Vol. 18, No. 25 – July 7, 2019
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14 – 9:50.
A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.
B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.
1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.
2. Over disease, Luke 4:38-44.
A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.
This is the only Gospel account that gives us this scene. But the introduction is common in the other Gospels.
Some think the first two verses are a better conclusion to vs. 1-13, than an introduction to vs. 16-30. Yet, they do act as a nice transition.
In these passages, we see the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. After being baptized by John, he went back to the region of Galilee, also “in the power of the Spirit,” EN HO DUNAMIS HO PNEUMA, equipped for ministry. He continued to be led by God the Holy Spirit, as He did throughout His entire life. The Spirit and power are often linked together in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:17, 35; 24:49.
The district of Galilee was in the northernmost part of Palestine where Herod Antipas was tetrarch, as we noted in Chapter 3. Galilee was fairly prosperous and heavily populated.
Josephus tells us there were over 200 towns and villages in that region during the time of Christ.
As He was ministering to the people, many were talking about Him and sharing what they had seen and learned with others. “News about Him,” uses the Noun PHEME, φήμη that means “report or news,” or the old English meaning of the same in the word “fame.”
The word occurs twice in the NT, Mat 9:26; Luke 4:14. In Mat 9:26, after the Lord raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, “the news spread throughout all that land.” It refers to the news about Jesus’ being able to raise the dead. The second occurrence is in our verse, when Jesus returned to Galilee from the temptation and “news of Him spread throughout the surrounding district,” Luke 4:14. In vs. 23, we see that “news” about Jesus spread throughout the region (neighborhood) of Capernaum too.
In Luke 4:15, “And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.” This is why people were later calling Him “teacher,” DIDASKALOS. The good news of the Kingdom, (Salvation), was the subject of His sermons, Mat 4:17; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:16-30.
Interestingly, at the first they all “praised,” DOXAZO, Him, but the tide would soon turn. When Jesus went to His home town of Nazareth, cf. Luke 2:39, 51-52 with Luke 4:28-29. He went to the synagogue on Saturday, the Sabbath day, as was His custom.
In vs. 17, there He was given the “book,” BIBLION βιβλίον, “book, scroll, or written document,” (this is where we get our word “Bible” from), of Isaiah.
During the synagogue services, two portions of Scripture were read, one from the Law, (the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible), and the other from the Prophets that included Isaiah. The ruler of the synagogue, typically an elder in the community, must have recognized Jesus. According to custom, he gave Jesus the opportunity to read the Hebrew text and give a free translation in Aramaic, which was the common language of Galilee at that time. Jesus most likely read and translated the day’s portion from the Pentateuch before being given the scroll of Isaiah, HESAIAS, Ἡσαΐας. Once it was handed to Him, He “opened or unrolled,” ANAPTUSSO, ἀναπτύσσω, (only used here in the NT), the scroll and took it upon Himself to turn to Isa 61:1-2, as He read it in Luke 4:18-19.
Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.”
This passage first speaks about the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit upon our Lord Jesus Christ. This was a common expression regarding the prophets of old who had the temporary enduement of the Holy Spirit to empower their ministries or service. Therefore, Jesus is proclaiming first to be THE prophet of God. This also speaks to our Lord being the prototype of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age, where every believer has the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit from the day of their new birth, with the opportunity to have the filling of the Holy Spirit to enable and empower their spiritual walk.
We also see in the first part, a Trinitarian announcement; the identification of all three members of the Trinity: Spirit, Lord (Father), Me (The Son).
“Anointed,” is the Verb CHRIO, χρίω that means, “to anoint; to appoint.” In the LXX translation of the OT, it is used for the ritual anointing with oil to consecrate and appoint someone to a special office such as priest or king. As you know, Jesus is both. The figurative use of the verb also indicated any endowment of spiritual gifts or even the enduement of the Holy Spirit, as noted above. It is with this figurative meaning that CHRIO was most often used in reference to the prophets. They would describe themselves as “anointed” when they had received the Spirit of God and thereby been “appointed” to the office of prophet. Therefore, this was Jesus’ announcement that He was God’s chosen Prophet, Priest, and King.
