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Luke Chapter Four


I. Content of the Chapter


The Beginning of the Preaching of the Son of Man the Savior

I. He overcame the temptations of the devil (v.1-13).

II. He preached in the synagogues in Galilee (v.14-15).

III. He proclaimed the gracious words in His hometown Nazareth but He was rejected (v.16-30).

IV. He cast out demons, healed all that were sick and preached all around (v.31-44).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Luke. 4:1 “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil.

   YLT: “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, turned back from the Jordan, and was brought in the Spirit to the wilderness, forty days being tempted by the Devil,”

   Meaning of Words: “being filled”: replete, covered over; “led”: bring, guide; “being tempted”: examine.

   Literal Meaning: the Holy Spirit first “filled” Jesus and then “led” Him into the wilderness.

  “Being tempted for forty days by the devil” The Lord Jesus was tempted by the devil by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and therefore we can say that God wanted to show the overcoming of Jesus initiatively through the temptations of the devil.

   Spiritual Meaning: in the Bible, the number “forty” represents suffering and tribulation. After the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt, they had been humbled and proved by Jehovah their God forty years in the wilderness, declaring that they were God’s elect and they would keep God’s commandments (Deut. 8:1-5). Therefore the Lord Jesus was baptized just as the children of Israel passed through the Red sea. His forty days in the wilderness was equivalent to the forty years of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The Lord took the initiative to be tempted by the devil just as the Israel was humbled and proved by God. All these purposely show that the Lord Jesus is the true Israelite and the beloved son of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Holy Spirit fills a man with the aim of manifesting the works of God in him and makes his words and deeds be controlled and guided by God henceforth.

2) The work of the Holy Spirit in men is “to forbid” and “not to allow” (See Acts. 16:6-7) on the negative side and “to lead” and “to drive” (See Mark. 1:12) on the positive side.

3) The Lord was tempted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and we can say that God tested Him. God always makes us face the temptations in order to prove our hearts towards God.

4) The guidance of the Spirit shows that Christ was not tempted passively. He took the initiative to consume all the power and works of the enemy first and then followed up the victory.

5) The Spirit took the initiative to lead Jesus to be tempted by the devil. It means that the Lord bound the strong first and then plundered the goods (Matt. 12:29) so as to save the world that originally lied in the devil.

6) The Lord was filled with the Holy Spirit first and then fought against the devil. Only when one is filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by the Holy Spirit can he win the spiritual battles. If we let the Holy Spirit have all the standing, we will have the power of overcoming.

7) When we achieve the spiritual peak, the valley of test is always waiting for us. Take heed that the present success could not assure the success all the time.

8) Satan always uses all of its power to tempt the one who is the nearest to God. The more one is filled with the Holy Spirit, the more he will be attacked by Satan.

9) The Lord prepares a table before us in the presence of the enemies and makes us be replete for the conflicts (See Ps. 23:5; Exod. 17). Therefore when we are satisfied and full in the Spirit, we should be ready to meet spiritual conflicts.

10) God permits temptations to come to us because we may benefit through temptations, just as the storm makes the oak take root more deeply and the raging fire makes glaze of the chinaware more durably.

11) You do not know how the Lord shield you and hold you with hands until Satan tries its best to tempt you to depart from the Lord. At that time you fell that the Lord leads you closely with His mighty hands.

12) Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk also by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

13) For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (Her. 2:17-18). His reaction towards temptations is the example for all believers that are tempted.

14) The Lord was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. In difficult and helpless conditions without any enjoyment, the devil comes to induce us to compromise with it for the immediate enjoyment. 


Luke. 4:2 “And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

   YLT: “and he did not eat anything in those days, and they having been ended, he afterward hungered,”

   The Background: Moses and Elijah did not eat bread nor drink water forty days and forty nights (Exod. 34:28; 1Kings. 19:8); they typified that the Lord Jesus was the servant and the prophet of God (Heb. 3:5, Matt. 16:14).

   Literal Meaning: “those days” are the forty days that were mentioned before (See v.1).

  “He ate nothing” It is the fasting that means to give up the reasonable and legal enjoyment of the flesh.

  “When they had ended, He was hungry.” It shows that the flesh is in need of food.

 This verse shows that Jesus was hungry “when they had ended” instead of during the fasting. From this we could see the meaning of fasting. Someone fasts because he is full of burden in his heart so that he neglects the need of his body. During this period, he stays in the spiritual state and his spirit concentrates on spiritual things, neglecting the need of food and drink, until the burden is unloaded. In the period of fasting, prayer often goes with the fasting (See 2:37, Acts. 14:23).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Fasting has connection with prayer. Prayer and fasting always enable us to overcome temptations of the devil (Matt. 17:21).

         2) Fasting is to afflict the soul (see Is. 58:3) and to overlook the needs of the flesh. Those who truly work with the Lord should often mind the things of the Lord and put down the needs of the flesh.

    3) No matter how spiritually great one is, he unavoidably has the needs of the flesh. What matters is how we react to the needs. Do we give priority to the will of God? Or to our needs?


Luke. 4:3 “And the devil said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’”

   YLT: “and the Devil said to him, ‘If Son thou art of God, speak to this stone that it may become bread.’”

   Meaning of Words: “If”: forasmuch as (showing the real situation instead of the hypothetical one).

