24 – Day 4

Glad you could join us for 24 Days with Jesus!    Just read a chapter a Day from Luke -24 Chapters in 24 days, check out chapter 4 today. You are a part of a large group who are seeking to grow closer to Christ.  

 Today we will see Satan temping Jesus, Jesus healing people and removing demons and teaching with authority.  

Included below is commentary, additional thoughts and explanation.   Each colored verse 4:1-2 can be clicked on to allow you to see that verse.  Life Application notes can be found in each section.  

 Please let me know if you have any questions.  I am praying for you!  Feel free to join the discussion and add your own comments and personal insights at the bottom of each day’s post.  It would be great to hear from you. 

 Satan Tempts Jesus in the Wilderness / 4:1-13

This section shows Jesus as the Son of God defeating Satan in open combat. No argument or temptation could daunt the Lord Jesus. This temptation by Satan also reveals that, though Jesus was human and subject to human temptations, he was perfect because he overcame all the temptations that Satan presented to him. The story of Jesus’ temptation is an important demonstration of his power and sinlessness. He faced temptation and did not give in. His followers should trust in him as they face temptations that will test their faithfulness to God.

4:1-2 The word “then” picks up the story from 3:22. Jesus left the Jordan River . . . to go out into the wilderness. Jesus took the offensive against the enemy, the Devil, by going into the wilderness to face temptation.

The word “devil” in Greek means “accuser”; in Hebrew, the word “Satan” means the same. The Devil, who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, also tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Satan is a real being, a created yet rebellious fallen angel, and not a symbol or an idea. He constantly fights against God and those who follow and obey God. Satan is not omnipresent, nor is he all-powerful. Through the evil spirits under his dominion, Satan works everywhere attempting to draw people away from God and into his own darkness.

The verb tempted describes continuous action; Jesus was tempted constantly during the forty days. The Spirit compelled Jesus into the wilderness where God put Jesus to the test—not to see if Jesus was ready, but to show that he was ready for his mission. Satan, however, had other plans; he hoped to thwart Jesus’ mission by tempting him to do evil. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be tempted? Temptation is part of the human experience. For Jesus to be fully human, he had to face temptation (see Hebrews 4:15). Jesus had to undo Adam’s work. Adam, though created perfect, gave in to temptation and passed sin on to the whole human race. Jesus, by contrast, resisted Satan. His victory offers salvation to Adam’s descendants (see Romans 5:12-19).

During those forty days, Jesus ate nothing, so at the end he was very hungry. Jesus’ status as God’s Son did not make this fast any easier; his physical body suffered the severe hunger and pain of going without sustenance. The three temptations recorded here occurred when Jesus was at his most physically weakened state.

  • Some Christians feel that the Holy Spirit will lead them always “beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2 niv). But that is not necessarily true. He led Jesus into the wilderness for a long and difficult time of testing, and he may also lead believers into difficult situations. When facing trials, first make sure you haven’t brought them on yourself through sin or unwise choices. If you find no sin to confess or unwise behavior to change, then ask God to strengthen you for your test. Finally, faithfully follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads.

4:3 On the surface, this might seem to be a fairly harmless act, even a compassionate suggestion. Jesus was very hungry, so why not use the resources at his command and change a stone into a loaf of bread? In this case, however, the sin was not in the act but in the reason behind it. The Devil was trying to get Jesus to take a shortcut, to solve his immediate problem at the expense of his long-range goals, to seek comfort at the sacrifice of his discipline. Satan often works that way—persuading people to take action, even right action, for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. The fact that something is not wrong in itself does not mean that it is good for someone at a given time. Many people sin by attempting to fulfill legitimate desires outside of God’s will or ahead of his timetable.

  • Satan may tempt believers to doubt Christ’s true identity. He knows that once they begin to question whether or not Jesus is God, it’s far easier to get them to do what he wants. Times of questioning can help believers sort out their beliefs and strengthen their faith, but those times can also be dangerous. If you are dealing with doubt, realize that you are especially vulnerable to temptation. Even as you search for answers, protect yourself by meditating on the unshakable truths of God’s Word.