“In the Old Testament men were anointed with oil for key offices in Israel: kings (1 Sam 10:1), priests (Exod 30:30), and prophets (1 Kgs 19:16). This was symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s power equipping them for their weighty tasks (David in 1 Sam 16:13)” (Christ-Centered Exposition)
In the NT, it is used 5 times; in our verse, Acts 4:27; 10:38; 2 Cor 1:21; Heb 1:9. Only in 2 Corinthians is it used for someone other than Jesus Christ. In all 5 usages, it is an act performed by God, with the figurative meaning “to assign a person to a task, with the implication of supernatural sanctions, blessing, and the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit.”
This anointing refers to Luke 3:22, cf. Acts 10:38, and the Divine commissioning for Jesus’ ministry. This anointing was not just a prophetic anointing, Luke 4:24, but a Messianic one as well, Luke 3:22; Acts 4:26–27; 10:38, for Jesus is the bringer, not just the herald, of salvation.
Acts 10:38, “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
As Jesus reads this passage, He is stating He is the fulfillment of the prophecy as He is the Messiah, the prophet who brings the announcement of God’s kingdom breaking into the world, as well as our High Priest who ministers on our behalf before God, and the King of Israel. Therefore, Isaiah 61 prophesies the coming Messiah who brings the salvation of God.
Isaiah says that the Messiah is anointed to do one thing primarily, “to preach” EUANGELIZO, εὐαγγελίζω. That is what a prophet does: he preaches the very words and the promises of God. In vs. 18 and 19, there are four objectives of His preaching:
1. “To preach good news to the poor.” Here “preach the good news,” is one word in the Greek EUANGELIZO”, that means, “preach the gospel.”
2. “To proclaim (KERUSSO) release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” In Luke, the term KĒRUSSO, κηρύσσω “to preach, proclaim aloud, publicly preach, herald, announce, tell, or declare,” is synonyms with EUANGELIZO regarding the preaching of the Gospel. In this “preaching” there are two directions that speak of salvation.
a. “Release to the captives,” which always refers to the forgiveness of sins elsewhere in Luke-Acts, Luke 1:77; 3:3; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18. The captives are those held under the bondage of sin and evil. Jesus came to proclaim that people could be “released” APHESIS, ἄφεσις that means, “release, forgiveness, deliverance, suspension of punishment, etc.” Jesus came to pay for our sins so that we would be released of their bondage through forgiveness of our sins by God.
b. “Recovery of sight for the blind.” Here Luke uses The Noun ANABLEPSIS, ἀνάβλεψις that means, “recovery of sight.” The verb form is used about 26 times in the Gospels and Acts to describe the activity of healing the blind or of simply looking up. This may be a reference to the blind, “TUPHLOS” that Jesus healed. Only one specific example is given in Luke 18:35–43, but others are clearly referred to in Luke 7:21–22. Yet, there is another sense in which “blind” refers metaphorically to those who are “spiritually blind,” and do not know the gospel of Jesus Christ. These will be given the “sight” or spiritual knowledge to know and believe upon Jesus as their Savior.
This is the literal understanding of Isa 61:1, “…freedom to prisoners,” where the Hebrew Noun for “freedom” is PEQACH-QOACH that means, “opening of the eyes,” and “prisoners” is the Verb ASAR that means, “to tie or bind.” The English translation has the noun and verb backwards. It should read, “open eyes for those that are bound,” meaning, “sight to those that cannot see: i.e., are blinded.”
Therefore, Jesus came to preach His gospel of salvation to: a) Released us of our bondage to sin through forgiveness of our sins by His Cross; b) Give us the spiritual sight / knowledge to know and believe upon Jesus as our Savior.
3. “To release or set free the oppressed/downtrodden.” This is taken from Isa 58:6d. “Release” is the Noun APHESIS once again and “oppressed/downtrodden” is the Verb THRAUO, θραύω that is only used here. It means, “broken in pieces, shattered, weakened, or bruised.” The word is common in the papyri where it refers to the “crushing power” of evil, (New American Commentary). Jesus came to crush sin so that sin would no longer crush us.