   Literal Meaning: “If You are the Son of God.” The devil did not question the identity of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God. However it intended to tempt Him to stand in the position of Son of God instead of the Son of Man.

“Command that these stones to become bread.” It means to use God’s mighty power to satisfy the needs of the flesh. In this way, He would not experience the suffering as a man. The evil intention of the devil is to make Jesus only care about His needs instead of the will of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When the Lord was hungry, the tempter came. When we are in difficulty or in need, the temptations of the devil always come to induce us to turn away from God and solve the problems by ourselves.

         2) The kingdom of heaven brings men back to the reign of God and enables men to obey God. The authority of darkness makes men abandon God, only satisfy themselves and neglect to satisfy God.

3) The temptations of the devil induce Christians to use the adoption (the Son of God) and power that are from God to work for ourselves ------to hold gain to be piety (1Tim. 6:5).

4) “If…” The devil always makes us doubt spiritual things.

5) The devil always utilizes the conditions that we are in difficulty to tempt us to doubt God, our faith and the adoption and makes us hold that if not, how should we suffer so many afflictions?

6) The artifice of the devil is to tempt us to compromise with the world in order to change the difficult situations (“stones”) into satisfied and comfortable ones for the needs of the flesh (“bread”).

7) “Stones become bread” is to change the circumstances. The circumstances are very difficult because there are stones all around. Once the circumstances are changed, there will be enjoyment. If someone gives up serving the Lord and returns to the world to find a job, he will own worldly enjoyment. 

8) “Stones become bread.” The believers are “living stones” (1Pet. 2:5) to build God’s temple. However, if they seek the world, they will become earthly man and may be devoured by the devil (see Gen. 3:14. 1Pet. 5:8).

9) The devil often tempts us to draw all our attention to the material needs of the flesh so that we may neglect the spiritual needs. That’s the reason why many believers fail.


Luke. 4:4 “But Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It hath been written, that, not on bread only shall man live, but on every saying of God.’”

   Meaning of words: “word”: seasonable word, word in need (in the original rhema is different from logos which means objective words).

Literal Meaning: “It is written” the following words are quoted from the third verse of the eighth chapter in the book of Isaiah.

“Man shall not live by bread alone” The Lord did not say that “man shall not need bread” but “not live by bread alone”. He admitted the importance of bread for men’s existence.

  “But by every word of God.” Just like the children of Israel received manna as food in the wilderness by relying on the word (promise) of God, man shall live by every word of God.

   Spiritual Meaning: on one hand, the word of God means spiritual food (Jer. 15:16). Man shall not live by the concern of the needs of the flesh alone, but by the concern of the spiritual needs. On the other, the word of God means the will of God (2Tim. 3:16). Man shall not live for the needs of life alone, but for the will of God.    Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Satan wanted to tempt the Lord Jesus to work, standing in the position of Son of God (v.3). But the Lord coped with Satan, standing in the position of Son of Man all the time (“man shall live…”), and completely conquered it.

2) The Lord used God’s word (“it is written”) to withstand the devil. God’s word is the useful weapon in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:17). In order to conquer the enemy, we have to use God’s word. 

3) Darby said that the key to get strength in spiritual conflicts is to use the word of God correctly; by the power of the Holy Spirit a word of God could make the enemy be rendered speechless.

4) The words printed in the Holy Bible are to common people and objective (logos). Only when they become subjective and seasonable words (rhema) to us, they will work operatively in us.

5) Those who live by bread alone instead of every word of God do not live in the reality of the kingdom of God.

6) Those who serve the Lord should live by the word of God in the necessities of life. One won’t serve the mammon only if he lives by the word of God.

7) The Lord Jesus was able command the stones to become bread but He was unwilling to do so. What’s important to those who serve the Lord is that: if they do not have the word of God, they are unwilling to do anything though they are able to do it.

8) The first Adam failed in the bread (Gen. 3:11-12) and the second Adam conquered in the bread.

9) The demarcation between overcoming and failure of believers is whether the spirit dominates the flesh or the flesh dominates the spirit.


Luke. 4:5 “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

   YLT: “And the Devil having brought him up to an high mountain, shewed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,”

   Literal Meaning: Actually, none of the mountains in the world is so high that standing upon which one could see all the kingdoms of the world. Therefore, there are two explanations about this verse. One is that the devil took Him up on a high mountain. Looking far around, the Lord could see the cities and villages at the foot of the mountain. Thus, the Lord could have a taste of all the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Gen. 13:10). The other is that the devil used its supernatural power to show Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

   Spiritual Meaning: “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain” According to the records of the Gospel of Matthew, it should be the third temptation because the Lord Jesus had already commanded Satan to take away (See Matt. 4:10) in this temptation and therefore it should be the last temptation. Luke listed the temptation of the high mountain in the second place and he may intend to let readers know “the certainty of things in which you were instructed” (See 1:4) according to the order of reasons (See Gen. 3:16, 1John. 2:16):    

  a) In the first temptation Satan tempted the Lord to command the stone to become bread------just like the devil made Eve “see that the tree was good for food”------Satan tempted to stir up “the lust of the flesh”.

  b) In the second temptation Satan let the Lord see the glory of all kingdoms on the high mountain------just like the devil made Eve think “that it was a pleasure for the eyes”------Satan tempted to stir up “the lust of the eyes”.

  c) In the third temptation Satan tempted the Lord to throw Himself down------just like the devil made Eve think that “the tree was to make one wise”------Satan tempted to stir up “the pride of life”. 

