Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 4:16-27

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Luke 4:16

Nazareth. The town in Galilee where Jesus was raised (v. 23; 1:26; 2:4, 39, 51; Mark 1:24). Luke reminded his readers of this fact, highlighting the rejection Jesus faced (vv. 28-29). custom. Any qualified man in the group could get up and read. Luke indicated Jesus regularly attended and participated in the synagogue services. On this occasion, Jesus's reputation had gone before him after preaching (v. 15). There was probably a sense of expectation in the group when Jesus got up to read (vv. 20-22).

Luke 4:17

found the place. Luke records specific texts that Jesus found and read (Isa. 61:1-2a; 58:6). Implied is his intimate familiarity with the Scriptures (see Ps. 119:10-11, 15-16).

Luke 4:18-19

Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Reflects Jesus's self-awareness of his calling and anointing (2:49; 3:21-22). He quoted passages promising salvation for God's suffering people. tell good news. Preach the gospel (Mark 1:15). Luke portrayed Jesus as a prophet and teacher (7:16, 39; 9:8, 19; 13:33; 24:19; Acts 3:22; 7:37, 52; see note on v. 15). What follows explains the good news (gospel). poor. Those of low economic status, but also anyone is humble and understands their need of God (see 1:52; 5:29-32; 6:20; 1 Cor. 1:26-29). captives. Freedom and deliverance are metaphors for salvation (1:77; 3:3; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18). Jesus brings freedom to the captives. blind. Jesus healed not only physical blindness (7:21-22; 18:35-43) but also spiritual blindness (24:32, 44-45; 2 Cor. 4:4-6). oppressed. Unlike the previous prophets, Jesus's preaching would not merely call for freedom for the oppressed. He would make it a reality (see 3:15-18; 11:14-23, 31-32; 18:38-39; 19:37-38). year of the Lord's favor. This is the year of Jubilee, where liberation was declared every fifty years in Israel. The land and people were made new by lack of farming, people returning to their ancestral land, debts being forgiven, and slaves being released (Lev. 25:8-55). Interestingly, Jesus quotes the first half of the line here, but omits the second half, "the day of vengeance of our God." This became a sign of greater renewal and salvation from the Lord, which Jesus accomplished. See WLC 42.

Luke 4:21-27

See WLC 42.

Luke 4:21

beganby saying. Indicates that Luke only presented a summary of Jesus's teaching. fulfilled. The Old Testament promises of salvation were fulfilled in Jesus. The messianic kingdom was established with his coming (see note on 24:27, 44-47).

Luke 4:22

Initially, the men of the synagogue had a positive reaction to Jesus's message (vv. 17-21). But they were also surprised because he was only the son of Joseph.

Luke 4:23-24

Jesus knew the thoughts and hearts of those before him. In response, he quotes two proverbs. Doctor, heal yourself. In that day, medical care was a less precise and inconsistent. Some doctors were even charlatans, so medicine was sometimes looked at with skepticism. The proverb means expect a doctor to prove he can do what he claims. Because Jesus had already ministered in Capernaum, the people wanted him to perform a sign to prove what he claimed for himself (vv. 17-21). no prophet is received. Another proverb about an inability to see beyond what is familiar (v. 22). Ironically, because Israel often rejected the prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus's rejection by the people reveals him to be a true prophet (7:16, 39; 13:33-34; 24:19; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).

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