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Luke Chapter 4:1-44

Distributed by:  Internet Bible Studies

Contact:  David Parham    940-322-4343



Memory verses for this week:  1 Cor 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

 Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke as we cover chapter 4 this week.   In our study last week, we saw John the Baptist begin his ministry as he came (according to prophesy in Isaiah) in the wilderness warning people to flee from the wrath to come by repenting of their sins and turning in faith to Jesus Christ.   We saw how Jesus came to John to be baptized setting us an example and saying it was done to fulfill all righteousness.   Chapter 3 closed with the genealogy of Christ through the bloodline of Mary going all the way back to Adam in the beginning of time.

I.   The Temptation of Christ 

Luke 4:1  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Luke 4:2  Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 

Jesus was always about doing the Father’s Work.  At our earliest record of him as a young man, he was in the temple both learning and teaching with the doctors of the law.  It says that the Holy Ghost led Jesus out into the wilderness.  If Jesus needed this leadership, how much more, do we as men and women need the leadership of the Spirit in our lives.   There is a great contrast here between Adam and Jesus who was the second Adam.   Adam was placed in a garden of delight with every creature subject to his will.  He was provided with everything he needed to sustain and strengthen him.   But Jesus, the last Adam, stood every test, fasted in the wilderness among wild beasts.   Jesus was God’s blessed, Eternal Son who came and took on a body of flesh that me might redeem us that were under the curse of the law and sin.   If I go half a day without food, I think I am going to die.  Jesus went 40 days in the wilderness with no food and was tempted by Satan.    

Some in today’s society say that man corrupts himself by the evil in our hearts, by our own wicked devices, and by our evil thoughts.  This means that wickedness, iniquity, filth, and dreadful corruption have happened down through history come from men’s own wicked hearts, with out tempting necessarily to incite those excesses.  It implies that man’s heart, in itself, is so utterly evil that it needs no outside incentive to produce the vileness which has polluted the pages of human history.   If you believe this line of thinking, you would then think that Jesus had an evil heart and was led into the wilderness to be tempted of himself by evil thoughts or wickedness in his heart.    The same people who teach this false doctrine are those who tell us that all men are children of God by natural birth, and deny the necessity of redemption and regeneration.   They teach that there is good in all of us, and if we emphasize that good, we can become very good people.    The truth is we are all weak, and have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  And Satan is there to tempt us just like he was with Christ. 

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 

There are three basic points by which we may be tempted.   Temptation appeals either to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, or the pride of life.  In the Garden of Eden, we see this is what Eve faced. 

Gen 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 

Notice the 3 things she was tempted with:

1.  “Good for good” – Lust of the flesh.

2.  “Pleasant to the eye” – Lust of the eye.

3.  “A tree desired to make one wise.” – Pride of life. 

All of these are not of the Father, but of the world.  The things of God endure, but the things of the world pass away. 

1 John 2:16  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. 

Jesus was tempted to prove that he was the sinless one.   In Matthew, we are told to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. 

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

Luke 4:3  And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

Luke 4:4  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 

The first temptation Jesus faced was the lust of the flesh.  Satan came to Jesus when he was at his weakest.  Can you imagine the pain of hunger he must have faced after 40 days with no food.   To have yielded would have met he accepted Satan’s suggestion and this would have taken him out of God’s hand.  We find not even the smallest inclination to do so.  Jesus immediately responds:

“It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

When Satan tempts you, do you know the bible well enough to parlay his attacks with the Word.  Too many times we let down our guard and don’t study the Word that we might resist the fiery darts of Satan.  They are coming… and we had better be prepared.   There is something more important than bread to sustain the body, and that is the Word of God which sustains the spirit.  Jesus had no word from the Heavenly Father commanding Him to change the stones into bread.   To take that power upon himself would have been in obedience to Satan.    Our desire should be like Jesus when he set the example of always doing the will of God.   

John 4:31  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

John 4:32  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

John 4:33  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

John 4:34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.


Luke 4:5  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

Luke 4:6  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

Luke 4:7  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

Luke 4:8  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 

Christ’s second temptation was an attempt to appeal to the lust of the eye.

Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and offered them if he would come and fall down and worship him.  This was no doubt a great temptation since the Jews were looking for a man to come and conquer the Romans and reign over the world.  Jesus again does not yield but states the first of the commandments.  “Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and him only shalt thou serve.”   

In the King James Study Bible, Jerry Falwell said this about the three temptations Jesus faced.

The temptation of Christ was both a testing and a tempting. From the divine point of view, the Holy Spirit arranged a testing to show that Jesus qualified as free from sin. If He were not free from personal sin, He could not bear our sins. For Satan, it was a temptation to see if he could make Christ fall as had the first Adam. The temptation was real, yet it was impossible for God the Son to sin.  [i] 

Luke 4:9  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

Luke 4:10  For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

Luke 4:11  And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Luke 4:12  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Luke 4:13  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 

The third test was an appeal to the pride of the natural heart.   This was something that Jesus was not guilty of and was always about the fathers work in a humble manner.  “I am meek and lowly in heart.”    Satan really gets desperate when he starts quoting scripture to the Son of God.  This is a portion of the 91st Psalm where God gave assurance that if our blessed Lord was to fall that God would hold him up by angel hands and not suffer him to die. 