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The glory of the world is of earth and it will make men look down from higher levels and fall down.

         2) Believers should life up their eyes unto God (Ps. 121:1-2). We should look steadfastly on Jesus the leader and completer of our faith (Heb. 12:2).


Luke. 4:6 “And the devil said to Him, All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

   YLT: “and the Devil said to him, `To thee I will give all this authority, and their glory, because to me it hath been delivered, and to whomsoever I will, I do give it;”

   Literal Meaning: “this has been delivered to me” Pleas note that the Lord Jesus did nit deny this or blame it for this, showing that this is a fact. Originally, in the beginning and in God’s creation, He had anointed an archangel to rule this world. Later it betrayed God because of pride and it was judged by God and then it became God’s enemy Satan (See Ezek. 28:13-19; Is. 14:12-15); however, before God fully executed the judgment towards the devil (See Rev. 20:7-10), this world is of the devil and it is the prince of the world (See John. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) All the earthly authority and power are of the devil and all those who seek earthly fame and positions and glory have already fallen in the traps of the devil.

2) We have been saved by the Lord and delivered from the power of the devil. If we turn back to seek the earthly blessing, don’t we put ourselves willingly into the snare?


Luke. 4:7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’”

   YLT: “thou, then, if thou mayest bow before me all shall be thine.’”

   Literal Meaning: “worship before me” It means to submit to someone as common people to the king.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The ultimate purpose of the devil’s temptation is to usurp God’s status in men’s hearts and steal the worship that God deserves.

         2) In the universe, only the Lord and God deserve worship. The worship to anyone else, even to angels (Col. 2:18) or God’s servants (Acts. 14:11-18) is lawless and ultimately belongs to the devil because it is made by the cheat of the devil.

3) All the kingdoms of the world and their glory are the weapons used by the devil to deceive men. If our hearts turn to the vain glories of the world, we are unconsciously worshiping the devil.

4) Satan is willing to give up all the kingdoms of the world and their glory to gain men’s worship. Today, many leaders in the assembly share their status, wealth and etc with the aim of gaining others’ allegiance.


Luke. 4:8 “And Jesus answered and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus answering him said, ‘Get thee behind me, Adversary, for it hath been written, Thou shalt bow before the Lord thy God, and Him only thou shalt serve.’”

   Literal Meaning: “You shall worship the LORD, and Him only you shall serve.” This sentence is quoted from the thirteenth verse of the sixth chapter of the book of Isaiah.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “You shall worship the LORD your God.” God is so jealous that He could not bear any other worship besides Him. God is a jealous God.

2) Worship is the central point that Satan tries its best to usurp from God. If our worship is not only to God, we have already fallen into the principle of Satan. Be attentive!

3) Looking upon God only, regarding God as the most precious and worshiping Him only will enable us to conquer the blindness and deceit of the lust to the world.

4) “Him only you shall serve.” One can not serve two masters. If one wants to serve God, first he should devote himself to God completely. When we preserve ourselves in devotion, we are probably serving two masters------God and mammon (Matt. 6:24).


Luke. 4:9 “Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.

   YLT: “And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, `If the Son thou art of God, cast thyself down hence,”

   Meaning of words: “the pinnacle of the temple”: the wing of the temple.

   Literal Meaning: “The pinnacle of the temple”: the corner extending from the roof of the temple (concerning the southeast corner on the roof of the temple, the pinnacle is about several hundreds of feet high and below it is the Kidron Valley).

  Spiritual Meaning: Jerusalem” is the place for God’s people to worship God (John. 4:20). Therefore the devil brought Jesus to the city of Jerusalem, indicating to tempt Him in the circle of religion.

  “Pinnacle of the temple” symbolizes the high fame and status in the world of religion.

  “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.” The evil intention of the devil was to induce Jesus to tempt God’s faithfulness (whether God would protect Him) and show off His outstanding power (to draw men’s attention).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Though many people conquer the lust of the flesh------giving up the enjoyment of food and drink, they can not conquer the pride of life------the desire to become outstanding.

         2) Unexpectedly, the devil had his place in the holy city and the holy temple where men originally worship God. The devil, always hiding himself in the assembly (Rev.2:13), dominates the believers to harm God’s witness and humiliate God’s name.

    3) Though many people could give up their future in the world, they could not give up the status and glory in the world of religion. The vain glory in the assembly (Pill. 2:3) always becomes the snare to fervent believers.

4) The devil always induces men to throw down such as: committing suicide by jumping from the building, into the sea and from the train, falling down, depressed in the spirit, in reading the Bible and in meetings.

5) If a believer in the assembly wants to show off his abilities (such as eloquence, the ability to solve problems and spiritual gifts) to gain others’ admiration, he is taken in the temptations of Satan.


Luke. 4:10 “For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,'

   YLT: “for it hath been written To His messengers He will give charge concerning thee, to guard over thee,”

   Literal Meaning: “For it is written” Because the Lord Jesus always used the word of God to deal with the devil in the first two temptations, the devil here tempted to use the word of God to deal with the Lord, however, it purposely omitted “in all your ways” (See Ps. 91:11-12) between “His angels” and “to keep you” so as to distort the real intention of the Bible.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Today, many people in heresies, calling themselves Christians, have learned the tricks of the devil and use the Bible to go along with their own views to confuse the ignorant.

