How are you approaching Jesus The Christ? Are you approaching Him as who He is or who you want Him to be? Are you humble or entitled? Are you demanding or grateful? Are you placing Your expectations on Him or letting His expectations direct you? Are you approaching Him with recognition of His authority, or are you in charge? Are you approaching Him at all or keeping a safe distance?

Also in this passage we see the demonstration of The Christ’s authority. The theme of Christ’s authority is woven throughout the book of Luke. Where we are, regarding His authority, has a lot to do with how we approach Him.

Chapter 4:14 – 44

14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about Him spread quickly through the whole region. 15 He taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When He came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.

  • He is now operating full time in the power of the Spirit (Public Ministry)
  • He was known and respected throughout the general area (as a teacher)
  • But what would happen in His ‘Hometown’?

17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

  • This was a known ‘Messianic Prophecy’
  • Everyone without the ‘Good News’ is poor
  • Everyone without God’s forgiveness of Sin in Christ is ‘A Captive to Sin’
  • Everyone without the Gospel is blind, everyone is oppressed (separated)
  • The dawning of God’s Grace in Christ had arrived!

20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at Him intently. 21 Then He began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” 22 Everyone spoke well of Him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips.

  • The idea of the Messiah coming was easy…the idea that He was here…
  • It was cool until they figured out He was calling Himself ‘Messiah’
  • They were comfortable approaching Him as a ‘Teacher’ not as God

How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23 Then He said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ 24 But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

  • Presuppositions about Jesus, they thought they knew who He was
  • Expectations of Him based on their desires (sin)
  • Selfish desire to have Jesus ‘serve his people’…
  • Jesus knew their thoughts, knew they would never be satisfied

25 “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 And many in Israel had leprosy in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”

  • He is addressing their ‘Spiritual Entitlement’
  • Their approach to Jesus is based on what they think they deserve
  • The same story unfolds throughout the scriptures: God has ways we don’t get
  • God has an agenda, are you good with it?
  • God will perfectly choose who receives His: Mercy / Grace / Love / Salvation

28 When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29 Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30 but He passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

  • Jesus hits a nerve, the declaration that they were not entitled to God’s favor
  • When the truth is shown to some the reaction is violent
  • I have encountered this anger when confronting people with God’s sovereignty

31 Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32 There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for He spoke with authority. 33 Once when He was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—cried out, shouting, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

  • He continues to go to synagogues…he is open to being approached
  • Demons know the deal, who Jesus is
  • Those who know who He is know the totality of His authority
  • The identification of Jesus as ‘The Christ’ (Holy One of God)

35 But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” He ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. 36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region.

  • He not only has authority, He uses it for good
  • Some who have seen His authority demonstrated will be convinced…
  • These people don’t try to kill Him!

38 After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. “Please heal her,” everyone begged. 39 Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them.

  • The approach was not to demand but ‘Humble Asking’
  • Begging is synonymous with humility. The essence of prayer is begging.
  • The Christ can be approached to heal us and our loved ones…
  • God has shown us throughout the scriptures how we are to approach Him

40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41 Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak.

  • The bringing of family members is others based not self based
  • Approaching Jesus on the behalf of others is an example for us
  • Not all sickness has demonic origins, but some does
  • Christ exercises His legitimate authority, demons can only declare who He is

42 Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43 But he replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea.

  • Jesus The Christ had an agenda contrary to their’s. He is not ‘On – Demand’
  • They do well in how they persistently approach Him
  • When God is in your midst you want Him to stay!
  • Approaching from a place of desire for His presence
  • We have to be good with God’s agenda for our lives and others
  • Approaching Him believing He ‘Knows what He is doing’
  • Jesus modeled this approach: ‘Not my will, but yours be done’
  • Submission to God’s will

Submitting to His will for each of us starts with the surrender your life, by, faith to Jesus the Christ.

The Gospel is for this life and Eternity!

Application Questions:

What are some experiences that have shaped how you approach Jesus The Christ?

Can you identify selfish expectations you have placed on Christ

How does your approach to Christ reflect your recognition of His authority in your life?

Is your prayer life more about directing God’s agenda or humbly asking for His best?

This is an important part of the Gospel. Together with Jesus’ Baptism, it serves to validate Christ’s Messiahship as well as prepares Him to fulfill His mission on earth. This story is one of many where we see the uniqueness of Jesus The Christ. He displays the fullness of His divinity while incarnated as a human so we can connect and directly associate with Him. He gives us a perfect example of how we can be united in relationship with God. He sets the bar, and even though we cannot do it every time like He does, we can overcome temptation by becoming self-aware and yielding to God’s spirit.

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where He was tempted by the devil for forty days.

