Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke’s gospel chapter four. Now the last event in the life of Christ that Luke records in the third chapter is His baptism by John in the Jordan river. And that’s in verses twenty-one and twenty-two. And Luke tells us that as He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended and lighted upon Him in the form of a dove. So Jesus’ baptism by John and the coming upon of the Holy Spirit. Now at that point, Luke makes a little digression and he gives to us the genealogy of Mary. But as he begins to take up the story again from the baptism of Jesus, as he takes up the story again, it begins here in chapter four.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit (4:1)
The Holy Spirit descended, came upon Him. And now Luke describes Him as being full of the Holy Spirit. This is a term that is used in the book of Acts concerning the disciples. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And there are different occasions in Acts where we are told they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And then Paul in writing to the Ephesians told them “not to be drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). So here is Jesus who is our example that we should follow in His steps and if He was filled with the Holy Spirit, then you know that it is God’s will and God’s purpose that your life be filled with the Holy Spirit.
I think one of the greatest needs in the church today is a renewing in the Holy Spirit. We had a couple that went with us on this cruise and they were so excited. They said we’ve never been with a group like this before. They’d been going to church for a long time and they said, you can’t describe, it’s just so wonderful and they just couldn’t contain their excitement with being with the group. And we said, What do you think it is? They said it’s got to be the Holy Spirit. And they’re in one of those churches that deny the power of the Spirit, doing it on man’s efforts, it’s a lot of perspiration, not much inspiration. That’s a hard environment to work in. What a desperate need there is for the filling of the Holy Spirit. “And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit,”
returned from Jordan, and then He was led by the Spirit (4:1)
Again our example. It is God’s desire and will that we be led by the Spirit. We are told that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). That our lives be controlled, filled, led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus our example in these things. “Led by the Holy Spirit,”
into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered (4:1,2).
Moses we read fasted for forty days as did Elijah. And now Jesus spending forty days without food, fasting for forty days. Afterwards, it says, He hungered. I have been told, I cannot confirm it by personal experience, that once you have gone into a fasting; of course, you have to have water, the body moisture, you’ve got to take water but they say that after five days, you lose your appetite. The best I’ve ever been able to do is three days and the appetite became voracious. I mean, I was dreaming of food. But they say after five days, you’ll lose your appetite and when the appetite returns, when you get hungry again it is an indication that you are now entered into that phase of starving to death. And so they say it’s very important that once the hunger returns that you break the fast and begin to eat; or else you will starve to death. And so afterwards, He was hungry. That starvation process had begun.
And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God (4:3),
Not really questioning, “If” in a subjunctive case, since You are the Son of God, not indicative “If” question mark. But “since You are the Son of God.” Further down in the chapter as Jesus is in the synagogue in Capernaum, the man with a demon spirit cries out, “We know who You are, the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34). And in the end of the chapter we find that Jesus was casting the evil spirits out of many people and would not allow them to speak because they knew that He was the Messiah. So Satan is not really questioning. It’s more of a declaration, “Since You are the Son of God,”
command this stone that it be made bread (4:3).
In other words, let the Spirit serve the flesh. Let the fleshly needs reign and rule in your life over the spiritual. Let it become subservient to the physical. This is a problem that we all have to deal with. There is a warfare that goes on in our lives. “The flesh against the Spirit, the Spirit against the flesh: these two are contrary” (Galatians 5:17). They are vying for dominance, for control over your life. All of our lives are either being ruled and governed by the flesh or governed by the Spirit. And if your life is governed by the flesh, if the fleshly body needs rule in your life, if they have precedence, then according to Jesus, you are living like the heathen who all they think about is what we’re going to eat, what we’re going to drink, what we’re going to wear. “After all of these things do the heathen seek” (Luke 12:30).
But Jesus taught us the superiority of the Spirit over the flesh. You “seek first the kingdom of God, His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). God will take care of the physical things. Let the Spirit be uppermost and the other will be taken care of. It is God’s order that the Spirit rules. If your flesh is ruling, then your mind is constantly occupied with the fleshly desires. And the things that you are thinking about are things that relate and pertain to your flesh. Food and drink and pleasure and so forth and these are the things that dominate your consciousness, your mind. And the Bible tells us that “the mind of the flesh, the carnal mind, is enmity against God: is not subject to the laws of God and neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). It’s at odds with God. And thus the mind of the flesh is death. But the mind of the Spirit, when the Spirit is uppermost, and you are ruled by the Spirit, then the mind of the Spirit, your mind now is on the things of the Spirit, your mind is upon God and your relationship with God and your fellowship with God. And “the mind of the Spirit is life and it is joy and it is peace” (Romans 8:6).