         2) While reading the Bible, we should pay attention to the context and consider the quintessence of the whole Bible, cutting in a straight line the word of truth (2Tim. 2:15), otherwise we may be easily misled.

3) God will protect us when we walk in normal way. If we purposely throw down (for example, we intentionally enter into the sinful places), God would not protect us.


Luke. 4:11 “and, In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

   YLT: “and On hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou mayest dash against a stone thy foot.’”

   Meaning of Words: “bear you up”: lift up, take up, carry; “lest”: if peradventure, so as not to; “dash”: beat upon, strike.


Luke. 4:12 “And Jesus answered and said to him, It has been said, You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus answering said to him ‘It hath been said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’”

   Literal Meaning: “it has been said” It means that the meaning of the Bible should not be interpreted only by one sentence of the Bible. The meaning should also accord with other sentences in the Bible.

  “You shall not tempt the LORD your God.” It is quoted from the sixteenth verse of the sixth chapter of the book of Isaiah. “Tempting God”: one purposely puts himself in a situation to see whether God helps him. This behavior, with the intention of forcing God to protect us, is a challenge to God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord Jesus used the word of God (“it has been said”) to overcome the temptations of the devil three times; the word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) which is all-conquering.

2) Facing those who use the Bible incorrectly, we should learn from the Lord Jesus to discern what they have said with other sentences of the Bible. Therefore, we should let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom (Col. 3:16), lest we may be deceived.

         3) The reason why the Lord did not throw down is that He stood in the position of obedience and did nothing until God had commanded Him, not that He was unable to do it. It is the sign that the Lord did something and He did not do anything.

4) We should trust and obey God and never tempt Him. Tempting God shows our doubt on His love and power.

5) Satan quoted God’s word to ask the Lord Jesus to do something (See v.10-11). Satan thought that it was trusting God, however, the Lord said it was tempting the Lord. Trusting God is that God had said at first and then we do it upon what He had spoken. Tempting God is that God did not say anything and we presumptuously use the word of the Bible to force God to be responsible for it.


Luke. 4:13 “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

   YLT: “And having ended all temptation, the Devil departed from him till a convenient season.”

   Literal Meaning: “the devil had ended every temptation” The temptations of the devil are various. It wanted to find the weakness of the Lord in His humanity from all kinds of angles, however, it failed.

  “He departed from Him until an opportune time.” “Until an opportune time” shows that it may still come soon.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “When the devil had ended every temptation.” Our Lord overcame the devil not a bit but completely. If we want to overcome the temptations of the devil, we have to live in Christ and let the Lord come out to deal with the devil.

2) “He departed from Him until an opportune time” Though the attack of the enemy Satan failed for the moment, it would come back and make a counterattack. And it usually makes the counterattack suddenly when we become slack because of the temporary victory and makes us be defeated finally because of our carelessness and unreadiness.

3) The Lord instructed us to “watch” (See 21:36) so as to deal with Satan who “departed until an opportune time”.


Luke. 4:14 “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

   YLT: “And Jesus turned back in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a fame went forth through all the region round about concerning him,”

   Literal Meaning: “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” It means that the Holy Spirit is the origin of the power of His work; “power” in the original means that it is explosively powerful (dynamite).

  “Returned to Galilee” After the Lord Jesus had overcome the temptations of the devil, He had lived in Galilee for about a year (See John. 2:1-5:47). Here it recorded the beginning of the second year of His public service.

  Enlightenment in the Word: the one shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon him (Acts. 1:8).


Luke. 4:15 “And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

   YLT: “and he was teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all.”

   Literal Meaning: “He taught in their synagogues” Synagogues came into being after the Jews had been carried away to Babylon. There wasn’t the Holy Temple in foreign countries and synagogues emerged because of the demand so that the Jews could gather together, worship God and listen to the word of God. When the Lord Jesus began to preach, He taught the multitudes in their synagogues because there were many people there.


Luke. 4:16 “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

   YLT: “And he came to Nazareth, where he hath been brought up, and he went in, according to his custom, on the sabbath-day, to the synagogue, and stood up to read;”

   Meaning of Words: “as His custom was”: tradition, the way that men are accustomed to.

   Literal Meaning: “He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.” Some Bible exegetes held that the scriptures from v.16 to v.30 comprehensively and concisely recorded the three times of the Lord’s turning to His hometown. The first time is from v.16 to v.22a (See Matt. 4:13); the second time is from v.22b to v.24 (See Matt. 13:54-58; Mark. 6:1-6); the third time is from v.25 to v.30.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the Lord Jesus formed a habit to go to synagogue on time and partake in the Bible study. We should also learn from the Lord Jesus to join the gathering and read the Bible on time.


Luke. 4:17 “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

   YLT: “and there was given over to him a roll of Isaiah the prophet, and having unfolded the roll, he found the place where it hath been written:”

   Literal Meaning: “He found the place where it was written” the following verses were quoted from the first and second verses of the sixty-first chapter of the book of Isaiah. Through these verses, Isaiah the prophet predicted that the people of Israel would be released from the miserable condition that they were carried away to Babylon.