  • Jesus example of Biblical Doctrine of ‘Being Filled with The Holy Spirit
  • He already ‘had’ the Spirit, the ‘Filling’ is for supernatural work to be done
  • Led by = Yielded to
  • 40 days is significant: Generally a period of testing
  • The Flood / Spies sent to promised land / Ezekiel on his side

Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. 3Then the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 “…people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
  • The act of not eating anything for 40 days… Previously done by Moses & Elijah
  • Moses & Elijah 40 days on Mt. Sinai (Jesus: High place & Height of Temple)
  • Moses & Elijah meet with Jesus on the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’
  • Devil / Lucifer tries to get Jesus to use His power selfishly (Just like he did!)
  • Life’s not a material / natural thing but rather it flows from a supernatural God
  • The temptation to fulfill physical needs and desires in ‘Inappropriate’ ways
  • We are called to trust God enough to let Him decide how and when our physical needs and wants will be met.

5 Then the devil took Him up and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” 8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”

  • Some high place, the assumption is a mountain top
  • The offer is ‘Earthly’ authority and power if you worship the Devil
  • This must be the same offer Lucifer made to the Angels who fell with him
  • The devil wants Jesus to be divided in His loyalty
  • He doesn’t ask Jesus to not worship God, but to worship him as well as God
  • Jesus answer is our example: A relationship with God must be exclusive!

9 Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. 11 And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

  • The Devil wanted Christ to prove who is was to God and as God
  • It was a temptation to use His divinity to get personal attention
  • Jesus models the principle of letting God set the agenda, so He gets the glory
  • This is the temptation to do ‘Show Ministry’ (Stealing God’s Glory)

13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.

  • It is possible that there were other temptations in the course of the 40 days
  • Tempted and found sinless (It is no sin to be tempted, giving in is the sin)
  • This was not the end of the temptations Jesus would face

Summary of the temptations (how we can relate them to our lives)

1st: Temptation to pursue our physical needs (lusts of the flesh) Spirit – Control

2nd: Temptation to misdirect our worship or trust to various Idols Commitment

3rd: Temptation to assume God’s will & ‘show off spiritually’ Humility

How we are to fight:

Jesus’ weapon against all three temptations is ‘The Scripture’: it is an example to us!

But you cannot use a weapon you do not know and are not familiar with (David)

That means not just knowing Scripture… (the devil knows Scripture)

You have to practically apply it and live it, building emotional / relational experience

The foundation of an identity as a ‘Disciple’ of Jesus Christ: Scripture Application

None of this works without our surrender to The Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Application Questions

What have you learned or grown in during seasons of testing or preparation in your life?

What physical areas of ‘Inappropriate Enjoyment’ are you tempted by and struggle with?

What things (including yourself) do you at times put more trust in than Jesus Christ?

Have you ever recognized in yourself a desire to show off spiritually in order to get attention or validation?

What’s the theological significance of John The Baptist’s message & Jesus’ baptism?

What role does baptism play in a ‘Biblical Relationship’ with God?

Luke 3:1-23

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests.

  • 30 AD the beginning of Jesus’ ‘Public Ministry’
  • The Scripture is anchored in historic reality, corresponding to other histories

At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

  • John had time for preparation in the wilderness
  • Once given his ‘Marching Orders’ he was focused on a single message
  • His message: ‘If you have repented and turned to God to be forgiven, show it in a public proclamation of baptism’
  • The Scripture specifically asserts this message is ‘From God’

4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!

5 The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. 6 And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’”

  • Connecting the Old Testament with current reality (The arrival of Christ)
  • Our obedience to ‘believers baptism’ is a form of clearing MY road for Jesus
  • The public confession of our faith is a way God reveals himself to ‘All People’

7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’

  • It became ‘Popular’…when crowds came…real confession of sin is not popular
  • John calls out the idea of doing baptism for show, checking it off your list
  • Baptism is not an ‘Insurance policy’
  • It is to signify your acknowledgement of sin & surrender to God 4 forgiveness
  • It is then to be backed up by your life / lifestyle / actions
  • In ‘Believers Baptism’ you give The Body license to hold you accountable
  • It’s not about someone else conferring you in…each Soul is an individual

That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

  • God knows where you are regarding a true confession of Christ as Lord
  • His judgement is perfect
  • Good Fruit = Repenting of your sins & turning to God V. 8 (surrender)
  • Don’t produce good fruit, thrown into the fire

10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?” 11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” 12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.” 14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers. John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”

  • In order for John to baptize them he wanted to be sure they were serious
  • Baptism is meant to awaken you to the spiritual reality of surrendering your life
  • Baptism is a proclamation / confession of Christ as Lord following His example
  • Then there is practical living that shows the influence of Christ’s Lordship
  • The Scripture is teaching a ‘Both And’: Baptism & Surrendered Living

15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals.

