said this to him. (Luke 23:35)
* "Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." -The people did not say they believed he did those miracles, but rather they heard he did them and wanted him to prove himself by doing them before him. (Mark 6:5) Perhaps they wanted his hometown to become a famous miracle center as Capernaum would become because of Jesus.
* "Capernaum" -After this event Jesus would make Capernaum his base of ministry, not his hometown.
>4. What else did Jesus say to them? (24)
* Luke 4:24 "I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his home town."
* "I tell you the truth," -Jesus used this phrase a lot. This phrase was a way to say, "Pay attention to what I am about to say. It's very important."
* "no prophet" -Jesus with these words was declaring himself a prophet.
* Jesus' proverb here is original.
>What did he mean?
* "no prophet is accepted in his hometown." -Human nature is to accept greatness in a well dressed elegant speaker from far away more quickly then from their hometown.
>How and why did God bless a Gentile widow in the days of the prophet Elijah? (25-26; 1 Kings 17:7-16)
* Luke 4:25-26 "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. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon."
* 1 Kings 17:7-16 "Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread." "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it--and die." Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'" She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah."
* The woman had faith that God's word through Elijah was true.
* Widows had the lowest social, legal, financial, and political status.
>Why did God favor her over an Israelite widow?
* She had faith that acted practically. She simply believed the words given to her. She sacrificed by giving Elijah food.
* She made a decision of faith.
* Jesus wanted them to respond like her, in faith not sight.
>5. Who was Naaman? (27; 2 Kings 5:1-14)
* Luke 4:27 "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."
* 2 Kings 5:1-14 "Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy." Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. "By all means, go," the king of Aram replied. "I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: "With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy." As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!" When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy."
* Naaman came to the prophet believing. He didn't demand evidence from the prophet. He didn't ask for credentials.
>Why was he cleansed of leprosy?
* He believed Elisha's word and obeyed.
* He repented of pride and listened to the prophet.
>6. How do Elijah and Elisha's experiences illustrate the truth that no prophet is accepted in his hometown?
* Elijah wasn't respected by the Israelites. In fact the king wanted to kill him. Jesus was treated the same way more and more as his ministry went on. Jesus and Elijah weren't honored in their hometown.
* Both prophets did great miracles and yet the Israelites did not believe their messages.
* Both prophets were persecuted by the Israelites and accepted by Gentiles.
>What implication did Jesus state regarding the Gentiles and the kingdom of God?
* If the Gentiles were healed in this way, how much more would Israel be healed by the Messiah if they simply believed?
* Many Gentiles would accept while most Jews would reject.
* From the beginning Jesus knew that most Jews would reject his teachings. From the beginning he knew that the Gentiles would accept his teachings.
>7. Why did the people become angry enough to throw Jesus down a cliff? (28-29)
* Luke 4:28-29 "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 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."
* "All the people in the synagogue were furious" -Their Jewish pride caused them to remain blind. Pride of self and culture can be blinding.
* "They got up" -They had been seated on the floor as Jesus taught from the same position.
* "drove him out of the town" -Jesus wanted his ministry center to be there. But since they rejected him he moved on. Later he would tell his disciples that if they were rejected in one town, they too were to leave the town. However, if someone accepted them, then they should remain.
* "in order to thow him down the cliff" -Kill him, execution without a trial is murder even if done by a crowd of people.
* Jesus had not broken any law, either civil or religious. Yet they wanted to kill him. Hate is illogical.
* See a drawing to the right by Weigel, Christoph (1654-1725). Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu.
>Why didn't they succeed? (30)
* Luke 4:30 "But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way."
* The Holy Spirit caused them to physically not see him. Perhaps the strength of Samson enabled him to muscle his way through.
* This is one of the silent miracles Jesus performed. They would ask for a miracle and got one they didn't even recognize.
>What can be learned about human nature?
* Some will become angry at a message of healing and God's favor.
* Miracles happen all the time and almost all do not recognize them because of selfish ambition, pride, and hate.
III. Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit (31-44)
>8. Where did Jesus go next and what did he do there? (31)
* Luke 4:31 "Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people."
* Also in Mark 4:31-36.
* "Capernaum" -Capernaum was a big fish city on the sea of Galilee. It was the hometown of a lot of Jesus' disciples. Eventually Capernaum became Jesus' center. Jesus moved from Nazareth and made Capernaum his home.
