James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
And 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 for to read.Luke 4:16-5:16
THE MINISTRY BEGUN
AT NAZARETH (Luke 4:16-30)
It was the custom for visitors to be granted the privilege of reading the Scriptures on such occasions (Luke 4:16-17), and Jesus read from Isaiah 61. Perhaps it was not the appointed portion for that day, which may explain the last sentence of Luke 4:20. However, when He began to apply the prophecy to Himself (Luke 4:21), there was astonishment indeed, for nothing like that had ever been heard. Luke 4:23 indicates the state of mind and heart of His hearers. He knew the rejection before Him was such as had been meted out to Elijah and Elisha, and as God had worked by them among the Gentiles so would He do again. This aroused enmity, with the result of Luke 4:29-30. A comparison of Isaiah 61:2, affords an instance of “the exquisite accuracy of Scripture,” since Jesus stopped midway in the verse. The first half is connected with His first Advent and the present dispensation of grace, and the second, with His second Advent and the judgments to follow.
AT CAPERNAUM (Luke 4:31-44)
The leading events here are the casting out of the demon (Luke 4:33-35), and the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother (Luke 4:38-39), both of which are referred to in Mark 1, the second also in Matthew 8. Matthew 4 tells us that Christ made His home at this time at Capernaum, while Luke (Luke 4:23) tells us why. Note in the case of the demon: (1) that demons know their ultimate fate; (2) that Jesus will not receive their testimony to Himself though it be true; and (3) that there is a distinction between them and the persons they inhabit and control. But why were the people amazed (Luke 4:36)? To cast out demons was not new (Matthew 12:27), but the way and the power by which Jesus cast them out was altogether new. Compare the testimony of Nicodemus (John 3:2). Notice Luke 4:40, “He laid His hands on every one of them, and healed them,” and also Luke 4:43. What labor it represents!
AT GENNESARET (Luke 5:1-11)
The great draught of fishes is original with Luke, but calls for little comment. But note Peter’s confession of sin in Luke 5:8. Sin, not sins. It is his state of which he speaks, and not particular transgressions. What he is, not what he has done, utterly unfits him for the divine presence, and he can find no comfort in that presence until his old nature has been taken away and a new put in its place. Nor is Luke 5:11 less remarkable. “They forsook all and followed Him” because one who could do what they had just seen done, was able to meet all their needs hence forth including those of their families.
IN A CERTAIN CITY (Luke 5:12-13)
With the exception of Miriam (Numbers 12), this is the first illustration of the healing of leprosy in Israel, where the law of Leviticus 14 could have been acted upon. No wonder the fame of Jesus spread abroad (Luke 5:15)! Who could work this miracle by his own power save the God of Israel?
1. Name the geographical divisions of this lesson.
2. Have you examined a map in its study?
3. Can you quote Isaiah 61:1-3?
4. Give in your own words the Old Testament incidents referred to in Luke 4:26-27.
5. What is noticeable about Jesus’ quotation of Isaiah 61:2?
6. Why did Jesus change His residence from Nazareth to Capernaum?
7. What three things do we learn about demons?
8. Quote John 3:2.
9. What is most noticeable in the story of the great draught of fishes?
10. How does the cleansing of the leper prove the deity of Christ?