4:4 Jesus answered Satan with what the Scriptures say. In all three quotes from Deuteronomy, found in Luke 4:4, 8, and 12, the context shows that Israel failed each test each time. Jesus showed Satan that while the test may have caused Israel to fail, it would not work with him. Jesus understood that obedience to the Father’s mission was more important than food. Making himself bread would have shown that he had not quite set aside all his powers, had not humbled himself, and had not identified completely with the human race. But Jesus refused, showing that he would use his powers only in submission to God’s plan.

  • Knowing and obeying God’s Word is an effective weapon against temptation, the only “offensive” weapon provided in the Christian’s “armor” (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus used Scripture to counter Satan’s attacks, and you can too. But to use it effectively you must have faith in God’s promises because Satan also knows Scripture and is adept at twisting it to suit his purpose. Obeying the Scriptures is more important than simply having a verse to quote, so read them daily and apply them to your life. Then your “sword” will always be sharp.

4:5-7 The Devil arrogantly hoped to succeed in his rebellion against God by diverting Jesus from his mission and winning his worship. Satan tempted Jesus to take the world as an earthly kingdom right then, without carrying out the plan to save the world from sin. For Jesus, that meant obtaining his promised dominion over the world without experiencing the suffering and death of the cross. Satan offered a painless shortcut. But Satan didn’t understand that suffering and death were a part of God’s plan that Jesus had chosen to obey.

That Jesus could see all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time supports the view that this experience was visionary. The focus is not on the mountain, but on those kingdoms that were (and are) under Satan’s dominion (John 12:31). Satan offered to give dominion over the world to Jesus. This challenged Jesus’ obedience to God’s timing and will. Satan’s temptation was, in essence, “Why wait? I can give this to you now!” Of course, the offer had a catch: “If you will bow down and worship me.”

4:8 Again, Jesus replied to Satan with Scripture. For Jesus to gain rule over the world by worshiping Satan would not only be a contradiction (Satan would still be in control), but it would also break the first commandment, “You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, 13). To accomplish his mission of bringing salvation to the world, Jesus would take the path of submission to God.

  • What would it take for you to “sell out”? What is there in life that would cause you to compromise your faith? Whatever it is—sexual temptation, financial inducement, fear of alienating or offending someone—it will be placed in your path at some point. The enemy wants to destroy believers or at least neutralize them through sin, shame, and guilt. When that temptation rears its seductive head, do what Jesus did: rely on the Word of God, and stand fast in your commitment to worship God, and God alone, above all else. No matter the cost or the sacrifice, no matter how appealing the come-on, believers dare not put anything or anyone in his place.

4:9-11 The Temple was the tallest building in Jerusalem, and the highest point was probably the corner wall that jutted out of the hillside. Whether the Devil physically took Jesus to Jerusalem, or whether this occurred in a vision is unclear. In any case, Satan was setting the stage for his next temptation.

Jesus had quoted Scripture in response to Satan’s other temptations. Here Satan tried the same tactic with Jesus: he used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin! Satan was quoting from Psalm 91:11-12 to support his request. The psalm describes God’s protection for those who trust him. Obviously Satan was misinterpreting Scripture, making it sound as though God protects even through sin, removing the natural consequences of sinful acts. Jumping from the roof in order to test God’s promises would not have been part of God’s will for Jesus. In context, the psalm promises God’s protection for those who, while being in his will and serving him, find themselves in danger. It does not promise protection for artificially created crises in which Christians call to God in order to test his love and care.

  • What a sobering thought that Satan knows Scripture and knows how to use it for his own purposes! Sometimes friends or associates will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something that you believe is wrong. They may even find Bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint. Study the Bible carefully, especially the broader contexts of specific verses, so that you understand God’s principles for living and what he wants for your life. Only if you really understand what the whole Bible says will you be able to recognize errors of interpretation when people take verses out of context to make them say what they want them to say. Choose your Bible teachers carefully. Believers have much to learn from others. Capable and wise teachers often present the broader context to help stimulate growth in Bible knowledge.