* "on the Sabbath began to teach the people." -Earlier in this chapter Luke states this was his custom.
* See a picture of ruins to the right. At the north end of the Lake of Galilee, beside a bay, lie the remains of what was once a handsome synagogue. They have something to tell us of old Capernaum, for they formed part of a building erected about A.D. 200 on the ruins of the place of worship in which Jesus often stood and taught. (Mark 1:21) Capernaum is called "his own city" in Matthew 9:1 for it was the main centre of his activity. It was from Capernaum that Jesus set out with his twelve disciples to go to Jerusalem, where death on a cross was to bring to an end his earthly ministry. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
>How did they respond and why? (32)
* Luke 4:32 "They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority."
* "amazed at his teaching" -They were thrilled and delighted. They did not expect a common self educated person to know the word of God so well. Jesus said later in his ministry that he would send the Holy Spirit to those who believe in him. He said that the Holy Spirit will "lead you into all truths" and will "remind us of Jesus and his teachings". Jesus also told his disciples to not call anyone teacher (Rabbi) and father because there is only one teacher and he is the Holy Spirit. For this reason we should all study the Bible and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us.
* "because his message had authority" -Mark adds that the teachers of the law did not portray this authority when they spoke (Mark 1:22)
>What did an evil spirit cry out through a man? (33-34)
* Luke 4:33-34 "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, '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!'"
* "In the synagogue" -Perhaps he faithfully had come every Sabbath and a locally respected Jew. Even in congregations today there are people who appear to be Christ followers, but really are demon possessed. Not every demon acts upon a person like the Gerasenes demoniac.
* "there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit" -Demons can possess a weak person. Anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit in them, protected by God, can have a demon enter them and control them. Demon's can come in and leave an unbeliever anytime and anywhere. A person can have a demon in them and never know it.
* Demons are actively working in and through many people in my time. How many times do harsh and unspeakable crimes happen at the hands of someone that others later exclaim they would have never expected the person to do it? They say, "It's like he or she snapped. They suddenly changed and did something I never expected." There is a good chance a demon was behind it.
* "demon, an evil spirit" -A being created by God and them rebelled against God. Demons were previously angels. They are at war against the Lord, his angels, and his people.
* "I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" -Meaning the Messiah, Lord Creator God, Son of God, Son of Man.
>Why would he know that?
* John 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
* Colossians 1:15-17 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
* Jesus is the Son of God, everlasting to everlasting. The demon saw Jesus in heaven.
* Satan recognized God right away. He kept a tab on Jesus' movements and activities.
* The evil spirit knew authority in Jesus.
>9. How did Jesus rebuke him? (35)
* Luke 4:35 "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."
* "Be quiet!"
* "Come out of him!"
* "The demon threw the man down"
>What was the response to Jesus' authority?
* Luke 4:36-37 "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!" And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area."
* "All the people were amazed" -The teachers of the law never did this. They didn't know the man had an evil spirit. Perhaps they didn't even believe in them.
* "said to each other" -News about Jesus spread like this.
* "teaching" -Jesus had been in the synagogue teaching on the Sabbath. They naturally assumed this was part of the teaching.
* "he gives orders to evil spirits" -The religious leaders would later claim that the only reason that Jesus could order demons was because he was possessed by one of greatest authority. They had no proof of this accusation and expected everyone to accept their words as truth without proof. I've seen other religious leaders act and believe the same way saying, "Accept that man's words as the same as God's."
* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.
>10. Where did Jesus go after teaching in the synagogue? (38)
* Luke 4:38 "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."
* "the home of Simon"
* "Simon's mother-in-law"
* "they asked Jesus to help her"
>What did he do? (39)
* Luke 4:39 "So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them."
* "So he bent over her"
* "rebuked the fever"
* "it left her"
>What did Jesus do the rest of the Sabbath? (40-41)
* Luke 4:40-41 "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. 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."
>After doing so much in one day where did Jesus go and what did he do there? (42-44)
* Luke 4:42-44 "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. 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.' And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea."
* Matthew 14:13, Mark 1:35, and Mark 6:32 also record Jesus praying in solitary places.
Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page