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Strong in Spirit

Luke 4:14-15

Even Jesus did not go about His ministry alone.  Luke is clear that Jesus was working together with the Holy Spirit and empowered by His spiritual companionship.  Within the early chapters of Luke’s Gospel we learn that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22), was full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit to encounter and defeat the lies of Satan (Luke 4:1).  In today's passage, Jesus re-entered His home territory in the Holy Spirit's power.

Strong in the Word

Luke 4:16

What is ‘church’ and why should we get involved?  The Bible word (ekklesia) means a gathering of people called out from their routine lives to consider important business which would affect the community.  It was used for the town or city council.  Christians then used it to describe their meetings.  ‘Church’ is not a building.  It is a group of people who come together to worship the Lord Jesus.  Some say that going to church is mainly to worship and fellowship, others feel it helps family bonding and still others say it is to learn from the Bible.  These are all good reasons to join a con

Déjà Vu

Luke 4:17-19

Many people have had déjà vu experiences, in which they think that they had already witnessed what they are currently experiencing.  Usually this is a little trick the mind plays on us.  But when Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah, He was really reading about Himself, even though it had been written about 700 years previously.  During that long time, God was preparing His people to look out for this Healer/Releaser/Leader/Teacher who would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Centre of Attention

Luke 4:20-22

Jesus had started His ministry in Nazareth by reading two verses from Isaiah: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Isaiah 61:1-2).  Rabbis stood to read the Scriptures as a mark of honour … but sat to explain it (as a sign that their comments were inferior to those of God's).  Jesus also placed Himself under the authority of God’s Word as i

Home and Away

Luke 4:23-27

Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in His home-town of Nazareth.  It was going well.  All the local people were impressed by the local carpenter, the son of Joseph or so they thought (Luke 4:22).  But Jesus knew there was another side to them.  In the same way He had exposed Satan's evil intentions during the confrontation in the desert (Luke 4:1-13), Jesus exposed the shallow vanity of the congregation.  He knew that they really wanted to see Him do some miracles and to get Him to resolve their problems.  After all, He was their local man; surely He owed it to His local community to help

Showing True Colours

Luke 4:28-30

The congregation welcomed Jesus back to His home synagogue (Luke 4:16-19).  They admired His eloquence and graciousness (Luke 4:20-22); but, by the end of the service, they hated Him so much that they wanted to kill Him!  What a bizarre ending to Jesus' first sermon in His hometown of Nazareth.  What had He done to precipitate such a violent response?  The order of events is significant.  First, He read from Isaiah's prophecy, and then He said Isaiah was speaking about Him.  Then He reminded His towns-folk that God blessed people with faith, and that if there were none in Israel, God would

Authority to Love or Hate

Luke 4:31-32

Jesus had just survived a violent mob, set on killing Him (Luke 4:28-30).  Townspeople from Nazareth had just tried to kill Him for declaring Himself as God's Messiah who had come to save those with faith.  And He said that if Jews would not believe, salvation was open to the Gentiles (Luke 4:24-27).  His authority was so evident and powerful that they could not ignore His words: but they hated Him for it.  So, they had hustled Him out of the synagogue and tried to throw Him off a nearby cliff.

Deliver us from Evil

Luke 4:33-35

Jesus Christ came to defeat the devil (1 John 3:8).  After Jesus’ baptism and before His ministry started, the Saviour met Satan to challenge his evil authority, and 'put him on notice' that his wicked rule over people had no legitimacy and would be crushed.  That desert encounter (Luke 4:1-13) set the scene for the rest of His earthly ministry: culminating in the cross (where Satan hoped to win), and then the resurrection (where Jesus demonstrated His victory).

Spiritual Authority

Luke 4:36-37

In Jesus' day, people were used to authority; it was everywhere.  The occupying Roman forces had the right to make people obey Roman law; but the soldiers would exceed their authority, demanding bribes under threat of false arrest (Luke 3:14).  Religious leaders forced people to keep the Law of Moses and many extra rabbinical traditions, but they had no place for Jesus (Luke 11:52): and it was the religious 'temple guard' who arrested Jesus (Luke 22:52).  Later, Saul, (who became Paul the Apostle after his conversion) had authority from the chief priests to arrest Christians and throw them

Domestic Kindness

Luke 4:38-39

Jesus went to Simon's house after the synagogue service.  At that time, Simon (later to be called Peter) had not yet been called to be a disciple (Luke 5:1-11).  The extended family was there including Simon's wife's mother.  She may have been old but she was certainly very unwell in bed, running a high fever.  In those days, without any effective medicines, the disease causing the fever might lead to death.  So, the family were concerned and asked Jesus for help.  In the same way that He addressed the demons, He commanded the fever to leave her; and it did.