4:12 Jesus responded from the Scriptures again; however, he used Scripture with an understanding of the true meaning. The facts were that while God promises to protect his people, he also requires that they not test him. In the passage in Deuteronomy 6:16, Moses was referring to an incident during Israel’s wilderness wanderings, recorded in Exodus 17:1-7. The people were thirsty and ready to commit mutiny against Moses and return to Egypt if he did not provide them with water. For Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the Temple would have been a ridiculous test of God’s power, and it would have been out of God’s will. Jesus knew that his Father could protect him; he also understood that all his actions were to be focused on fulfilling his Father’s mission.

4:13 This would only be the first of many encounters that Jesus would have with Satan’s power. Jesus’ personal victory over Satan at the very outset of his ministry set the stage for his command over demons throughout his ministry, but it did not dissuade Satan from continuing to try to ruin Jesus’ mission. His defeat of the Devil in the wilderness was decisive but not final, for the Devil left him until the next opportunity.

  • Jesus was able to resist all of the devil’s temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it. Ephesians 6:17 says that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible verses is an important step to resist the devil’s attacks, but you must also obey the Bible. Note that Satan knew the Scriptures, but he failed to obey them. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps you follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s.

Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee / 4:14-15

Just as God’s Spirit had led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted (4:1), the Spirit next led Jesus to begin his teaching ministry among the people of Galilee. Luke did not yet mention anything that Jesus did in his ministry, but the other Gospels reveal much that had happened in the interim. Jesus already had his followers, he had turned water into wine (John 2:1-12), he cleared the Temple (John 2:12-25), and he had ministered in Samaria (John 4:1-42).

4:14-15 Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, returned to Galilee. He spoke often in Jewish synagogues. These gathering places for worship grew up during the exile when the Jews no longer had their Temple. Synagogues were established as places of worship on the Sabbath and as schools for young boys during the week. They continued to exist even after the Temple was rebuilt. Any town with at least ten Jewish families could have a synagogue. The synagogue was administered by one leader and an assistant. Often the leader would invite a visiting rabbi to read from the Scriptures and to teach. Thus Jesus, traveling from town to town, teaching, preaching, and doing miracles, would be a popular person to invite into a town’s synagogue. Everyone praised this new rabbi. His teaching was fresh—as Matthew recorded (Matthew 7:29).

Jesus Is Rejected at Nazareth / 4:16-30

Jesus’ rejection by the people of his hometown in Nazareth is highlighted to characterize Jesus’ initial teaching ministry in Galilee. Isaiah 61, the passage Jesus read in the synagogue of Nazareth, speaks of the anointing of the Spirit on a prophet who would preach the Good News of salvation to the poor. This initial address at Nazareth is not recorded in the other Gospels. Luke begins his portrayal of Jesus’ ministry with this account. It sets the tone for the importance of social concerns as found in the rest of Luke

4:16 Jesus had been on a preaching tour of Galilee (4:14-15), and at last came to Nazareth, his boyhood home. Although Jesus had been born in Bethlehem (2:4-7), his parents had fled to Egypt to protect their son from King Herod (Matthew 2:7-18). After King Herod’s death, Joseph had brought his family back to Israel, to the district of Galilee, to live in a town called Nazareth (Matthew 2:22-23).

Jesus went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Even though he was the perfect Son of God, Jesus attended services every week. As a visiting rabbi, Jesus was invited to read the Scriptures. The synagogue service usually included recitation of the Shema (Numbers 15:37-41; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21), benedictions, a psalm, a priestly blessing (Numbers 6:24-26), prayers, a reading from the Law (the Torah, Genesis through Deuteronomy) and then from the Prophets, and then an interpretation of the reading.

  •  “I don’t get anything out of it.” “The sermon’s too long.” “The music’s no good.” “The building is too cold (or too hot).” How many of these criticisms of the worship service have you heard? How many have you said? These criticisms may have validity, but involvement in worship is not an option for God’s people. Luke 4:16 reveals that Jesus was regulary attending synagogue services. He was faithful in his participation in worship. Whatever your excuses for not being involved, they are only that: excuses.  Make participation in the life of that church as much a part of your life as it was for Jesus in the synagogue.