  • There was a buzz prior to John The Baptist about the coming Messiah
  • John knew his baptism was not what determined forgiveness
  • He speaks of what he is doing will be totally overshadowed
  • This example describes the difference between him and Jesus (God v man)

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

  • The coming Messiah will ‘Immerse’ / ‘Baptize’ everyone in His ‘Person’ or His ‘Wrath’
  • Reminiscent of Simeon’s prophecy, the Messiah would define redemption
  • There is no place between: either the barn or never-ending fire

18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people. 19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.

  • Luke uses the term ‘Good News’ that is, forgiveness from God for sin
  • Herod was not a legit King, John had a low tolerance for fakers

21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy. ” 23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.

  • Among the crowds… the example is a very public situation
  • God Himself (Jesus Christ) initiated being baptized
  • He took it very seriously; as He was praying…
  • Father confers His blessing on Son for obedience (fulfilling all righteousness)

(Matthew 3:13-15)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

The rest of the chapter is a genealogy of Jesus’ earthly father’s heritage

It was 77 generations from Adam to Jesus.

The first and last lines of the genealogy: Jesus was known as the son of Joseph. Adam was the son of God.

Application Questions:

Why is John The Baptist’s message important to understanding who Jesus is?

Why does John preach repentance demonstrated in baptism?

What is the connection between baptism and God-centered living?

Why is Jesus’ public baptism in all four gospel accounts?

What role does baptism play in a ‘Biblical Relationship’ with God?

The Gospel of Luke is a journey starting with an amazing coming and ending with an even more incredible going. The Advent of The Messiah, The Christ… It’s a big deal! It is not by chance that Luke writing under control of the Holy Spirit points out a strong connection between Jesus and The Temple in Jerusalem. To truly understand the ‘New Covenant’ that Christ brings we need to keep it connected to the previous revelation of God and the Temple is a central part of that

21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. 22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

  • Circumcised on 8th day & named as the angle instructed
  • Then 5 day walk (65 miles) to The Temple
  • It is totally ironic that Joseph & Mary take Jesus to present him to ‘The Lord’

23 The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

  • They buy the birds, take them to the priests, they are killed as a sacrifice

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

  • There were groups of devout Jews who were focused on the Messiah
  • Simeon was being led by The Holy Spirit to anticipate the Lord’s Messiah
  • He thought the Messiah was just for Israel…

27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared for all people. 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

  • The place to see God’s Salvation was the place it had been foreshadowed
  • Simeon was in the place where Law would meet Grace…The Temple
  • He knew what he was looking at the moment he saw Jesus the Messiah
  • Waiting for Israel’s Salvation, but when he saw IT, he knew it was for everyone
  • The Christ / Messiah is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to all people

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

  • Remember the Wise Men had not come yet, just some Shepherds…
  • Mary visited by Gabriel & her experience with Elizabeth
  • Joseph visited in a dream by an angel
  • Simeon’s ‘pronouncement / prophecy’: big picture, then personal about Mary
  • The Temple is the place where God had revealed Himself to his people before

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.

  • The title of ‘Prophet’ was serious business (you had to be right EVERY time)
  • Being this old and still being called a prophet meant you were the real deal

She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

  • She was anchored to the Temple
  • She happened to be there when Simeon declared what God had shown him
  • Her first response is praise, then she turns into a messenger (great credibility)

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

  • Based on the Gospel of Matthew this didn’t happen for two more years and then a stay in Egypt before getting back to nazareth
  • Wiser than normal… Obvious favor of God upon Him

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44 because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.

  • Yearly trek to Jerusalem for Passover Festival was common
  • When the festival was over everyone headed home, except Jesus
  • They assumed he was with other family, but is a no show @ dinner…

45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

  • They go back and search for two days (one day to get there, two searching)
  • Think how distressed they must have been!
  • And there he is in the Temple, in the mix, blowing people’s minds!

48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” 49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant.

  • Shocked to find their 12 yr old son trading scripture insight w/ religious teachers
  • They are hurt that Jesus had been inconsiderate of them
  • Jesus is confused they didn’t know where he was, he thought it was a given
  • He didn’t realize they didn’t understand his connection to the Temple

51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. 52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

  • This is not to say that he had not been obedient previously
  • Good translation: ‘He continued to be obedient’
  • Mary is putting all the pieces of the puzzle together
  • Again the mention of Christ’s wisdom and favor with God AND everybody…

Application Questions:

Why does this scripture detail a connection between Jesus and The Temple?

Since Jesus came to end the need for the Temple, why is it the location of this story?

Where do you see connection between the Temple and The Messiah?

What’s significant about Jesus being at the Temple in this story & throughout his life?