Puneet Varma (Editor)

Luke 4

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Gospel of Luke

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New Testament


Luke 4

Luke 4 is the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It details Jesus' three temptations, his rejection at Nazareth, and the start of his mission.


Jesus' Three Temptations

Jesus, as in Matthew 4 and Mark 1, travels into the desert and fasts for forty days. He is confronted by Satan, who tempts him with three things.

The first is that Satan commands him to turn stones into bread. Jesus replies "Man does not live on bread alone." (4), quoting Moses from Deuteronomy 8:3.

Secondly, Satan shows him "... all the kingdoms of the world." (5) and tells Jesus he can have them all if he falls down and worships him. Jesus replies with a further quote from Deuteronomy 6:13, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" (8)

Satan then takes Jesus to the top of the Temple of Jerusalem and quotes Psalm 91:11-12 as a criterion for a test of favor with God, to which Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, "...Do not put the Lord your God to the test." (12).

This narrative is also found in Matthew 4:1-11, but in Matthew the order of the second and third temptations is reversed. This was most probably in Q if that hypothesis is correct; perhaps their copies of Q were in a different order? This difference in orders presents a challenge for redactional criticism. It is unclear whether in Q, if it existed, the order was originally the same as Luke's and Matthew changed it to have it end on a mountain, a common motif of Matthew, such as Matthew 5:1 and Matthew 28:16, or Luke changed it to have the temptations end in Jerusalem. Luke ends the book in Jerusalem in Luke 24. Most scholars believe Matthew's order was the order Q used. (Brown 236)

Luke then says that Satan left Jesus "...until an opportune time." (13). Satan appears later in Luke 22, entering Judas to make him betray Jesus and Brown (237) argues at Luke 22:53 when Jesus says to those arresting him "But this is your hour — when darkness reigns".

Rejection at Nazareth

Jesus, says Luke, went teaching in many synagogues, and on the Shabbat he goes to his hometown of Nazareth, gets up and reads a quote from Isaiah 61:1-2, referring to himself as the fulfillment of this. The people are amazed at this, but Jesus goes on the rebuke them, saying "I tell you the truth ... no prophet is accepted in his hometown." (24) He tells them how in the time of Elijah only a woman from Sidon (the widow of Zarephath) was saved, and during the time of Elisha a Syrian (Naaman) was healed. Outraged, the people attack him and chase him to the top of a hill and try to throw him off, but Jesus slips away. There are many hills in and around Nazareth, indicating Luke is not unfamiliar with the area. This is perhaps also depicted, though not word for word, in Mark 6:1-6 and Matthew 13:53-58.

Teaching and Healing

Jesus goes to Capernaum and exorcises a possessed man, the first of Luke's 21 miracles. He goes to Simon's house and heals his sick mother-in-law. Mark 1 has this occur after Jesus called his disciples, while Luke puts that event into chapter 5.

He heals more and more people, then retreats to the wilderness for solitary prayer. They come and find him there but he tells them to meet him in the surrounding towns, and the travels and preaches. This section, Luke 4:31-44, is almost exactly the same as Mark 1:21-29 and can also be partially found in Matthew 8:14-16.


Luke 4 Wikipedia

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