Luke. 4:18The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

   YLT: “`The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, Because He did anoint me; To proclaim good news to the poor, Sent me to heal the broken of heart, To proclaim to captives deliverance, And to blind receiving of sight, To send away the bruised with deliverance,”

   Literal Meaning: “the Spirit of the LORD is upon Me” Here “the LORD” indicates God; “the Spirit of the LORD” indicates the Holy Spirit.

  “He anointed Me” It means the “spreading on” of the Holy Spirit. He anointed Me with the Holy Spirit.

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse typifies that God spread on the Lord Jesus with the Holy Spirit with the aim of making Him work:

  a) “To preach the gospel to the poor” It specially indicates to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to those who are poor in Spirit and before God (See Matt. 12:21).

  b) “To proclaim liberty to the captives” It specially indicates to release the captives of Satan and those who are controlled by Satan (Acts. 26:18; 1John. 5:19).

  c) “And recovery of sight to the blind” It specially indicates to heal those whose thoughts have been blinded by the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4).

  d) “To set at liberty those who are oppressed” It specially indicates to release those who are bound and oppressed by sin (John. 8:34; Rom. 6:18).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Even the Lord Jesus Himself needed to wait for the anointment of the Holy Spirit and then do the work of God, shouldn’t we need the Holy Spirit? Since He needs to wait, we have to wait also.

2) The unction (the Holy Spirit) is for all those who accept it with faith to act in concert with the work of God.


Luke. 4:19 “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.’”

   YLT: “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’”

   The Background: In the age of the Old Testament, there was “the acceptable year” for the Jews every fifty years and this year the slaves would be released, the debts would be cancelled totally and the possessions of the ancestors would be returned to the descents of the original owners (See Lev. 25:8-55).

   Literal Meaning: according to the second verse of the sixty-first chapter of the book of Isaiah from which this verse is quoted, there was “the day of vengeance of our God”. However, the Lord Jesus did not read this sentence, showing that the aim of His first coming is to open the gate of grace for all human beings and the judgment of God will be brought in on His second coming. The Lord did read “the acceptable year of the LORD” and did not read “the day of vengeance of our God” with His special purpose.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) It is the age of grace today and it is “the acceptable year of the LORD”. Everyone should receive His grace as long as there are still chances, lest it would be too late for one to repent while the chance is missed.

2) The “year” is used to describe the time which is acceptable to God and the “day” is used to describe the time of God’s vengeance. God has shown His kindness to us through this.


Luke. 4:20 “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

   YLT: “And having folded the roll, having given [it] back to the officer, he sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing on him.”

   Literal Meaning: “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant” At that time, the Bible was written in the scrolls of sheepskin. The ministers of the synagogue kept the Bible usually. When reading, the Bible was opened and after reading it was rolled up to the original shape.

  “And sat down.” According to custom at that time, men stood up to read the Bible (See v.16) and sat down to teach men (See Matt. 5:1; 26:55; John. 8:2; Acts. 16:13).


Luke. 4:21 “And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”

   YLT: “And he began to say unto them `To-day hath this writing been fulfilled in your ears;’”

   Literal Meaning: this verse implies that He Himself is the Messiah whom Isaiah had predicted.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Christ is the reality of all the prophecies and types of the Old Testament. When we search the Bible, we have to search Christ in the Bible (See John. 5:39-40).

2) Salvation is of Christ. If one has Christ, he will experience the fullness of the salvation.


Luke. 4:22 “So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, Is this not Joseph's son?’”

   YLT: “and all were bearing testimony to him, and were wondering at the gracious words that are coming forth out of his mouth, and they said, ‘Is not this the son of Joseph?’”

   Literal Meaning: “Is this not Joseph’s son?” Since the Lord Jesus began to preach, this is the only verse that mentioned the name of His foster father “Joseph”. General Bible exegetes held that Joseph died very early and the Lord Jesus, as the eldest son, for several years had worked as a carpenter (See Mark. 6:3) from His foster father’s job in order to help His mother to bring up His younger brothers and sisters before He began to preach.

   Enlightenment in the Word: people in Nazareth “bore witness to Him” and “marveled at the gracious words” with the attitude of appreciation and criticism, however, they were unwilling to accept His words because of His low identity------“the son of Joseph” and finally thrust Him out of the city (See v.29). This told us: we should accept the word of God with respect as long as it is the word of God, no matter who speaks the word and we should not look on it with cold indifference or reject it rudely.


Luke. 4:23 “He said to them, You will surely say this proverb to Me, Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’”

   YLT: “And he said unto them, ‘Certainly ye will say to me this simile, Physician, heal thyself; as great things as we heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country;’”

   Literal Meaning: “proverb” it is also called “parable” and it indicates the well-known and common saying for all.

  “Physician, heal yourself!” It means that “you help yourself first!”

   Enlightenment in the Word: “Physician, heal yourself!” Today ministers need to heal their mouths and greed. They teach believers not to judge others, however, those who judge others a lot are the ministers instead of believers. They persuade believers not to love the world and money, however, they even love money more than the worldly believers.


Luke. 4:24 “Then He said, Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

   YLT: “and he said, ‘Verily I say to you No prophet is accepted in his own country;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord was fully aware that “no prophet is accepted in his own country”, however, He still preached the gospel first to His own country------Nazareth. We should preach the gospel first to our dearest people------family members, good friends, neighbors, colleges, schoolmates and so on regardless of the difficulties.