4:17-21 After the Law had been read, the scroll containing the messages of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Jesus. Scrolls were ancient “books” made of papyrus sewn together to make a long strip which was then wound around sticks at each end. Jesus unrolled the scroll until he found the place from which he wanted to read.

Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2. Isaiah’s words pictured the deliverance of Israel from exile in Babylon as a Year of Jubilee, when all debts were to be canceled, all slaves freed, and all property returned to original owners (Leviticus 25). But the release from Babylonian exile had not brought the fulfillment that the people had expected; they were still a conquered and oppressed people. Isaiah was prophesying a future messianic age, a time when one would come in the Spirit of the Lord to do many wonderful things. This passage offered great expectations to an oppressed people. After reading, Jesus said, “This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!” When Jesus spoke these words, he was proclaiming himself as the One who would bring this Good News to pass.

As Jesus read this passage from Isaiah to the people in the synagogue, he stopped in the middle of 61:2 after the words, the time of the Lord’s favor has come. (The next phrase in Isaiah 61:2, however, is “and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.” This will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns to earth again. We are now under God’s favor; his wrath is yet to come.)

4:22 The listeners in the synagogue that day were impressed by Jesus. They spoke well of him, meaning that at first they were impressed at his manner and his teaching. Their question, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” reveals their amazement that this man who had grown up among them was making such claims. This amazement, however, did not give way to faith.

4:23-24 Jesus understood what the people were thinking, so he quoted that proverb, “Physician, heal yourself.” Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown; shouldn’t he most certainly take care of all the needs there—even before he did so in other cities? Jesus was right in thinking that the people wanted him to do miracles in Nazareth like those he did in Capernaum (John 4:46-54). Apparently, Jesus had already been through that city and done miracles, just as he soon would do more miracles there (Luke 4:33-41). If he were going to say that he was the one about whom Isaiah wrote—recovery of sight, releasing of oppression—then he ought to do so for them.

However, Jesus had not come to Nazareth to put on a show for all his friends and neighbors. In fact, his purpose was quite the opposite, for he understood the truth that no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. This was certainly true of many Old Testament prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, and Amos suffered martyrdom.

4:25-26 Jesus stood in a long line of people sent by God specifically to Gentiles and rejected by their own countrymen. Jesus cited the experience of the prophet Elijah who was sent, not to any of the Israelite widows, but instead to a widow of Zarephath—a foreigner in the land of Sidon (1 Kings 17:8-16). Jesus’ mission to the Gentiles is reemphasized here.

  • Whenever a person with great talents or gifts declares his or her intention to “go into the ministry,” or to use those gifts somehow in God’s service, people are pleased and excited. They may even say, “What a great impact someone like that can have for the Lord!” But when another person with lesser gifts, a less-pleasing personality, or even a checkered past announces that he or she feels called to serve God, the response is likely to be less enthusiastic. God, however, seems to delight in using the unlikely to accomplish his purposes. Jesus reminded his listeners (in Luke 4:27) that the only leper healed in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha was a detested Syrian; they were outraged. By their response, they revealed their racist attitude and arrogance. Are there people, or groups, that you believe are unworthy of being used by God? The truth is, no one is worthy, but God sees fit to use people anyway. Don’t be too quick to dismiss others because of their perceived unlikeliness as God’s servants.

4:27 Elijah’s successor, Elisha, met with similar guidance from God in one particular instance. God sent Elisha to cleanse only one person, Naaman, a Syrian, a hated Gentile (2 Kings 5). Syria was Israel’s neighbor to the north. Syria had oppressed Israel, yet God had done a miracle for a commander in their army.

Jesus’ message to the people was shocking. He did his work through lepers, Gentiles, and women just as Elisha did. Elijah and Elisha condemned Israel for their lack of faith; Jesus, too, confronted their unbelieving hearts. Israel often rejected the prophets and they were about to reject Jesus. Here Jesus implied that his work would be done outside his homeland among those who believe.