Luke 4:19, “To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
4. “To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” KERUSSO DEKTOS ENIAUTOS KURIOS.
This fourth objective is basically a synonym for the “good news (EUANGELIZO) of the kingdom of God,” as Luke 4:43 shows. Jesus proclaimed here that God’s kingdom had come. In fulfillment of the OT promises, salvation was now being offered to all.
“Favorable” is the Adjective DEKTOS, δεκτός that means, “acceptable, accept, or favorable.” It occurs 32 times in the LXX (Septuagint). Many times it describes a sacrifice or the person offering a sacrifice as “acceptable” to God, e.g., Lev 1:3-4; 19:5; 22:19-20; Isa 56:7; Mal 2:13.
God is the judge of what is acceptable, which stands in contrast to what God abhors (i.e., sin), Prov 10:24; 11:1; 12:22; 14:9. The idea in Isaiah seems to be a time of “favor” and “grace,” cf. Isa 49:8; Luke 4:19-22; 2 Cor 6:2, based on the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
Isa 49:8, “Thus says the LORD, ‘In a favorable time I have answered You, and in a day of salvation I have helped You; and I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, to restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages.”
2 Cor 6:2, “For He says, ‘At the acceptable time I listened to You, and on the day of salvation I helped You.’ Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation’.”
This also relates to the propitiation of the Father through the completed work of His Son upon the Cross for the payment of the penalty for our sins that provides us the forgiveness of our sins for salvation first and then experiential sanctification.
This is also an allusion to the “Year of Jubilee,” cf. Lev 25:8-12. Every 7th year was a “Sabbatical year,” a “year of release,” when a Hebrew who had become a bond servant could go free, cf. Ex 21:1-11. It was also a time to let the land rest. Then, after seven times seven years, (49 years), there would be a special year, the 50th, which was a year of Jubilee.
In that time period, possessions which had been sold were returned to their original owners, and debts were canceled. It was a time of great festivity. Therefore, Jesus proclaimed a time of release / forgiveness from sin for the entire world.
This year of Jubilee was also related to the “kinsman redeemer,” Lev 25:23-28; cf. Ezek 46:17. A provision of the Law says that if a man is too poor to buy back his property, a relative could purchase it. And, if he had no relative, in the 50th year, it still reverted back to the original owner. Jesus is Israel’s and our Kinsman Redeemer, who bought back our souls from the bondage of sin.
This Jubilee is also related to entering into the rest of God; faithfully trusting in Him alone for your salvation and not your works, Heb 4:1-16, just as the 7th day was a day of rest, the 7th year was a year of rest, and the year after the 7 x 7 year was a Jubilee rest from bondage and time of celebration.
Therefore, this “Good News” anticipates a time when all the people’s spiritual brokenness, spiritual poverty, spiritual imprisonment, spiritual blindness, and spiritual oppression because of sin will be restored and reversed by God’s favor or grace, through the preaching of the Gospel, i.e., the opportunity for the Kingdom of God.
This release or freedom would be won upon the Cross when He paid for our sins and is now available to all of mankind to rest in. Those who accept Jesus as their Savior receive the “good news,” which means they have: 1) “freedom from sins bondage,” 2) “spiritual knowledge to know and believe upon Jesus,” 3) “freedom from the oppressor (sin and Satan),” because of 4) “God’s great grace,” for salvation, past, present, and future.
Interestingly, and purposefully, Jesus did not read the last part of Isaiah 61:2, which reads, “… and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.” The reason He did not read that portion is because it is a reference to His Second Advent at the end of the Tribulation. During His First Advent, He came to pay for the sins of the world, providing salvation to all who would believe in Him. He did not come to condemn the world, John 3:17; rather, He came to be a ransom for our sin, Heb 9:28; Mark 10:45. In His First Advent, by the grace of God, He was judged upon the Cross for our sins. During His Second Advent, He will come to judge the world of unbelievers, Rev 19:11-21.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-067 & 19-068
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!