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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 4



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 4

Day 4

Luke chapter 4

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

* Satan (who tempts Jesus 3x) - 3 is an ever present and very important number throughout the Bible

* more unnamed people throughout Galilee

* mentions of the prophets Elijah and Elisha

* mention of two foreigners (not from Israel) a woman from Zeraphath in Sidon and a man from Syria named Namaan

* a man in Capernaum possessed by a demon

* Simon Peter and his mother-in-law


TEMPTATION

In the last chapter Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. Now he is moving on and went into the wilderness for 40 days without food. He was very hungry. It would be very easy to tempt a person who was in that state. That’s almost a month and a half with nothing to eat. A few years ago Vincent had his wisdom teeth out the day before Thanksgiving and couldn’t eat for a few days. The first day was ok. By day 3? He was miserable. A few years ago he and I went on a “fast” for 14 days. The first few days were really hard. It got easier as time went on but nearing the end we knew it was time to eat. Imagine Jesus during 40 days of fasting. Not easy.


Satan enters the scene (also called the devil) and tempts Jesus 3 times. Here are the temptations and Jesus’ response: (D=devil, J=Jesus)


Temptation 1 -

D: “Son of God, take this stone and turn it into a loaf of bread.” When you’re hungry for something - all it takes is for someone to offer you even crumbs of that something - money, fame, power, lust, food, etc. How easy it would have been for Jesus to take the short term tempting gift and lose sight of the long term purpose.

J: “Man cannot live on bread alone” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Temptation 2 -

D: “I’ll show you all the kingdoms of the world and let you have authority over them if you’ll worship me.” If Jesus had come seeking personal power this would sound great. How many government leaders do we know that seek personal power and grasp for it at all costs. Power and greed are things people who don’t understand leadership seek. Leadership is about influence and service.

J: “worship God and only Him with absolute single-heartedness” (Deuteronomy 6:13)

Temptation 3:

D: “stand on top of this temple and jump off.<During this temptation the devil even quoted the Bible from Psalm 91:11-12> if you’re really God’s son he will save you. He will order His angels to guard and protect you and hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”

J: “you must not test God by doing foolish things.”

Why test when we know something is wrong. Why do kids want to touch a hot stove or run into the street when a parent says no? Perhaps it’s all innate as it started in the garden when the serpent tempted Eve to just bite the juicy apple. Or the evil witch who tempted Snow White. Evil is often disguised as something beautiful and shiny. It’s easy to fall into temptation.


Satan got tired of this game so he left Jesus to scheme up another opportunity for a different time.


GOING HOME

Jesus went into Galilee after that experience and continued preaching, now completely filled with the Holy Spirit. Stories had been spreading all over the towns. Whenever Jesus would speak, the news spread rapidly. During his preaching and travels he got to his hometown. Many versions say this was his boyhood home and it is unclear how long it had been since Jesus had been there. There is very little account of his life between 12 and 30.


On this particular sabbath - He stood up to read and was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah (Old Testament prophet I mentioned on previous days).


This is the section Jesus read:

“The spirit of the Lord is on Me. He has anointed and chosen Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim prisoners would be released, blind will see, and those who have been treated badly and held captive will be set free. The time of the Lord’s favor and kindness has come.” (Isaiah 58:6, 61:1-2)

Jesus rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the attendant. Imagine the crowd. It was like a cliffhanger waiting to be resolved. Would He say anything else? Everyone waited for Him to say something next. And He did. He said

“the scriptures you just heard are coming true this very day”.

People weren’t sure what to think. They all admired His teaching and were caught up by His presence. Some though questioned “how can this be? Isn’t he just the son of Joseph?” Some people even got angry thinking how pompous or sinful for this “man” to say these words were coming true this very day - meaning HE WAS the sent son.


These were well-versed people and Jesus said to them, “you’ll probably quote a scripture that says physician heal yourself” (they actually would say this later when he hung on the cross). Jesus knew they knew about the miracles He performed in Capernaum and they wanted him to do some there. He told them

“I tell you the truth. No prophet is welcome in his own town.”

You can’t beg people to like you.

  • Have you ever worked somewhere or been friends with a group or on a team and just feel like you don’t belong?

  • Have you ever felt like no matter what good you do that there are people who want to see you stumble?

  • Have you ever read something or knew something to be true and no matter how you tried to share it or explain it to others they just rejected the truth?


Jesus knew that these people who thought they knew him best - actually knew him the least.