4:28-30 Why did the people of Nazareth react this way? Jesus’ words made them furious because he was saying that God would reach out to Gentiles as well as to Jews. The Jews expected their Messiah to come and minister to them—free them from oppression, heal them, usher in a glorious Kingdom. They also expected that with his coming, the evil Gentiles would be vanquished. Instead, Jesus, who had just claimed to be the Messiah about whom Isaiah prophesied, illustrated his mission by way of the prophets who had shown kindness to Gentiles. Jesus’ words implied that his hearers were as unbelieving as the citizens of the northern kingdom of Israel in the days of Elijah and Elisha, a time notorious for great wickedness. People became so angry that they tried to push him over the cliff. But it was not yet Jesus’ time to die, so he simply slipped away through the crowd. There is no record that Jesus ever returned to Nazareth.

Jesus Teaches with Great Authority / 4:31-37

In this second snapshot of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (the first being 4:14-30), the Gospel presents a glimpse of the cosmic battle that was occurring. A demon challenges Jesus. But Jesus—unruffled—commands the demon to leave. Jesus’ teaching style was clearly different than the rabbis, who cited past religious teachers to bolster and support their various interpretations of Scripture. In contrast, Jesus taught straight from Scripture, applying it directly to his listeners’ own lives.

4:31 Jesus left his home in Nazareth and went to Capernaum, about twenty miles farther north. Capernaum became Jesus’ home base during his ministry in the northernmost region of Palestine, Galilee. Jesus had already been in Capernaum (as suggested in 4:23). It has already been established that Jesus’ custom was to go to the synagogue every Sabbath (4:16). The setting was probably much the same as it had been in Nazareth. He would be invited to read a portion of the Scripture and then teach on it. The fact that this was a Sabbath day is important to the event to follow.

  • How many people do you know whom you take absolutely at face value? When they tell you something, you accept it without reservation, right on the spot? Probably not many. People who speak with that kind of credibility are rare today. They were rare in Jesus’ time too. When the people in Capernaum heard Jesus speak, they knew they were hearing someone with the authority that comes from that kind of complete honesty and integrity, and their response showed it. They were amazed. People may not respond in amazement when you speak about your faith, but you should strive for that kind of honesty and integrity, knowing that you speak in the name of the one who has absolute authority.

4:32 The people were completely amazed by Jesus’ authority in his teaching. The Jewish teachers whom the people were used to hearing usually quoted from well-known rabbis or gave the opinions of predecessors in order to give their words more authority. Jesus simply had authority to begin with and the people knew it. 

4:33-34 This is the first of Jesus’ miracles that Luke recorded. Jesus was teaching the people in the synagogue on the Sabbath (4:31). A man possessed by a demon had also made his way into the synagogue. Demons are ruled by Satan. They work to tempt people to sin. They were not created by Satan because God is the Creator of all. Rather, demons are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion. The demon had entered the man’s body, had taken up residence, and controlled him. In every case where demons confronted Jesus, however, they lost their power. God limits what demons can do. During Jesus’ life on earth, demons were allowed to be very active to demonstrate once and for all Christ’s power and authority over them.

Luke emphasized Jesus’ conflict with evil powers to show his superiority over them, so he recorded many stories about Jesus driving out demons. Jesus’ power over demons reveals his absolute power over Satan. Jesus didn’t have to conduct an elaborate exorcism ritual. His word was enough.

This demon inside the man knew two facts—that Jesus had indeed come to destroy them (and their power) and that Jesus was the Holy One sent from God. All demons, and Satan himself, knew that Jesus was the Messiah. While the people in the synagogue were astounded at Jesus’ teaching and wondered who this man could be, the demon knew.

4:35 Jesus did not respond to the demon’s comment, except to rebuke him by telling him to be silent. Why would Jesus want the demon to be silent—the demon knew more about who he was than the rest of Jesus’ audience did. Jesus wanted to restrain any enthusiasm for a political messiah. He did not wish to be the people’s king in the way they desired, nor did he want to be a military leader. Also, to confess Jesus’ deity without a proper understanding of his crucifixion would be partial and invalid. Jesus did not want people to wildly proclaim him to be God’s Son unless they understood the meaning of his death for them on the cross. Even Jesus’ disciples lacked understanding until his resurrection.

To silence the demon was not enough, for Jesus wanted to free the man possessed by the demon. Jesus commanded the demon to come out of him. The demon threw the man to the floor. The demon went, but not quietly. This could have been a severe spasm or a blow that thrust the man to the ground. This behavior reveals the true purpose of demons in their possession of people. Demons want only to do violence and destroy anything made in God’s image. But this one left the man without hurting him further.

4:36-37 Jesus displayed power that no one had ever experienced before. He had authority and power so that with his words alone he could make a demon flee in fear. This amazed the people in the synagogue that day. Their amazement became headline news as the story spread like wildfire.

  • Imagine you were in your home one day, and a man you didn’t know came and said, “You must leave your house at once.” You would undoubtedly be suspicious of the person. “Who are you to tell me to leave my own home?” you probably would ask. If he then produced a badge showing that he was an FBI agent, you would be much more likely to comply. You would know that he had the authority to order you to leave. Jesus possessed exactly this kind of authority over the spiritual realm. Luke 4:35 reports him as ordering the demon to be quiet and come out of a man. The demon obeyed, causing great amazement and even fear among the people. Jesus is Lord, even over those who have no love for him at all. Submit your life—every thought, word, action, attitude, relationship—to him. Do what he commands.

Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law and Many Others / 4:38-41

After his clash with the demon in Capernaum, Jesus demonstrated his supernatural power to heal the sick by healing Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Thus, by evening, the sick and demon possessed crowded Jesus, seeking his attention. Almost as an afterthought, Luke noted that Jesus was commanding the demons not to identify him. His goal was not to draw attention to himself, but to meet the real needs of others.

4:38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to Simon’s home. Simon was another name for Peter. Obviously Jesus had met some of the men who would be his disciples. Luke did not write of the meeting, but Matthew and Mark recorded Jesus’ call of the first four disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20).

Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was very sick with a high fever. There is no mention of a specific illness, but a malaria-type of fever was common to this region because of marshes near the mouth of the Jordan River. The Greek word for “fever” in the noun form is also the word for “fire”; thus, she was burning with a severe fever. Jesus’ reputation for healing had spread so much that the people with him knew just what to do. They begged Jesus to heal her.

  • Why did Jesus demonstrate his authority in these different areas—in teaching, over demons, and over disease? There are a number of reasons, including his love for people and his desire to present his “credentials” as Messiah. The case of healing Simon’s mother-in-law gives another reason. Jesus healed her in order to enable her to serve others. If you know Jesus and he has truly come into your heart, he has healed you. He has not, however, healed you just to make you whole; he has also healed you so that you might extend his healing touch to others. How is that taking place in your life? What specific ways do you serve? Remember: God has not healed you solely for your own benefit. He has healed you so that you might be a benefit to others.

4:39 Jesus “rebuked” the fever, and her temperature returned to normal at his command. Jesus’ power and authority were again emphasized as Luke pointed out what Jesus did with only a word. Jesus healed Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law so completely that not only did the fever leave, but her strength was restored, and she got up at once and prepared a meal for them. Her healing was so complete it was as if she had never been ill.

4:40 The people came to Jesus as the sun went down because this was the Sabbath (4:31), their day of rest. Sabbath lasted from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. The people didn’t want to break the law that prohibited travel on the Sabbath, so they waited until the Sabbath hours were over before coming to Jesus.

News had spread quickly about Jesus’ healing powers, so the people brought sick family members to Jesus. The verb is in the imperfect tense, signifying continuous action. A steady stream of sick and demon possessed people (4:41) were being carried to Jesus. Luke, the doctor, noted that no matter what their diseases were, they came to Jesus and the touch of his hand healed every one. No sickness stumped him, no disease was beyond his ability to cure; no sickness was too disgusting for the touch of his hand.

  • Think of the loneliest, darkest points in your life: an illness. . . the loss of a loved one. . . a broken relationship. During those times, what helped you get through it? Perhaps it was a word of comfort or sympathy. More likely, it was not words at all but just the presence of a friend and his or her human touch. A hug, an arm around your shoulder, or even just a hand laid gently on top of yours—these simple, wordless gestures often are the most meaningful expressions of kindness and compassion. In healing the sick and the demon possessed, Jesus had already demonstrated that he could heal with just a word (Luke 4:39). But Luke 4:40 explains that in Capernaum, Jesus laid hands on all those who came to him for healing. Why? Why not just speak a word and heal the whole crowd at once? Why go to all the trouble of treating each person individually, face-to-face? There must be something very important about human touch, important enough that God would put on flesh and reach out, person to person. Who in your life needs a touch of friendship, understanding, compassion? Go to that person today and touch him or her like Jesus would.

4:41 The demons came out shouting what they knew about Jesus. While their words were true, Jesus told them to be silent (see 4:35). The knowledge of the demons would soon become an ironic contrast to the misunderstanding of Jesus’ own disciples, the fickleness of the crowds, and the stubborn blindness of Israel’s own religious leaders.

Jesus Preaches throughout Galilee / 4:42-44

Jesus had just spent a Sabbath day in feverish activity—healing the sick and exorcising demons. He had done practically everything except rest. Early in the morning of the next day, he set aside a time of prayer, by himself. He was careful to spend time maintaining his intimate fellowship with his Father. By the time the people found him, he was ready to face the next challenge. Believers should follow Christ’s example by carving out time in their busy schedules for worship and prayer. Ability to serve will be hindered if believers neglect times of spiritual replenishment.

4:42 Early the next morning refers to the hours before the sun had come up because Mark wrote that it was still dark (Mark 1:35). Jesus went out into the wilderness. During his ministry on earth, Jesus was in constant contact with the Father. Jesus had to get up very early just to get some time alone. If Jesus needed solitude for prayer and refreshment, how much more is this true for Christians today?

Apparently the people in Capernaum continued to arrive at Simon Peter’s house the next morning hoping to hear more of Jesus’ teaching and see him perform more miracles. When Jesus didn’t appear, the crowds searched everywhere for him. When the people finally tracked him down, they begged him not to leave them. Who would want to lose this kind man who could heal any sickness with just a word or a touch?

  • Any student of military history will explain that no war has ever been won without sending in the ground troops. But it is also true that air support makes a tremendous difference to the troops on the ground. In the spiritual battle, prayer is like the air support. Why would anyone ever go into battle without that covering? Jesus didn’t. Luke 4:42 says that after all the healings in Capernaum, Jesus went out to a place in the wilderness, no doubt to pray and be alone with his Father. It was just as difficult for Jesus to spare the time as it is for you, and just as essential. If you are going to be involved in spiritual warfare—and the Bible teaches that you will be (see Ephesians 6)—then you need your air support.

4:43-44 Jesus’ primary mission was to bring people to a place of decision to have faith in God, not merely to remove their pain. The word must conveys Jesus’ sense of call and urgency. The Good News of the Kingdom of God was the core of Jesus’ teaching. This is the Kingdom where God reigns—it is a present reality and a future hope. Today Jesus Christ reigns in the hearts of believers, but the Kingdom of God will not be fully realized until all evil in the world is judged and removed. Jesus came to earth first as a suffering Servant; he will come again as King and Judge to rule victoriously over all the earth. The Kingdom of God was good news! It was good news to the Jews because they had been awaiting the coming of the promised Messiah ever since the Babylonian captivity. It is Good News for people today as well because it means freedom from slavery to sin and selfishness. The Kingdom of God is here and now because the Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of believers. Yet it is also in the future because Jesus will return to reign over a perfect Kingdom where sin and evil no longer exist. The phrase “That is why I was sent” stresses Jesus’ understanding of who was in charge.

Thus Jesus continued to travel around. Jesus had the call and the message; he had the power and authority. Wherever Jesus went, he also healed many people and cast out many demons. These miracles revealed Jesus to be the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting. The miracles also demonstrated Jesus’ compassion for hurting people. Many people needed to hear Jesus proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

Until tomorrow, Darrell


Bible Background Commentary, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Life Application Bible Commentary, Life Application Concise New Testament Commentary and Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary

 For more about The Ridge Fellowship or Darrell Koop, go to www.ridgefellowship.com

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
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1 Response to 24 – Day 4

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