Being on a cruise ship gives you some remarkable contrast, specially when you’re with a Christian group. The things that people’s minds are on. And you get a good view of people whose minds are dominated by flesh and by the things of the flesh. The things that entertain them, the things that they enjoy, the things that they desire. And to some of the people, the greatest experience was Senor Frogs and Mazatlan. And coming back to the ship drunk as skunks. Oh what a glorious time. And they were acting like fools, dancing on the trams and beating on the tubs, wonderful. What a contrast.
A couple of evenings we went out on to the deck in the front part of the ship where it is dark and looked up into the skies and saw the constellation Orion and the Shepherd and the Pleiades, the Cassiopeia and the various constellations. And it was so beautiful, it was so peaceful, it was so glorious. We just were there in awe of God, your mind on God, the Creator and God speaking to you because the heavens declare the glory of God. Night unto night they utter their speech. And just communing with God and thinking of the Creator.
In the other part of the ship there were all kinds of shows and gambling and the bars and the whole thing, but to be there in that part of the ship. So what a contrast between the flesh and the Spirit. And each of us are controlled either by the flesh or by the Spirit and the result is we have the mind of the flesh which is always on fleshly things which is death; or the mind of the Spirit which is just life and peace and joy. Jesus our example, now being tempted by Satan, to let the fleshly desires rule over the Spirit. Let the Spirit be subservient to the flesh. Use the spiritual powers to minister to your fleshly needs. Command the stone.
Now I’m certain that Jesus could have changed those stones into bread. I’m certain that He had that capacity and power. So use your Spirit power to minister to your flesh. And of course,
Jesus said, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (4:4).
Quoting out of Deuteronomy. “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Deuteronomy 8:3). It isn’t the physical life that is paramount but every word of God, that’s what’s important. That’s the kind of a. You remember when they had come to Samaria on their way north to the Galilee and they had come to the city of Shechem. “And Jesus waited at the well of Jacob. He said that He was weary and the disciples went into the city to buy food and of course, the Samaritan woman came and Jesus had His conversation with her concerning the water that He could give to her and she would never thirst again. And like a well of living water springing up within her, and that whole introducing her to the life of the Spirit. And how that when the disciples came back and they have brought food, and they said, Here, eat. Jesus just smiled and said, I have bread that you know not of” (John 4:6,13,14,32). For doing the will of God, so satisfying, so completely satisfying.
The devil then, took him up into a high mountain, and showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time (4:5).
Because you’re dealing with supernatural beings, Satan and Jesus, this was very possible. He could “show to Him all of the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” And of course, in that world, there were the powers of Egypt, the powers of Rome, and the major cities of the Middle East, he showed to Him all of them,
And the devil said unto Jesus, All this power will I give to you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it (4:6).
Satan is bragging that he is in control of this world system. Bragging to Jesus that it belongs to me, and I can give it to whomever I will.
It is interesting to note that in the book of Revelation, in chapter thirteen, when the antichrist comes on the scene, the beast, that Satan gives to him his throne and his power. The antichrist is given the power of Satan over the world. Satan says I can give it to whomever I please. And in the book of Revelation he will be giving it to the antichrist which means that Satan is still in control.
Jesus came to redeem the world back to God, to pay the price of redemption. Satan is saying this was delivered to me. And who delivered it to him? Adam delivered it to him. God had given to Adam dominion over the earth. God said I have given it to thee. But Adam delivered it over to Satan in his submitting to the temptation, to the will of Satan. Whomsoever you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you become” (Romans 6:16). And so in obeying Satan’s suggestion, he was disobeying God and that world which God had given to man to enjoy, to take care of, was delivered to Satan. And now Satan is saying to Jesus, Look, it’s mine, it’s been delivered to me and I can give it to whomever I will. I have that capacity. And Jesus did not challenge these statements of Satan. He accepted that.
In fact, in John 14, He calls Satan the prince of this world. In the book of Daniel you have a little insight of the power of Satan in the kingdoms of the world. The prince of Persia hindered the angel who was dispatched to Daniel with a message from God until Michael came and delivered him. In Ezekiel as he addresses the king of Tyre, it goes on into the power behind the throne and it is an address unto Satan, the anointed cherub and so forth, so that there is a relationship between the governing powers of the world and the prince of darkness, Satan.
