Luke 3-4
(Launch of Ministry for All Towns)
October 22nd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

He left the next day for open country. But the crowds went looking and, when they found him, clung to him so he couldn’t go on. He told them, “Don’t you realize that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the Message of God’s kingdom, that this is the work God sent me to do?” Meanwhile he continued preaching in the meeting places of Galilee.

- Luke 3:42-44 (MSG)

Summary of Chapters

In chapter 3, Luke establishes the authenticity of Jesus with the baptism of Jesus and a listing of his genealogy. Chapter 4 establishes Jesus’ dominion over sin as he resists the temptation of the devil and records the beginning of his ministry of teaching and healing. He began in the region of Galilee, where everyone praised him.

When he went to his own town of Nazareth, he attended the synagogue on the Sabbath and caused a bit of a controversy by speaking the truth, as recorded in chapter 4:

The people of the synagogue had respected him enough to invite him to speak, but once they heard what he had to say, no one believed him. They were so angry that they attempted to throw him off a cliff, but he slipped through their grasp.

Jesus then went to Capernaum, where even the demons that he cast out recognized who he was. The people there asked him to stay, but he declared that “ ‘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 - NIV).”

Reflection and Application

The temptation of Jesus in the desert reveals several spiritual themes (1):

Note that Jesus attended the synagogue according to his own custom, not because of cultural pressure. One would think that he could make himself exempt from the fourth commandment, but he did not. Instead, he provides a good role model for us. When we follow the same custom on Sundays we have an opportunity to celebrate with other Christians all around the world. We are encouraged and influenced by our leaders and others in the pew through their prayers, greetings, and words of wisdom. Let us re-commit ourselves today to this discipline and do it with glad hearts:

Why did Jesus save himself from being thrown off the cliff but did not save himself from the pain of crucifixion? Because it was not yet time. He had other towns yet to go to and needed time to train his disciples. The Father would chose the time and place, and this was not it.

We may also ask at times about God’s timing in our own lives: Why did he allow some of our loved ones to suffer in such a way, but not others. We may not be able to answer, but we have to make good use of our time and accept his will, as Jesus did.

Consider how humbly John the Baptist conducted his ministry and think about how his approach applies to our plans for ministry. We recommend a sermon essay that explores this comparison which is found on the Till He Comes website. You can see it and read it at the following link "Luke 3:15-22 – Preparing for Ministry"

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What have been your experiences making fresh bread or eating freshly baked bread?
    2. How is that Nazareth rejected Jesus but the demons knew who he was?
    3. What scriptures do you find useful as a tool to resist temptation?

    Recommended Prayer
    Father, we know that you sent your son to fulfill the scriptures. Help us to recognize him.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns


    (1) Morris, Leon The Gospel According to St. Luke, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1974, p. 102-104

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Luke 5-6 (Blessed are the Fishers of Men)

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