He went on to share how during Elijahs time, there was no rain for over 3 years and a terrible famine with no food anywhere. Many women became widows and he didn’t help any of them. He did help a woman from outside Israel in Sidon. The Bible said “he was sent to her” so he didn’t even choose to help her on his own free will. He was sent.


He went on to also share how during Elishas time there were many people suffering from Leprosy. He didn’t help any of them except Namaan, a man from outside Israel from Syria.


When the people heard this they became really furious and mobbed him. Their egos took over and they forced him to the edge of town with the intent of throwing him over a cliff to his doom. SOMEHOW Jesus slipped through the crowd.


Imagine the scene.


He was the one key person they wanted dead and he somehow slipped away. This isn’t the only time he did that. THIS is how God can do anything. We only have small minds but this shows that our capacity is only a fraction of what God can really do.


HEALING CONTINUES

Jesus headed back to Capernaum and taught there for what must have been at least several weeks. People loved hearing him speak.


One sabbath a man demon-possessed, approached him. The evil spirit shouted out of the man to Jesus “go away! Why are you interfering with us Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are Son of Almighty God.”


Jesus commanded the spirits to shut up and come out of the man. The spirits threw the man to the ground, and left him, hurting him no more. We don’t often think about something like this because we live by sight. Not always by faith.


  • What IF you could see the billions of microscopic germs on our bodies or food.

  • What IF you could see spirits and entities unseen by our own human eyes.


These demons left the man. But where did they go? We don’t know. But we do know that the shell of this man was protected from them from then on.


People were amazed. How could someone have so much authority that even spirits would obey him and flee on his command.


News about Jesus continued to spread to every village.


Next, Simon Peter (a close friend and disciple of Jesus) took him to his home because his mother in law was very sick with a fever. Everyone begged Jesus to heal her. He not only did that but the Bible makes special mention to say she even got up and cooked for all of them. (That is something my Italian mommy would do).


That evening people brought all kinds of sick and possessed people to Jesus and He healed every single one of them no matter what their illness was.


This is important.

Jesus CAN heal no matter what illness or sickness someone has. He can heal and He does not get sick.


This makes me think of the favor of God over our doctors and nurses who day in and out are faced with being the hands of God to heal people. Lord please continue to protect them.


For those who were possessed - the demons started shouting “you are the Son of God”. Jesus didn’t want them speaking any more since they did know he was the messiah, it wasn’t for the demons to tell people - Jesus wanted to show people - so He commanded them to be quiet.


People still didn’t comprehend all of this.

Can you comprehend this even reading it? These people were physically seeing this and still not totally believing it.


The next morning Jesus must have been exhausted and He went somewhere secluded to be alone. The villagers looked for Him everywhere and when they found Him they asked him to please stay longer.

He told them no. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God in other towns too because that is why I was sent here.” (Indicating He came from Heaven, not just as the son of Mary and Joseph).

The last verse says that He continued traveling and teaching throughout Judea.


Tomorrow - chapter 5


PRAYER

Lord - thank You for Your word, Thank you that you lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. Please don't just deliver us - keep evil far from us. Thank you Lord for healing. Lord you know my heart. This week is very important for my friend Wendy. Please, Master Physician - do what only You can do. And also please have Your hands on her doctors. Lord thank you also for healing Olivia from her surgery this past week and for healing my injury from the hospital as well. Lord may we not just have to see to believe. May we honor and glorify you forever and ever. Amen



MUSIC - the universal language

Here’s a song to welcome us to this day:

Imagine being in the synagogue that day. Some people acknowledged they were in the house of the Lord. In the presence of God. Some didn’t. Some became very angry. Today’s chapter talked about Jesus being tempted - Satan wanted him to be away from God and closer to him. Then Jesus healed people - not in a church - but where they were and where they needed him. It’s like real life. Jesus will meet you where you are. He entered a building known as “the house of the Lord” - but Jesus promised to be within us. We become the vessel that houses the Lord. And one day he will come back for us to bring us to Heaven to live with him forever. This is a top song on the radio right now from this ATL-ien https://youtu.be/DcZ4Sg6MJ2M


EXTRAS:

Here’s a short link of what this chapter is about from my first ever favorite movie about Jesus - Jesus of Nazareth https://youtu.be/lohC420duVk


And another from The Chosen. If you're not watching this free TV show, you're missing one of the very best produced shows out. https://youtu.be/dyHp0TovnUQ?si=F9aXa9B2imOUt6BM

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