Psa 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Psa 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psa 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 

Satan was suggesting that his was an opportunity to prove to the people that you are really the Son of God.  By leaping off the pinnacle of the temple, the people would see Jesus lifted up by angelic hands and they would know that He was who He claimed to be.  Jesus saw this misquotation and saw it as a temptation to spiritual pride.    Satan had left out verse 11 where the scriptures say “To keep thee in all thy ways.”   Jesus responds “It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.   So then Satan left Christ for a season.   If we resist Satan, he will also go away from us.  But be sure he will come back as long as you are on this earth in this fleshly body. 

II.  Jesus Returns to Galilee 

Luke 4:14  And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Luke 4:15  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 

Because of overcoming Satan and the temptations, it says Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.   As he moved about doing more miracles, it says his fame spread out through all the region round about.   And as he had opportunity, Jesus went into the synagogues and taught. 

Matthew Henry points out that preaching in Galilee was part of Christ’s humiliation although he came in power of the Spirit. 

What is here said in general of his preaching, and the entertainment it met with in Galilee, a remote part of the country, distant from Jerusalem; it was a part of Christ’s humiliation that he began his ministry there.

But, 1. Thither he came in the power of the Spirit. The same Spirit that qualified him for the exercise of his prophetical office strongly inclined him to it. He was not to wait for a call from men, for he had light and life in himself. 2. There he taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met, not, as in the temple, for ceremonial services, but for the moral acts of devotion, to read, expound, and apply, the word, to pray and praise, and for church-discipline; these came to be more frequent since the captivity, when the ceremonial worship was near expiring. 3. This he did so as that he gained a great reputation. A fame of him went through all that region (v. 14), and it was a good fame; for (v. 15) he was glorified of all. Every body admired him, and cried him up; they never heard such preaching in all their lives. Now, at first, he met with no contempt or contradiction; all glorified him, and there were none as yet that vilified him.  [ii]


III.  Jesus in the Synagogue of Nazareth 

Luke 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

After a brief stay in Jerusalem, the bible says Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth.   The people had heard a great deal about him, and they were eager to hear him teach.   Jesus was faithful to attend the services there, and God wants us to be faithful in attending our church services. 

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

Luke 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias.

And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

Luke 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Luke 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 

As soon as Jesus entered the synagogue, it says that they delivered unto him the Book of the prophet Esaias.  We have record of what he read.  Notice in Isaiah how that he stopped reading right in the middle of a sentence. 

Isa 61:1  The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Isa 61:2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 

Luke 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

Luke 4:21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:22  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? 

He closed the Book and all the people in the synagogue looked upon Him and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded from his lips.  They asked, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”   The answer was truly ‘No.’  He was God’s Son and not Joseph’s.   He was being raised by Joseph so he would be his step father.  The reason Jesus stopped in the middle of that sentence is that the ‘day of vengeance of our God’ is still yet in the future.  But just as those other words were fulfilled, be sure those last ones will be also. 

Luke 4:23  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

Luke 4:24  And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Luke 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

Luke 4:26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 

Jesus knew what the people would think, and answered with “A prophet is not accepted in his own country.”  He goes on to speak of the widows in Israel in the days of Elias and how God sent that man to just one of those women.  With God’s help, Elias was taken care of several months as the meal did not waste but kept on supplying both he and the widow and her son.  (I Kings 17:12-16)


Luke 4:27  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

Luke 4:28  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

Luke 4:29  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

Luke 4:30  But he passing through the midst of them went his way, 

Jesus taught about Naaman being the only leper that was healed in the days of Eliseus the prophet.  Naaman was a Gentile and when they heard this, the Jews rose up and were filled with wrath and led him out of the city where they might cast him headlong down a hill.   But they didn’t do it, because it said that he passed through their midst and went his way.  The reason was because it was not yet His time.


IV.  Jesus Casts out Demons in Capernaum 

Luke 4:31  And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

Luke 4:32  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 

Jesus upbraided this city because they would not repent.  He teaches again on the Sabbath days, and the people were astonished at His doctrine.   This was God himself in the flesh, and no man could teach like Jesus. 

John 7:44  And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

John 7:45  Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

John 7:46  The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 

Luke 4:33  And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

Luke 4:34  Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

Luke 4:35  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 

There are several important things about this spirit of an unclean devil.

1.  He did not want to be bothered by Jesus.

2.  He knew where Jesus was from (Nazareth)

3.  He implies that he knows Jesus could destroy him.

4.  He knew something many never come to realize.  Jesus… the Holy One of God. 

5.  He was obedient to Christ. 

Luke 4:36  And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 4:37  And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. 

It says that when Jesus commanded this devil out, the people were amazed.  They knew this was no ordinary man, not even a typical prophet.  This man had power from God.


V.  Jesus Heals the Mother of Peter’s Wife

 Luke 4:38  And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.

Luke 4:39  And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

 Jesus had healing powers that no one had ever possessed before.  He comes to Peter’s house and heals his mother in law.    Oh that we could do things like this… rebuke the fever and make it leave a person.   But we don’t have the power to do this in our day.   We know right after Christ left this world, He did give the apostles some special powers.  But those days did not last after the apostolic times.

Luke 4:40  Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

Luke 4:41  And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

Luke 4:42  And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.

Luke 4:43  And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

Luke 4:44  And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.


We see many others were brought to Jesus, and one by one he laid hands on them and healed them.   The devils knew who he was, and cried out “Thou art Christ the Son of God.”  All these were healed immediately.   And the people wanted him to stay, but he told them that he must go on and preach the kingdom of God to other cities also… this was his purpose.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

[ii]Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.