Luke 4 tells us what Jesus was tempted to do and what Jesus came to do.
Reading: Luke 4.1-44
Scriptures: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4.43
Observations: This chapter is so rich it is impossible to restrain myself to one or two verses. I chose verse 43 because it summarizes the flow of the whole chapter. So, my observations are about the whole, not just this verse.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, launches into his mission. His first challenge is to face down the devil’s temptation to use his authority for his own personal comfort, power and fame. We then learn that he has come instead for the poor, the imprisoned, the blind and the oppressed. And when Jesus hints to his hometown listeners that God would also reach out to the non-Israelites (remember that Luke is writing this for a gentile audience), his friends turned on him and attempted to throw him off of a cliff. But Jesus isn’t thwarted by those parochial prejudices and walks right through the crowd. And so we see that nothing can thwart his mission. His mission begins by demonstrating his power to cast out demons and heal diseases, and in so doing we see the nature of the good news of the kingdom of God.
Apply: The temptation to build our personal kingdom (comfort, pleasure, power) is great. In the kingdoms of this world the tempter’s advertisements shout to us all, “You suck, you deserve more, it’s all about you.” And our ears are naturally tuned to those messages. I need to train my ears to hear a better message. I need to hear the good news of God’s kingdom and be steadfast in building that kind of kingdom.
Pray: Jesus, help me to have ears that hear the whisper of your still small voice above the shouts of all the other voices that tempt me to turn away from your will and your ways.