Luke 4:16–30 (ESV)
Rejected at Nazareth
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue
on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to
proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed
on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming
from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘ “Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard
you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’ ” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the
land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When
they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down
the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.
Jesus’ ministry begins with victories over Satan and his minions, but also with an episode in Nazareth that foreshadows
His rejection at the hands of His own people. Our lives typically include a similar mixture of successes and rejections. That is why we do well to focus more on the end of the Gospel story, for there we see resurrection, God’s greatest victory over sin
and the devil, and the revelation of His grace and mercy for us.
I pray: Eternal God, give me grace when I face temptations from the devil and assaults
from the unbelieving world. Remind me that You have already overcome these things for me and even now are preparing a place for me in Your eternal presence. Amen.
Jesus Begins His Ministry
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Jesus begins to teach publicly for the first time since He was a child (2:41–52). Reflect on Jesus’ teaching, which relies on the work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be judged by popularity
alone. Pray that the Holy Spirit would bless your speech and lead others to the Lord through you. What blessings He bestows through the Gospel!
I pray: “May
we in faith its message learn Nor thanklessly its blessings spurn; May we in faith its truth confess And praise the Lord, our righteousness.” Amen.
Luke 4:1–13 (ESV)
The Temptation of Jesus
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ”
5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been
delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’ ”
9 And he took him to
Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’
their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It
is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
The Holy Spirit leads Jesus and abides with Him through His temptation, affirming that Jesus truly is the Son of God. The blessed Trinity likewise abides with us, that we may withstand Satan’s temptation of our flesh,
our pride, and our will. Through Holy Baptism in God’s name, we are truly His beloved children.
I pray: “Almighty God, unto You all hearts
are open, all desires are known, and from You no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Luke 3:23–38 (ESV)
of Jesus Christ
23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of
Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of
Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son
of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of
Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg,
the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared,
the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
To many people, geneaology is boring. I can see their point, but I will disagree with them. It is easy to skip over
it and to move to the next section. Luke’s genealogy works backward from Joseph, and goes all the way back to Adam and God (v 38). Luke emphasizes that the Messiah descends from Adam and so is related to all nations, while Matthew focused on Jesus’
Judean roots, which accords with his desire to present Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham. Luke names the actual ancestors of Joseph’s branch of the family. Matthew likely gives a stylized legal line of descent from King David.
I pray: Lord, open my eyes to the nature of Your kingdom, and so move me to live
a life worthy of Your Gospel by reaching out with the Good News that leads to everlasting life. Amen.
Luke 3:18–22 (ESV)
with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added
this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and
was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke’s account of John’s ministry and Jesus’ ancestry hint at the universal
nature of the Messiah’s kingdom. How sad, then, that churches too often show little concern for those outside the immediate boundaries of their fellowship. The Gospel is for everyone! Jesus’ death and resurrection bring life and salvation to all
who repent and call on His name.
I pray: Lord, open my eyes to the
nature of Your kingdom, and so move me to live a life worthy of Your Gospel by reaching out with the Good News that leads to everlasting life. Amen.