2) Today in the assembly in all parts, many local saints are neglected and they haven’t received the same honor and respect, compared with the external saints. As a result, their gifts are neglected. 


Luke. 4:25 “But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;

   YLT: “and of a truth I say to you, Many widows were in the days of Elijah, in Israel, when the heaven was shut for three years and six months, when great famine came on all the land,”


Luke. 4:26 “but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

   YLT: “and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, unto a woman, a widow;”

   Literal Meaning: concerning v.25 and v.26, please see 1Kings. 17:1-15.


Luke. 4:27 “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’”

   YLT: “and many lepers were in the time of Elisha the prophet, in Israel, and none of them was cleansed, but Naaman the Syrian.’”

   Literal Meaning: “Naaman the Syrian” please see 2Kings. 5:1-14.

  The Lord listed two examples that God saved the Gentiles from v.25 to v.27. He emphasized that the Jews rejected the messengers who spread the message of redemption in the past and God sent them to the Gentiles. Today, the Lord Jesus is the redeemer of this time and if they reject Him, the history would repeat itself (See 10:13-15; Rom. 9-10).

   Enlightenment in the Word: How marvelous the gospel is! We, the Gentiles who are originally unrelated to God, become partakers of God’s salvation unexpectedly because the Jews have rejected the Lord Jesus.


Luke. 4:28 “So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

   YLT: “And all in the synagogue were filled with wrath, hearing these things,”

   Literal Meaning: the Jews thought that they were God’s elect. They were especially gifted and had the privilege to enjoy God’s grace. Today when they heard the words that Jesus seemed to show partiality for the Gentiles, they felt very indignant.


Luke. 4:29 “and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.

   YLT: “and having risen, they put him forth without the city, and brought him unto the brow of the hill on which their city had been built to cast him down headlong,”

   The Background: in ancient times, concerning the false prophets, the Jews threw them down over the cliff which was several tens of feet high and stoned at him.

   Literal Meaning: people in Nazareth changed their attitude of praise towards Jesus to the attitude of hatred because: 1) He did not do any sign there (See v.23); 2) He blamed them that they did not respect the prophets in their own country (See v.24); 3) He proclaimed that the children of Israel did not receive the grace but the Gentiles received the grace contrarily (See v.25-27). Therefore they claimed that He was the false prophet and condemned Him to death.


Luke. 4:30 “Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

   YLT: “and he, having gone through the midst of them, went away.”

   Meaning of Words: “passing through”: go through, walk through; “went His way”: depart.

   Literal Meaning: the meaning of this verse is uncertain and there are two possibilities: 1) the Lord Jesus showed a miracle to walk through the cliff in the air and did not drop down from the cliff; 2) they were astonished at the impressive manner of the Lord Jesus and the moment they loosed their hands, the Lord went His way through the midst of them.


Luke. 4:31 “Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.

   YLT: “And he came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbaths,”

   Literal Meaning: “went down to CapernaumCapernaum was on the north of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had lived in Capernaum and preached there for a time (Matt. 9:1; 11:23).


Luke. 4:32 “And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.

   YLT: “and they were astonished at his teaching, because his word was with authority.”

   Literal Meaning: “they were astonished at His teaching” It shows that His teaching was unusual.

  “For His word was with authority.” The differences between the teaching of the Lord Jesus and that of the scribes are as follows: 1) the teaching of the scribes was “it was said to the ancients…” and the teaching of the Lord Jesus was “I say unto you…” (See Matt. 5:21-22); 2) the scribes explained the outward knowledge of letters and the Lord Jesus explain the reality and spirit of letters (See 2Cor. 3:6); the former was vanity and without any power and the latter was with authority and power and made people see the light of the word of God, fear God and obey Him.


Luke. 4:33 “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,

   YLT: “And in the synagogue was a man, having a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a great voice,”

   Literal Meaning: “who had a spirit of an unclean demon” “Unclean demons” were the living creatures that existed before the age of Adam. They were enticed by Satan and followed it to betray God and then were judged by God and became evil spirits that were without bodies. The unclean demons originally lived in the sea, however, after men fallen and committed the sin, they possessed men’s bodies as rest. “Unclean” is to describe the nature and behavior of the spirit and it was unclean.

  A man who “has a spirit of an unclean demon” also means that a man “is dwelled” by an unclean demon. Anyone that is dwelled by the unclean demon usually behaves supernaturally because he is controlled by the evil spirit.

   Spiritual Meaning: a man who has a spirit of an unclean demon. It symbolizes that Satan usurps men who are created by God for His purpose and makes men become the tools to withstand God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In the place where the Jews worshipped God (“in the synagogue”), there was unexpectedly a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon; today in the church, probably there are many believers who are dominated by the power of Satan (See Rev. 2:13).

2) The devil does not fear men’s form of piety and it fears the power of piety (See 2Tim. 3:5).


Luke. 4:34 “saying, Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!’”

   YLT: “saying, ‘Away, what to us and to thee, Jesus, O Nazarene? thou didst come to destroy us; I have known thee who thou art the Holy One of God.’”

   Literal Meaning: “what have we to do with you” is in the original “what to us and to thee” and it is a Hebrew idiom.

  “I know who You are” Please note that the person “we” in the former sentence had been switched to “I”; probably there are many demons in that man and one of them represented them to speak.

