Luke 4. Forum Discussion

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

First, Jesus was tempted on three occasions by the devil.  Each time Jesus was tempted, He combats the devil with appropriate scripture.  Eventually, the devil left Him. 

Jesus is our perfect example.  When we are tempted, we should be seeking the appropriate scriptures to apply to whatever situation we find ourselves in, just like Jesus did.  When we stand firmly in our faith and obey the Bible, the devil will flee from us as well.

Second, I would like to look at what I see as a fickle crowd of people that were gathered with Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth.  Let’s focus on the following two scriptures:

  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 

It appears to me that the only thing that changed was the expectations of the crowd.  I believe that in verse 22 everybody was speaking well of Jesus because they thought they were going to get whatever they wanted.  I believe 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. 

It seems to me that the 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