Luke 4: Jesus starts His teaching

15 Dec

After Jesus was baptized He went into the desert with the Holy Spirit. This is where the devil tried to tempt Him with lies and half truths. But Jesus saw through his tricks and the devil left Him, verse 13 says “until an opportune time.”

After this Jesus taught in synagogues throughout Galilee before returning to His home town of Nazareth where He read out the following scripture from Isaiah:
“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 rescue the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (verses 18 and 19)

When He sat down He said to the people: “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”(verse 21). The people were impressed but at the same time they muttered that this was Joseph’s son. Jesus challenged them for following in the footsteps of their forefathers by being unbelieving and this angered them. They tried to stone Him outside the town, but He simply walked through the crowd and away. This encounter shows Jesus challenging people’s expectations again, knowing that this would make them angry.

Jesus then went to a synagogue in Capernaum and taught before healing a man of possession by an evil spirit. The spirit calls Him the “Holy One of God” but Jesus told it to be quiet. This was the beginning of Him healing many people as He traveled and preached in the synagogues of Judea.

Luke described the unfolding of Jesus’ ministry gradually. The first miracle he noted was that of freeing a man from an evil spirit and then the healing of Simon’s mother is the start of further miracles.

The final paragraph in this chapter contains three key items:

  1. Jesus seeking a quiet place
  2. People looking for Him and then trying to stop Him moving to another town
  3. Jesus saying that He was sent to preach the good news all over the region and leaving.

This is the first of many times when Jesus is thwarted in finding solitude in the gospels’ stories. How often do we seek solitude and the refreshing touch of the God rather than being distracted by people and things? And how often do we seek to drag Jesus in one direction or another because of our wants, when He is clear about both His and our direction?

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