  “The Holy One of God” is another name of the Son of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “An unclean demon” is completely opposite to “the Holy One of God” and they could never coexist with each other.

2) For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1John. 3:8).

3) Though the unclean demon knows that the Lord is the Holy One of God, it has nothing to do with the Lord and its unclean nature won’t be changed because of this. It shows that the objective knowledge is of little help to men.

4) The unclean demon is fully aware that its end is the perdition. However, it still does wrongful acts. In the same way, many people also only care about their present enjoyment and disregard their eternal suffering in future.

5) The evil spirit also knows those who are of God and the real state in them (See Acts. 19:15).


Luke. 4:35 “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him! And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

   YLT: “And Jesus did rebuke him, saying, ‘Be silenced, and come forth out of him;’ and the demon having cast him into the midst, came forth from him, having hurt him nought;”

   Literal Meaning: “Be quiet” means “stop talking”; the Lord did not allow the demon to cry that “You are the Holy One of God” because when the Lord was on earth, He always stood in the position of “the Son of Man” to fulfill the will of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord does not accept the witness of the devil even if it is true.

2) When Satan utilizes those who are against the Lord to speak much, we should ask the Lord to stop the demon from speaking and demand it to be quiet.

3) The evil spirit always asks men to do something unconsciously and makes them disobey the willingness of their hearts.

4) If those who are possessed by the unclean demon and are full of sins want to receive the salvation of the Lord, they have to undergo the suffering; the Lord has the salvation of the remission of sins, however, sinners have to undergo the travail of birth.

5) The more unclean the demon is, the harder it is for it to come out. The more sins men commit, the more difficult it is for men to turn away from sins.


Luke. 4:36 “Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’”

   YLT: “and amazement came upon all, and they were speaking together, with one another, saying, ‘What [is] this word, that with authority and power he doth command the unclean spirits, and they come forth?’”

   Meaning of Words: “amazed”: astonish, wonder; “spoke among themselves”: talked about with each other, discussed with one another; “command”: order.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The word of the Lord is with authority and it could cast the unclean spirits out. Believers could appropriate the power of the word of the Lord by faith to deal with the power of the devil.

2) Even the unclean spirits obey the word of the Lord, should not we, believers of the Lord, obey His word?


Luke. 4:37 “And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

   YLT: “and there was going forth a fame concerning him to every place of the region round about.”

   Meaning of Words: “report”: sound, fame; “went out”: go forth; “every”: any, all.


Luke. 4:38 “Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon's house. But Simon's wife's mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.

   YLT: “And having risen out of the synagogue, he entered into the house of Simon, and the mother-in-law of Simon was pressed with a great fever, and they did ask him about her,”

   Literal Meaning: “Simon’s wife’s mother” It shows that Peter had a family and he took round his wife in all regions (See 1Cor. 9:5). It is said that they were both martyrs of the Lord.

   Spiritual Meaning: “Simon’s wife’ mother” represents the Jews.

“Was sick with a high fever” It has two aspects of symbolization: 1) The Jews were exceedingly zealous in the Law and the doctrines of their fathers (Gal. 1:14, Acts. 21:20); 2) The Jews would suffer extreme misery in the great tribulation.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If believers are zealous in the things besides the Lord and even neglect the Lord Himself, we are “sick with a high fever” in the Lord’s eyes.

2) When she was “sick with a fever”, she felt different from others because only she was fevered and others were not. Anyone who is abnormally excited or fervent may be “sick with a fever”.

3) “Being sick with a high fever” also symbolizes the uncontrolled temper; if we are unable to control our temper, we are like those who are sick with a fever and we are abnormal in the eyes of others.

4) “They made request of Him concerning her.” We should pray for the abnormal conditions of others and ask the Lord to show His mercy.


Luke. 4:39 “So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

   YLT: “and having stood over her, he rebuked the fever, and it left her, and presently, having risen, she was ministering to them.”

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse symbolizes that when the Lord comes to the world for the second time, the children of Israel will be shook by His coming and therefore all the people of Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26). They will be revived and serve Christ.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When the abnormal fever is left and then we could really serve the Lord.

2) One should be healed first and then serve the Lord; if we want to serve the Lord and the church, we have to let the Lord heal the abnormal sicknesses in our life first.


Luke. 4:40 “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.

   YLT: “And at the setting of the sun, all, as many as had any ailing with manifold sicknesses, brought them unto him, and he on each one of them [his] hands having put, did heal them.”

   Literal Meaning: “when the sun was setting” It describes the things in the same Sabbath from v.31 to v.39 in this chapter. However, the Sabbath ends in the sunset and then the Jews could take a long journey and take heavy things.

   Enlightenment in the Word: the whole world lies in the wickedness (1John. 5:19) and is manipulated by it. However, thank the Lord! He has saved us from the hands of the devil and has removed all kind of pains of our life.


Luke. 4:41 “And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, You are the Christ, the Son of God! And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.

   YLT: “And demons also were coming forth from many, crying out and saying `Thou art the Christ, the Son of God;’ and rebuking, he did not suffer them to speak, because they knew him to be the Christ.”

   Literal Meaning: “He did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” The Lord did not allow the demons to speak anything for Him because when the demons bore witness of the Lord, they only made men misunderstand the Lord and this would on the contrary affect His work.


