-Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, went back toward the north and west through the wilderness from the Jordan Valley. For 40 days He fasted and was tempted by the devil in every way (Luke 4:13).
-Three of the temptations are listed. Satan first tempts Him at the point of greatest weakness, which he will always do, being His hunger. Jesus, as with each temptation, answers the devil’s temptation with the Word of God. The second temptation revolved around world domination and granting Him king of worldly kingdoms, which had been given to the devil. Satan wanted to be worshiped, and Jesus rightly combated that lure with Scripture proclaiming that only the LORD God was to be worshiped. The third temptation involved putting the LORD God to the test. The devil actually uses Scripture this time in an attempt to trip the Son of God up, but once again he fails. After the devil completes his temptations he leaves for a more opportune time. Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit was able to say no to each and every enticement that the devil threw at Him. *Application* Don’t reason with the devil when he attacks you in order to pull you away with his temptations. Rely on the Word of God and stand firm in its authority. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
-Jesus now returns to the region of Galilee in the power of the Spirit and word was quickly getting out about Him in the area. He began teaching in their synagogues and was being praised by all. *Application* Jesus Christ’s custom was to be in the synagogue. The Jewish faith in many ways had been corrupted by the teachings and traditions of man, which we will see later, but Jesus was a faithful attendee in the House of God. How much more should we be attending a local body of believers in the church (Hebrews 10:25)?
-As Christ Jesus came to His hometown of Nazareth, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and was handed the scroll of Isaiah. He read from it Isaiah 61:1-2. To summarize, the Spirit of the LORD was upon Him by anointing to preach the gospel to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind (literally and spiritually), free those who are oppressed, and proclaim the favorable year of the LORD. This Jesus said was fulfilled in those peoples hearing (Luke 4:21). These gracious words were well spoken of by all and they were wondering, “Is this not Joseph’s son (Luke 4:22)?” Matthew gives us further insight into this as Jesus could not do many miracles here in Nazareth because of the lack of belief (Matthew 13:57-58). The crowd got so filled with rage over Jesus’ comments concerning them not welcoming Him as the Prophet in His hometown that they intended to throw Him off a cliff that the town had been built on. However, Jesus somehow passed through their midst at this point and went on His way.
-Jesus now returned to Capernaum and was again teaching on the Sabbath. He taught with authority and power, which was amazing to the people and He cast out demons and healed the sick. The incident of healing Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is notated here as well as other notable miracles. The demons knew He was the Christ, but Jesus would not let them speak. Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom in this first incarnation. Thus is His reasoning for not allowing the proclamation of His favored status in these instances.
-Jesus goes out to a secluded place and the crowds were coming to Him to keep Him in their locale. His statement to them was that He must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for that was His purpose for which He was sent. He kept on preaching and teaching in the synagogues of Judea (all the country of the Jews including Galilee). *Application* The teaching of the LORD will come and go. It is up to us to gravitate to it when it is presented. If we balk at the opportunities afforded to us in the spiritual realm, we may very well miss our chance. We also see here the importance of spreading the gospel out to further reaches. Evangelize as Jesus did!
Verse to Memorize: Luke 4:18-19