Satan is declaring here that I am in control of these powers that govern the earth. It’s a well-known fact that Hitler had as his counsellors, his guides, men who were involved in the occult, the powers of darkness. And he was guided and directed by them. No matter what you may have thought of President Reagan, and I personally admired him, but I was dismayed to realize that he was following the counsel of an astrologer. And of course, Jeanne Dixon brags on the fact of how many of the presidents call her for advice. I think of how when Pat Robertson was making a bid for the presidency, how the press put down the fact, how horrible it would be to have a man in the White House when we were faced with some national emergency, a man who would be trusting in prayer. Oh my! How horrible. And yet they don’t seem to make much to do over the fact that Roosevelt and others called Jeanne Dixon. She’s a psychic, you know. Or that Reagan would consult the astrologer. But Satan says, Hey it’s mine. I give it to whomever I will.
In this temptation, what Satan is actually suggesting to Jesus is that the purposes of God can be accomplished apart from the ways and the plan of God. Now it was God’s plan to reveal His love for man by the redemption. And the redemption involved the cross and His Son coming and taking our sin and dying on the cross for us and thus redeeming man to God. “We are redeemed not with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from our vain manner of living; But with the precious blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:18,19). And that was God’s purpose, the cross is a part of the purpose of God.
As Peter talked to them about the cross in his sermon in Acts 2, he said, “And you, according to the determinate counsel of God, with your wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). That was the determined counsel of God. The plan of God. Now Satan is saying, Look, you don’t have to take God’s way. You can have immediate fulfillment through compromise.
Bow down and worship me and I’ll give it to you (4:7).
That way you don’t have to go to the cross. You don’t have to take God’s way. And how Satan comes to us. Jesus, it says, “was in all points tempted like as we are,” that He might be the great High Priest able to help us in our temptation (Hebrews 4:15). And that temptation to try to shortcut and to find fulfillment apart from the cross. Jesus said “if you seek to save your life you’ll lose it: but if you’ll lose your life for my sake you’ll find it” (Matthew 16:25). It is necessary for us to come to that cross in our own lives where we reckon our old life governed by the flesh to be dead that we might now live a new life after the Spirit. And you can’t have real fulfillment apart from the cross.
But Satan is offering all of these substitutes. He’s saying, Look you can have immediate fulfillment now. It’s in this little relationship over here. Or it’s in the bottle over here. Or it’s in this or it’s in that. And people are deceived by Satan and are being succumbed to the temptation of trying to find immediate gratification and fulfillment without the cross. Without denying self. And people are being destroyed.
But Jesus answered Satan and He said, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (4:8).
Again quoting from Deuteronomy, this time chapter six. Notice Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” We find Him saying that one other time and that is when He had revealed to His disciples after they had recognized “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” and Jesus began to share with them how He was going to be turned over to the Gentiles, He was going to be crucified and slain. And Peter said, “Be that far from thee, Lord” (Matthew 16:22). Peter saying no cross, spare Yourself. And Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). The suggestion that we try to evade the cross is a satanic suggestion. Satan is saying to Jesus no cross, not necessary for fulfillment.
Now notice, Satan said just bow down and worship me, but Jesus acknowledged that in worshipping, it involved serving. You cannot really worship without serving. And so Jesus in His answer said, “Thou shall worship the Lord thy God,” and He finished it, “and him only shall thou serve.” Worship involves serving.
And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If you are the Son of God, [again, since you are the Son of God] cast yourself down from here: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (4:9-11).
So Jesus has been saying, It is written, and He’s been quoting the scripture. And so Satan comes back to him now with scripture but scripture out of context. Out of the context of the whole message. Satan is a master of quoting scripture out of context.
There is a passage of scripture where God promises to give His angels charge over us to keep us in all of our ways, to bear us up lest at any time we dash our foot against a stone. God’s promise of protection for His people. And yet Satan is saying, Do something that is spectacular, draw attention with the sensational.
Imagine what people will think when you jump off of here some 450 feet to the bottom there and you’re not hurt. Think of the attention, it’ll give you immediate attention. A crowd will gather. Your fame will spread. Able to leap a tall building with a single bound.
And Jesus answering [again in the scripture, once more from Deuteronomy chapter six] said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (4:12).
And that is, You’re not to put yourself in deliberate jeopardy to prove the scriptures. You’re not to test God. It isn’t something that you go out and test things. And the ministry is not to draw people by spectacularism. And that is a temptation that many people succumb to today. They try to attract to the ministry through sensationalism, through spectacularism. And Jesus rejected that temptation.
And when the devil had ended all of the temptation, he departed from him [notice] for a season (4:13).
He’ll come back but he’s gone for the present. So then,
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit (4:14)
We have just seen the power of the Spirit manifested and one thing I should point out, in each of the temptations Jesus answered with quotations out of the book of Deuteronomy. It seems that that was one of His favorite Old Testament books. And David said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, O Lord, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). The greatest power that we have in the time of temptation is the word of God. David said, “Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel with the ungodly, nor stand in the way with sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 1:1,2). He’s referring to the Pentateuch, the first five books. Deuteronomy, Jesus evidently delighted in the law of the Lord and in this law He meditates day and night.
And Jesus used the word to respond to and answer the temptation. I think that much of the weakness of the Christian church today is because of the lack of the word of God in the hearts of the people. There are a lot of people that are going for sensationalism. But there isn’t real depth and they are not equipped to handle the temptations of Satan. They may boast of all kinds of exciting experiences. I see fingers up and down their spines but they lack real depth and power against temptation because they don’t have the strong foundation in the word.
So Jesus now returned in the power of the Spirit. Filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, now empowered by the Spirit. And again as our example. We should be filled, we should be led and we should be empowered. Jesus said, “You will receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
and the fame went out through all the region round about (4:14).
Josephus tells us that at this time, there were 204 cities in the Galilee region with a population of 20,000 or more, which means that there were close to three million people living in the Galilee region where Jesus was ministering at this time. Coming to the area of the Galilee. And His fame went throughout all the region,
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all (4:15).
Jesus was going around to the synagogues. In every city where there were ten Jewish families, they had a synagogue. Ten Jewish families or more, they would build a synagogue. And so Jesus would go to the synagogues in order to teach.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up (4:16):
He came back to His hometown.
and, as his custom was (4:16),
Notice that. As Jesus grew up in Nazareth, He no doubt attended synagogue every Saturday as His custom was. It was just His custom to go to the synagogue on the sabbath day. And when the time came for the reading of the scriptures,
He stood up to read (4:16).
And so they handed Him the scroll of Isaiah. And when he had opened the scroll, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (4:17,18),
He was filled with the Spirit, He was led by the Spirit, He was empowered by the Spirit and so as He begins to read Isaiah, He reads, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.”
because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (4:18);
David and I were talking on the cruise concerning the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of the word. And how important it is to have the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of the word but how difficult it is to describe what it is. But I’ll tell you what, you sure know when it isn’t. To try to preach without the anointing of the Spirit is laborious. There have been times when I thought, I would be better off and the people would be better off if I would just close the book and go home and say, You’re all dismissed, go read your Bibles or do something spiritual. Because there’s no anointing and it’s just pushed, it’s hard, your mind isn’t in gear right and it just seems like you’re almost a mental spastic and it just isn’t happening. It jerks, doesn’t flow. But I tell you when it’s flowing it’s glorious. It just is wonderful when there is that anointing of the Spirit in the preaching of the word. And there is then power, there is dynamic, there’s life-changing force that is going forth.
I can’t imagine trying to minister without the empowering and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Can’t imagine trying to do it. I feel sorry for those men who deny the power of the Spirit and are doing it all in the ability, in the energy of the flesh. As I said earlier, the perspires. Men who are depending upon the perspiration. They even have handkerchiefs sometimes, wipe off the perspiration. And when you don’t have inspiration, it takes perspiration to really do it. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,”
he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, and 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. And he closed the book [or the scroll], and he gave it again to the minister, and He sat down. And the eyes of all of them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him (4:18-20).
When you read, “And He closed the scroll and sat down,” you think He’s through. No, when He sits down is the sign that He’s going to begin to teach. In those days, the teachers sat and the pupils stood. And it kept them from going to sleep in the class. And so His sitting down was an indication that He was going to begin to teach. And that’s why all of the eyes were fastened on Him.
As we read the prophecy in Isaiah, the same place where He was reading, chapter sixty-one, we find that He closed the scroll without reading the whole paragraph. It was as though He stopped in the middle of the paragraph. He stopped at the place of, “To declare the day of the vengeance of our God,” because in His first coming, He came to offer Himself to them as their Messiah, as the One who would heal, mend the brokenhearted, open the eyes of the blind. When He comes again, it will be to reign but it will also be in judgment first. And the judgment will precede His reign. That will be the day of vengeance of our God and the rest of the prophecy there in Isaiah. But here He stopped at what would be His ministry in His first coming.
Later on when John the Baptist was placed in prison and Jesus was not fulfilling John’s ideas concerning the Messiah and the common Jewish thought concerning the Messiah—Jesus was not overthrowing the Roman government, He wasn’t creating a revolution—and John sent his disciples to Jesus to ask the question, “Are you the One we are looking for, or shall we start looking for someone else?” More or less saying let’s get the show on the road. Let’s get the revolution going. Let’s get the kingdom set up. And Jesus did not directly answer the disciples of John but in that same hour, He healed many that came to Him. He opened the eyes of the blind and did a lot of miracles and He said, “Go back and just tell John what you’ve seen. The blind are seeing, the lame are walking, and to the poor the Gospel is being preached” (Matthew 11:3-5). In other words, He’s fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah the things that the Messiah would do. When the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him, anointing Him to preach the Gospel to the poor and the opening of the eyes of the blind and so forth. So Jesus closed the book, the eyes were all fastened on Him.
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (4:21).
That is a claim to the people in His hometown, I am the Messiah. This scripture today is being fulfilled. And it’s a very strong claim, right at the onset of the ministry of Jesus. The beginning of His ministry, the claim that He was the Messiah in declaring to them, “This day is this scripture being fulfilled in your ears.”
And all of them bare witness, and wondered at His gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is this not Joseph’s son (4:22)?
So the first response was that of wonderment and awe because we know Him. Isn’t this Joseph’s son? This wonderful thing, isn’t this Joseph’s son? But their awe and wonder soon changed because,
Jesus went on to say to them, You will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: for whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your country (4:23).
We read that the fame of Jesus was spreading all over. Throughout the region they heard about what Jesus was doing. When He returned to His hometown they said, Isn’t this Joseph’s son? We know Him here. But they had heard of what had happened in Capernaum. They had heard of the miracles that He was doing there.
And so Jesus said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth (4:24,25),
And now here is where He’s going to really upset them because the Jews were very nationalistic. They still are to the present time. They talk against anti-Semitism but there is just so much racial prejudice among the Jews for any other race. In fact, in the days of the Bible the Jews thought that the Gentiles were only created by God as fodder for hell. They thought that a Gentile cannot be saved. And today they still maintain that strong nationalistic kind of spirit.
Heard of a Jewish boy who recently called his mother and said, Mother I found the girl of my dreams. We’re engaged, we’re going to get married. And the mother said, What’s her name, son? It’s Ruby Jones. Jones? Protestant name, son, you can’t marry a protestant. You’re a Jew. You’ve got to break that off. So a few weeks later he called and says, Mama, I found the girl, I’m going to get married. And the mother said, Well what’s her name, son? He said, Well, Mom, it’s McCartney. Irish Catholic, son, you can’t marry a Catholic, you’re a Jew. So just a few days later he said, Mom I found her, this is it, we’re getting married right away. What’s her name, son? Goldberg. Oh fine, son, that’s fine. What’s her first name? Whoopi. But there is an anti-Gentile bias.
And so Jesus said, I tell you a truth.
There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; But unto none of them [that is, the many widows in Israel] was Elijah sent, but to Sarepta, a city of Sidon [a Gentile city], unto a woman that was a widow (4:25,26).
So Elijah was sent to this widow in Sidon, not to a Jewish widow though there were many in Israel during the time of Elijah’s days when there was that great drought.
And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (4:27,28),
He is suggesting that God favored the Gentiles over the Jews. The healing of Naaman, the provisions for a Gentile widow in the days of Elijah. And they were angered.
And they rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereupon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way (4:29,30),
There is outside of the city of Nazareth a very steep cliff. They call it the precipice, an extremely steep cliff and no doubt the place where they led Jesus to throw Him over this cliff. But He obviously and evidently just sort of disappeared, passed through them and thus escaped their wrath and their anger.
Jewish guides are interesting breed. A guide is supposed to know all the answers. And you ask them a question and they’ll give you an answer whether they know it or not because as a guide you’re supposed to know the answers. In the early years of my ministry I felt that I’m a minister, I should know all the answers. And I would try to answer people questions I didn’t know the answers to. It’s great after you get enough years of ministry behind you and enough experience that when people ask you the questions you don’t know the answers, you can just be honest and say I don’t know the answer to that. I’d rather, it’s a lot easier than trying to invent answers. But this one guide that we had when we were going to Nazareth, he wanted to show us the hill that they were going to push Jesus over the cliff and he couldn’t remember what it was called. They call it the hill there of, I forgot it but anyhow, he called it the hill of jumpification rather than the precipice. That’s the hill of the jumpification.
So He left Nazareth on a bad note.
And He came down to Capernaum (4:31),
Where He spent the most of the time of His ministry was in and around Capernaum. It was sort of His Galilee headquarters, so to speak.
a city of Galilee, and He taught them on the sabbath days (4:31).
Again, going into the synagogue on the sabbath days and teaching them.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power (4:32).
The teachers usually would say, Now Rabbi says this and it is said by others and they would never speak with authority. They would only be quoting what others had said. But Jesus said, I say unto you. He spoke with authority and that amazed them. No one taught like that. No one dared to speak with authority. But they were amazed at the teaching of Jesus because He taught with authority.
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and he cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God (4:33,34).
Satan recognized who Jesus was. This unclean devil in this man cried, I know who You are; You’re the Holy One of God. But notice he was crying, Let us alone. That is a cry of hell. Let us alone. How many people when you go to witness to them say, Let us alone. I don’t want to hear it, let us alone. I thought it was quite significant that Sunday when the gay community came down to demonstrate here at the church, their cry was, Let us alone. Hasn’t changed in 2,000 years. Satan is still crying, Let us alone.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What kind of word is this! for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out (4:35,36).
They had all kinds of exorcisms and all kinds of rituals for exorcisms. They would go through all of these incantations and these dances and beating drums and holding rings under their noses and they had all kinds of exorcism rituals. And He just commands them and they come out. What kind of word and power is this? He’s not going through a lot of ritualistic kind of things but He’s just speaking the word of power and there’s obedience.
And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about (4:37).
The news was spreading concerning Jesus.
And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her (4:38).
Here Luke is describing this in a couple of medical terms in the Greek language. This great fever is describing a special kind of a fever and he is using medical terms for it. And it was Peter’s mother-in-law and they were begging Jesus to help her.
And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them (4:39).
The power of Jesus in healing. The power of the Spirit upon Him. The anointing of the Spirit.
Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them (4:40).
After the sun was setting, multitudes brought the sick to Him and He had time for everyone. He laid His hand on all of them and healed them.
And the devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, You are the Messiah the Son of God. And he rebuking them would not allow them to speak: for they knew that he was the Messiah (4:41).
He didn’t want Satan advertising Him. You remember Paul when he was on his missionary journey how this woman began to follow Paul and cry out, “These are the servants of the most high God, who tell us the ways of God in truth” (Acts 16:17). And after several days this woman following, Paul turned and rebuked the devil and commanded it to come out and the devil came out. This gal had been used as a fortune teller and those who had control of her were angry because she had lost her divining powers when Paul delivered her from this demonic spirit. But he didn’t want the devil doing the advertising for him.
And so Jesus would not allow them. He did not want a premature attempt of the people to set Him up. They were ready to rebel against Rome. They were looking for the Messiah. They were looking for someone to deliver them from the powers of Rome. And He did not want a premature attempt of the people to rebel against the Roman authority. He came to redeem the world but not as they thought, to redeem it by giving His life.
He will come again to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. But this coming was to give Himself. And thus, He would not allow the demons to speak because they knew He was the Messiah.
And when it was day, he departed and went into a deserted area: and the people sought him, and they came unto him, and they stayed him, that he should not depart from them (4:42).
They were begging Jesus to come on back. Stay here.
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee (4:43,44).
And so the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus around the Galilee area. Filled with the Spirit, led by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, anointed by the Spirit, He began His ministry. Now let me suggest that if Jesus ministered through the power and the anointing of the Spirit, being the Son of God, dependent upon the Holy Spirit for the power and the anointing for the ministry, who in the world do we think that we are that we could successfully minister apart from the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit to have any kind of an effective ministry? We need the power of the Holy Spirit to stand against temptation and to be effective in our ministry. Let us wait upon God, let us seek the Lord, let us ask the Lord that we might receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our lives to make us more effective in our witness for Jesus Christ. For He said, “You will receive power, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you: and you will be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).
Father, thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit that You have made available for Your children, that we through the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit can proclaim the good tidings to the poor. Father we pray that we might see a greater moving of Your Spirit in our hearts and in our lives. That we might live after the Spirit and walk after the Spirit and be led by the Spirit and be anointed by the Spirit that we might be more effective in our ministry for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8048