Luke. 4:42 “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;

   YLT: “And day having come, having gone forth, he went on to a desert place, and the multitudes were seeking him, and they came unto him, and were staying him not to go on from them,”

   Literal Meaning: He went into a deserted place” The reason why Lord Jesus went into a deserted place is praying (See Mark. 1:35); He, as a man, needed to always keep the fellowship and union with God the Father through prayers and draw power from God the Father.

  “And the crowd sought Him” The crowd sought the Lord because of the curiosity instead of the love of Him. Some of them joined in the fun, some of them wanted to make Him a king and some of them had eaten of the loaves (See John. 6:26).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord worked late at night and He had to wake up early the next morning to pray to God and have communion with God alone. This shows that no matter how many services there are, His fellowship with Father in heaven could not be affected. The work did not usurp the position of God in Him. This is the key of the great effect of His work.

2) No matter how busy believers are, we could not forget to make time to pray to God and have communion with God.

3) The most important thing to serve God is to understand the will of God through praying; we should never serve God according to our own intentions.

4) If there is not prayer, there won’t be any service. We do not do any work of service sometimes. However, we could not cease praying.

5) The best time to draw near to God is the early morning before dawn. At that time, the environment is the quietest and the state of mind is the most peaceful.

6) Every morning, we should seek and pursue the Lord with spiritual companions (See 2Tim. 2:22).


Luke. 4:43 “but He said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’”

   YLT: “and he said unto them ‘Also to the other cities it behoveth me to proclaim good news of the reign of God, because for this I have been sent;’”

   Literal Meaning: the Lord refused the crowd to seek Him because He did not like to show Himself. He was unwilling to be supported as a leader and satisfy men’s curiosity and interest of fun because He has only one aim on the earth, i.e. preaching------“because for this purpose I have been sent”.

   Enlightenment in the Word: when the crowd sought the Lord (See v.42), the Lord departed from the crowd for a special purpose. Workers of the Lord should not seek their own “followers” and should seek the fulfillment of the will of God wholeheartedly.


Luke. 4:44 “And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

   YLT: “and he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Comparison of Two Adams (v.2-4)

I. The first Adam failed in bread and the last Adam succeeded in hunger.

II. The first Adam neglected the word of God and the last Adam treasured the word of God.

III. The first Adam sinned against God because of bread and the last Adam enjoyed spiritual food because of the word of God.

IV. The first Adam ate to “be as God” (Gen. 3:5) and the last Adam did not eat to keep the position of Son of Man.


Christ Had Overcome the Temptations of the Devil

I. The reason of His overcoming (v.1) ------He was guided by the Holy Spirit.

II. The first overcoming (v.2-4) ------He lived by the heavenly provision (by God’s word) which exceeds the earthly principle (by bread).

III. The second overcoming (v.5-8) ------He absolutely held God as the one to worship and serve.

IV. The third overcoming (v.9-12) ------ He fully trusted in God and did not tempt God.

V. The consequence of His overcoming (v.13) ------the enemy left.


The Spiritual Principles of the Three Temptations of the Devil (see 1John. 2:16)

I. Inciting the lust of the flesh------the enjoyment of food and drink and life (v.2-4).

II. Inducing the lust of the eyes------appreciation of earthly glory (v.5-8).

III. Stirring up the pride of life------the outstanding performance (v.9-12).


The Aspects concerned in the Three Temptations of the Devil

I. Concerning personal enjoyments ------what bread stands for (v.2-4).

II. Concerning the possession in the world ------what all the kingdoms of the world and their glory stand for (v.5-8).

III. Concerning the status and power in the circle of religion ------what throwing down on the pinnacle of the temple stands for (v.9-12).


The Motivates behind the Three Temptations of the Devil

I. Inducing men to pay attention to the needs of the flesh and ignore spiritual needs (v.2-4).

II. Inducing men to worship the devil unconsciously and ignore the worship and service to God (v.5-8).

III. Inducing men to seek fame and status in the circle of religion and ignore the spiritual reality (v.9-12).


Three Kinds of Trials that Believers are facing

I. The trial of living ------whether one stresses on material or spiritual life (v.2-4).

II. The trial of aim ------whether one glorifies himself or God (v.5-8).

III. The trial of way ------whether it is of men’s judgment or God’s commandment (v.9-12).


Three Kinds of Temptations

I. Temptation of faith------whether one lives by God’s word or by bread (v.2-4)

II. Temptation of love------whether one loves God Himself or things besides God (v.5-8).

III. Temptation of hope------whether one wants to gain God’s delight or men’s praise (v.9-12).


The Several Things that the Lord Jesus and Satan All Affirmed

I. The Lord Jesus is the Son of God (v.3).

II. The Bible records the word of God with authority and it spreads the will of God to men (v.4, 10).

III. Satan is the king of this world and the glory of all the kingdoms of the world has been delivered to it (v.6).


The Gracious Words of the Lord (v.18-19)

I. To preach the gospel to the poor------those who do not know God and do not have God’s blessing gain God and His blessing.

II. To proclaim liberty to the captives------those who are the captives of the devil and sins are released. 

III. Recovery of sight to the blind------those who do not know God and spiritual things know God and spiritual things.

IV. To set at liberty those who are oppressed------those who are burdened by sins and labor gain freedom.

V. To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD------He brings in the time of grace and makes men be reconciled with God.


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren