Luke 4. Forum Discussion

Temptation: The temptation of Jesus

There are two observations for us to look at concerning Luke 4. 

OBSERVATION #1

Jesus was tempted on three occasions by the devil.  Each time that Jesus was tempted, He used scripture to combat the devil.  Eventually, the devil left Him. 

James 4:7 says, "Resit the devil and he will flee from you."   

When satan tempts us, we should search the Bible for the appropriate scripture to apply.  If we then focus on that scripture, satan will flee from us as well.  We just need to follow Jesus' perfect example.

OBSERVATION #2

A fickle crowd of people were gathered with Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth.  Luke records the following two scriptures that we will focus on for the remainder of today's lesson:

  1. Luke 4:22, “And all were speaking well of Him.”
  2. Luke 4:28, “And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.”

What changed from verse 22 to verse 28?  Why did the people that were speaking well of Jesus in verse 22 turn on Him so dramatically only 6 verses later? 

To answer that question, we need to look at Luke 4:23-27:

“And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”  And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.  But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land;  and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.  And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” – Luke 4:23-27 

The only thing that changed was the expectations of the crowd.  In verse 22, everybody was speaking well of Jesus because they thought they were going to get whatever they wanted.  They thought that Jesus was about to heal everybody of their ailments.  Jesus did not do that.  Instead, He reminded them that there were many widows in the time of Elijah and Elijah was sent to none of them except for Zarephath.  Similarly, Jesus shares with them how there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elijah, and none of them were cleansed except for Naaman the Syrian. 

The fickle crowd was in favor of Jesus as long as He was doing what they wanted Him to do.  When Jesus’ actions did not line up with their own expectations, they turned on Him. 

That leads us to the following question:

Do we treat Jesus differently depending on how things are going in our own lives?  Are we like the people of Nazareth? Do we speak well of Jesus when things are going our way, only to turn on Him when we are facing adversity? 

Our love for Jesus should be unconditional.  We should love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls for what He has already done for us, not because we want things. 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

is it important for us to understand "why" God does what He does?

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Virtual Bible Study

I don't think so. God wants our unconditional love, and for us to follow Him, even when we do not understand. That is a sign of strong faith.

I think of Isaiah 55:8-9:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."

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