Read Luke 4
Note, the devil attacks when and where we're weakest. Read how Jesus overcame His temptation (Luke 4:1-13). Jesus says He is the "Messiah" of Isaiah 61:1-3, but the religious leaders reject Him. Why (Luke 4:18-30)? Miracles happen when Jesus is in the boat (5:1-11).
The ministry that has changed the world began in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. This first reported discourse of Christ was in the synagogue where, from His childhood, Mary and Joseph had faithfully brought Him each Sabbath. The Scripture was fulfilled in their ears that day as Jesus read Isaiah 61:1-2, that great prophetic passage concerning the Messiah.
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, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus knew His purpose on earth was to do His Father's will as revealed in the Scripture that He read.
In that synagogue were those who had seen Him as a child, played with Him in the streets, and known Him as the carpenter. There He stood, a humble Galilean peasant, and alone He confronted a world full of blindness, asserting that He had the power and authority to heal all their suffering and sorrows. But He further explained how the compassion of God extended beyond their borders and unto all the world. He told how the Gentiles, after hearing His claim of Isaiah 62:1-2, could also receive the healing, sight, and liberty which He proclaimed (4:25-27).
The people's dreams of Jesus being a political Messiah were extinguished, and they became infuriated. In the whirlwind of their fury, they rose up, interrupting the synagogue service, and dragged Him to a cliff high enough to kill anyone who was thrown over it. But He passing through the midst of them went His way (4:29-30).
How tragic that the same people who first listened to Jesus and marveled at His gracious words were ready to kill Him when His Word exposed their prejudices.
The cynical unbelief displayed in Nazareth contrasted sharply with the simple faith of the widow at Zarephath and the obedience of Naaman the leper (4:25-27), both Gentiles. God answers prayer for anyone who believes in Him.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).
Thought for Today:
He answered and said, Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see (John 9:25).
For Luke 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Luke 4:8: See Deut. 6:13-14. Luke 4:10-11: See Ps. 91:11-12. Luke 4:12: See Deut. 6:16. Luke 4:18-19: See Is. 61:1-2. Luke 5:14: See Lev. 14:1-32.
4:29 brow of the hill edge of a cliff; 5:9 draught catch; 5:27 a publican a tax collector for Rome; 5:36 rent bear.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Haley Barbour (MS) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC) • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness and faithfulness (Ps. 138:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: