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Luke 4:1-29

Taught on | Topic: Temptation | Keywords: oppression, affliction, conflict, Holy Spirit, Enemy, Satan, the Devil, evil, temptation, blessing, baptism, spiritual warfare, attack, fasting, flesh, provision, promises, God's Word, Scripture, Bible, patience, protection, Bible study, context, the temple, Messiah, Galilee, synagogue, Gentiles, the law, fellowship, women, lepers

After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness, where He experienced a season of oppression and conflict. In this study, we see the tempting offers the Devil extended to Jesus and how Jesus handled them, and we learn how to overcome our own temptations.

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8/13/2014
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Luke 4:1-29
Luke 4:1-29
Skip Heitzig
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After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness, where He experienced a season of oppression and conflict. In this study, we see the tempting offers the Devil extended to Jesus and how Jesus handled them, and we learn how to overcome our own temptations.
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42 Luke - 2014

42 Luke - 2014

As a physician, Luke focused on the humanity of Jesus and presented Him as the Son of Man. In our study of this gospel, Pastor Skip Heitzig takes us through Luke's methodical account of Jesus' life, death,and resurrection so that we may "know the certainty of those things in which [we] were instructed" (Luke 1:4).

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Study Guide

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Luke 4

The Temptation of Christ—Read Luke 4:1-13
1.After Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3, He returned from the Jordan where John was baptizing and was led directly into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Who led Jesus into the wilderness (see v. 1)?


2.The temptation of Jesus was preceded by a time of fasting. How long did Jesus fast? What was his physical condition when the tempter came to Him (see v. 2)?



3.The tempter and the Devil are names for Satan, a fallen angel (see Isaiah 14:12-15). The Devil made an appeal to Jesus’ physical appetite, the lust of the flesh. What was that appeal? Why would it be a temptation (see v. 3)?



4.How did Jesus respond to this temptation (see v. 4)? (See also Deuteronomy 8:3.) How is His response a model of how we should handle temptation? (See 2 Peter 1:3-4.)


5.In Jesus’ response to this temptation, He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, stating that true life does not come from physical bread but “by every word of God” (v. 4). What was He referring to? (See Matthew 19:17; John 1:1-4; 5:39-40; 10:10; 14:6; 17:3; 1 John 1:2; 5:11-12, 20.)


6.Unable to convince Jesus to turn the stones into bread, where did the Devil take Jesus? What did he show Him (see v. 5)?


7.The Devil appealed to the lust of the eyes by showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, their authority, and glory (see v. 5) and tempting Him with immediate rule and ownership (see v. 6). He offered Jesus an easy route to becoming King of kings, bypassing the cross and thus thwarting God’s plan of salvation. What did the devil say Jesus had to do in order to receive rule and reign over all the kingdoms (see v. 7)?


8.This offer would not have been a temptation if the Devil didn’t own and rule all the kingdoms of the world. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31, and Ephesians 2:2, what titles are given to the Devil?

9.Satan’s desire to be exalted and worshiped was his demise. Read Isaiah 14:12-15 and list the five “I will” statements that Lucifer (Satan) proclaimed before his fall. (See also Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:11-19.) What was at the root of Satan’s desire to be worshiped? (See Ezekiel 28:17.)

10.What was Jesus’ response to the lust of the eyes temptation (see vv. 8-9)? (See also Deuteronomy 6:13.)


11.Unable to get Jesus to worship him, the Devil made an appeal to personal gain—the pride of life. He tempted Jesus to make a display of showmanship by jumping from the pinnacle of the temple (see v. 9) for all to see, knowing He would not be hurt because the angels would bear Him up, lest He dash His foot against a stone (see v. 11). What did the Devil use in this temptation (see vv. 10-11)? (See Psalm 91:11-12; Malachi 3:1.)



12.Carefully compare Satan’s misquotation of Scripture (see vv. 10-11) with the actual passage (see Psalm 91:11-12). What is missing? Why is it a significant omission?



13.How did Jesus respond to this pride temptation (see v. 12)? (See also Deuteronomy 6:16.)



14.The Devil misquoted Scripture during this temptation. Why is it important to ensure that we check the Scriptures? (See Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; 2 John 1:7; Revelation 12:9.)

15.When the Devil ended every temptation, what did he do (see v. 13)?
16.Read Hebrews 5:8. What did Jesus learn through temptation? (See also Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:18.)


17.What lessons should we learn as we endure temptations and trials? (See James 4:7-10; Ephesians 4:27; 6:11-12; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 1:3–5.)


18.After the temptations, angels came and ministered to Jesus (see Matthew 4:11; Mark 1:13). List some of the ministries that angels perform and to whom (see Matthew 26:53; Luke 22:43; Hebrews 1:14).


Acceptance Throughout Galilee—Read Luke 4:14-15
19.Once the temptations were complete and Jesus physically recovered from the time of fasting, where did He go? What did He do (see vv. 14-15)?


20.What was the initial response of the people of Galilee to Jesus and His message (see vv. 14-15)?


Rejection at Nazareth—Read Luke 4:16-30
21.Jesus' initial reception was favorable throughout the region of Galilee. When He arrived in Nazareth, where He had been brought up, what did He do that was “His custom” (v. 16)?



22.A rabbi would stand as he read the Scripture and sit when he began to teach. In Nazareth, Jesus was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah, which was the reading for that particular Sabbath. What did Jesus read (see vv. 18-19)? Compare what He read with the source, Isaiah 61:1-2. What did He not read?




23.When Jesus finished reading this Scripture, He returned the book to the attendant and sat down to teach. What were the people in the synagogue doing (see v. 20)? What did Jesus teach them (see v. 21)?




24.Jesus’ teaching caused those in the synagogue to ask, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” (v. 22). What was Jesus teaching that caused them to ask this question (see v. 21)?



25.The people were amazed and marveled at His gracious words, literally “words of grace” (see v. 22). However, they immediately began to question the authority with which He could say these things. How could Joseph’s son—the boy they saw grow up in their town—have the authority to say that this passage was fulfilled in their hearing? Because these people knew Him growing up (see v. 22), Jesus knew they would ask Him to validate His ministry and substantiate His authority by doing a miracle among them as He had done in Capernaum (see v. 23). What did Jesus say about a prophet prophesying among his own people (see v. 24)?


26.Jesus proceeded to give two examples of prophets who ministered before Him. Who were these prophets? To whom were they sent in the episodes recounted by Jesus (see vv. 25-27)?


27.Jesus said, “No prophet is accepted in his own country” (v. 24). The people in Jesus' hometown synagogue did not believe that the Scripture He read was fulfilled in their hearing (see John 1:11.) What was their response to Jesus’ teaching (see vv. 28-29)?


28.The people in Jesus’ hometown synagogue were so angry with His teaching that they sought to murder Him. For whom was Jesus sent into the world? (See Luke 2:32; John 3:16-17; Isaiah 42:6; 60:3; Acts 13:47-48; 28:28; Romans 15:8-9.)


29.Jesus came to His own in Nazareth, and His own did not receive Him; they attempted to murder Him. Because of their rejection, what did Jesus do (see v. 30)?


30.Those in the Nazareth synagogue were the children of God, yet they rejected the authority and message of the Son of God. We, too, are children of God and have to make the same choice. What did Jesus say we must do if we want to follow after Him? (See Luke 9:23-25.)


31.Some of Jesus’ sayings were difficult and caused many of His disciples to walk with Him no more (see John 6:66.) This is still true today. Jesus, through His Spirit and His Word, may convict you of sin in your life, and it may be hard for you to receive. You might feel like responding like those in the Nazareth synagogue because what He wants you to do means you have to deny yourself and take up your cross. What must you do with His commandments? (See John 14:15-17; 15:10-14.)


Demons are Cast Out—Read Luke 4:31-37
32.Jesus left Nazareth and went down to Capernaum and began teaching in the synagogue there (see v. 31). How did the people in Capernaum respond (see v. 32)?

33.Unlike those in Nazareth, those in Capernaum were astonished, literally struck out of their senses at His words and His authority. Who was at the Capernaum synagogue on the particular Sabbath when Jesus was teaching (see v. 33)?
34.In the Gospels, crying out with a loud voice seems to be characteristic of those who were demon-possessed. What did the man in the Capernaum synagogue say when he cried out (see v. 34)?


35.What did the unclean demon in the man recognize and proclaim that neither those in Nazareth nor those in Capernaum recognized (see v. 34)?


36.What two things did Jesus command the demon to do, despite its proclamation (see v. 35)?


37.How did the demon respond to Jesus’ commands (see v. 35)?


38.After witnessing this encounter between the demoniac and Jesus, how did the people respond (see v. 36)?


39.After experiencing this event in the Capernaum synagogue, what did the eyewitnesses do (see v. 37)?


Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed—Read Luke 4:38-39
40.After teaching with authority in the Capernaum synagogue, Jesus accompanied Peter to his house. Peter was married (see 1 Corinthians 9:5), and his wife’s mother was sick with a fever in Peter’s house (see v. 38). What did Jesus do to and for her (see v. 39)?


41.How did Peter’s mother-in-law respond to what Jesus did (see v. 39)? How should we respond to Jesus when He does the same for us?


Jesus Ministers Throughout Galilee—Read Luke 4:40-44
42.The setting of the sun marked the end of the Sabbath. Luke wrote about a late evening at Peter’s home, when many people who were sick with various diseases were brought to Jesus. What did Jesus do for these people (see v. 40)?


43.In addition to the people with various diseases, there were also many who were demon possessed. What did Jesus do to the demons? What did He prohibit them to do? Why (see v. 41)?


44.How many people came to Jesus for healing after the sun had set on the Sabbath (see v. 40)? (See also Mark 1:33.) How much time do you think Jesus spent healing these people?

45.After the late evening at Peter’s house, what time of day was it when Jesus rose and left the house? How much sleep do you think Jesus got that night? Where did He go? What was He going to do (see v. 42)? (See also Mark 1:35.)



46.What was more important to Jesus than His sleep? How important should this activity be to us? (See Acts 12:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 John 5:14-15.)



47.Simon Peter and a crowd of people who were with him searched for Jesus. When they found Him, what did they try to prevent Jesus from doing (see v. 42)? What was Jesus' response to them (see v. 43)?



48.What was Jesus' purpose for preaching in the synagogues of Galilee (see v. 43)?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Based on Luke 4:1, it sounds like the rest of the chapter is peaceful, but Jesus was walking right into oppression and affliction
    2. Wherever we read of Jesus, we find Him in conflict
      1. Jewish leaders and people
      2. Roman leaders
      3. Satan himself
      4. In two different synagogues opposed by His countrymen
    3. The power of punctuation
  2. Luke 4:1-13
    1. Don't think that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will not be afflicted by the Devil
      1. Don't think that if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you will not be lambasted by the Devil
      2. If you are led by the Spirit, you are going to experience the attacks of the Enemy
    2. It was a season: there were forty days of this
    3. Our Lord was tempted immediately after He was baptized (see Luke 3:21-22)
      1. Every time God gives you a blessing, your Enemy would love to steal it
      2. Don't be frightened; just be aware
      3. 2 Corinthians 2:11
      4. Israel miraculously delivered out of Egypt and chased by Pharaoh (see Ex. 12-14)
      5. Hezekiah, the Passover, and Sennacherib (see 2 Chron. 30-32)
      6. Transfiguration followed by the demon-possessed boy who challenged the disciples' authority (see Matt. 17:1-21; Luke 9:28-42)
      7. It's a pattern of attack
    4. When you're in the will of heaven, expect the wrath of hell
      1. You're a target
      2. 1 John 4:4
      3. "Sometimes Satan is more active in church than anywhere else" —J. C. Ryle
    5. Fasting
      1. When you fast, you eventually lose your appetite, but when it returns, you're on the verge of starving to death
      2. In the Bible, people fasted for different reasons
        1. Mourning for the dead
        2. As an act of repentance
          1. Yom Kippur
          2. Biblical term: to afflict your soul (see Isaiah 58:3, 5, 10)
        3. Dependence on the Lord
      3. Fasting is not a spiritual or sanctified diet
        1. Neither is it a way to twist God's arm to get what you want
        2. It's a way to tune out the flesh and tune into the Spirit—to say no in order to say yes
        3. Acts 13:2
      4. When Jesus was physically weak, the Devil was counting on Him being vulnerable emotionally
    6. Satan questioned God's provision (see vv. 3-4)
      1. Verse 3: if could be translated since
        1. It's not a supposition; it's an affirmation
        2. "In view of the fact that You are the Son of God..."
      2. It's really a slur or slam on God's provision
      3. Same temptation in the garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-4) and with Abraham and Sarah (see Genesis 16:1-4)
      4. Deuteronomy 8:3; the manna chapter
      5. How many times have you had the feeling or thought, "I'm a child of God; why isn't God taking care of me?"
    7. Satan questioned God's promise (see vv. 5-8)
      1. Mountain just means an elevated place
      2. Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4
      3. Psalm 2:7-8
      4. Satan was suggesting a deal with no pain, no cross involved for Jesus
        1. Isaiah 14:14
        2. Immediate gratification
      5. The child of God will say, "I will wait for His promise to be fulfilled"
      6. Deuteronomy 6:13; a warning chapter
    8. Satan questioned God's protection (vv. 9-13)
      1. Satan knows the Bible better than we do
      2. He quoted it, but he took it out of context
        1. Original: "He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (Psalm 90:11)
        2. What Satan was suggesting was not the way of God or the way the Scripture predicted
        3. Any text of Scripture taken out of context can become a pretext
        4. You can prove just about anything you want with the Bible simply by taking it out of context
      3. "Pinnacle of the temple": in Jesus' day, the southeast corner of the Temple Mount to the bottom of the Kidron Valley was over 450 feet
      4. Rabbis had predicted that when the Messiah came, He would come to the pinnacle, the Temple Mount
        1. Malachi 3:1
        2. Belief that the Messiah would reveal Himself in this area of the temple with some demonstration in front of people
      5. Satan ended his temptations for that time, but there would be more times
        1. The Devil looks to find the weakest moment, the right and opportune time
        2. Greek kairos, the right showing of time
      6. Deuteronomy 6:16; we test the Lord our God all the time
        1. You cannot expect to walk into temptation and then ask the Lord to deliver you from evil
        2. Stay away from it; don't deliberately test the Lord
    9. Two ways Jesus handled temptation—and we can too
      1. Stand your ground
        1. James 4:7
        2. Resist = military term meaning to stand immovable
      2. Study your Bible
        1. Don't become so biblically illiterate that in times of temptation, you have no reference point or source of authority
        2. Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24
    10. In the wilderness, Israel failed but Jesus succeeded
  3. Luke 4:14-29
    1. Galilee
      1. Heavily populated: Flavius Josephus said at the time of Christ, there were 204 towns or villages, each having a population of 15,000 (about three million people)
      2. Also known as:
        1. Lake of Gennesaret (see Luke 5:1)
        2. Lake of Kinneret; Hebrew kinnor, meaning harp
        3. Tiberius, after a Hellenistic town on the shore
    2. Why Galilee?
      1. Isaiah 9:1-2
      2. More populated with outsiders, non-Jewish people than any other place
      3. Galileans were snubbed by those in Jerusalem; Matthew 26:73
    3. Synagogues are not mentioned in the Old Testament
      1. In the Old Testament, there was a tabernacle, then a temple
      2. Temple destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians
      3. As captives of the Babylonians, they could not practice ceremonial law, only study written law
      4. They started beit knessit
        1. The house of gathering
        2. Greek word is sunagógé, gathering people together in one common place
      5. Office of the scribe developed; oral law developed
      6. Kept their synagogues after their captivity was over
    4. Jesus had a custom to be in fellowship every weekend
      1. There's a difference between an admirer of God and a worshiper of God
      2. The synagogue services probably weren't all that stimulating
      3. They stood up when they read Scripture, then the preacher would sit down and give an exposition of what was read
    5. Readings in the synagogue were already prescribed
      1. Isaiah 61:1-2
      2. Jesus' message: "This Scripture has happened today; you're seeing it before your very eyes"
      3. Verse 22 created a stir in this synagogue service
    6. Verses 25-27
      1. She was a Gentile widow (see 1 Kings 17:8-24); Naaman was a Gentile and a leper (see 2 Kings 5:1-14)
      2. Women, lepers, Gentiles—the lowest rung on the Jewish ladder 2,000 years ago
      3. Elijah and Elisha
        1. Two prophets misunderstood by the Jewish nation in their time
        2. God sent them to Gentiles
      4. Jesus said these second-class citizens were better than unbelieving Israelites
    7. "They love truth when it enlightens them; they hate truth when it accuses them" —Augustine
    8. They rejected Jesus and His words
  4. Closing
    1. Nazareth is a hilly country
      1. From Nazareth looking out over the valley, all of Old Testament history was displayed before Jesus as a young boy
      2. Including the Valley of Armageddon and what would happen in the future
    2. Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2
      1. Don't be surprised at what you see in the news
      2. It's not happy, but it's predicted

Figures referenced: J. C. Ryle, Flavius Josephus, Augustine

Greek/Hebrew words: kairos, kinnor, beit knessit, sunagógé

Cross references: Genesis 3:1-4; 16:1-4; Exodus 12-14; Deuteronomy 6:13, 16; 8:3; 1 Kings 17:8-24; 2 Kings 5:1-14; 2 Chronicles 30-32; Psalm 2:7-8; 90:11; Isaiah 9:1-2; 14:14; 58:3, 5, 10; 61:1-2; Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 17:1-21; 22:29; 26:73; Mark 12:24; Luke 3:21-22; 4:1-29; 5:1; 9:28-42; Acts 13:2; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; James 4:7; 1 John 4:4


Transcript

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Introduction: Welcome to Expound our verse-by-verse study of God's Word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the Word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.

Skip Heitzig: Father, you know the needs, you know the hearts, you know deepest thoughts of every one of us, and we commit everything in our lives, Lord that concerns us. You know our concerns; we commit them to you. And, Father, we lay our lives down before you in a way where we acknowledge your lordship over us, and we believe you desire to do a work inside of us tonight. You have things to tell us in particular, individually. We want to learn, we also want to be challenged. We do need the information, but, Father, we crave and pray for the inspiration that comes by the Holy Spirit, taking what we read together and applying it individually to our hearts and our conditions. I pray for my brothers and sisters who have gathered. You know what they're struggling through, and I pray you would lift their spirits and encourage them in this place with these words, in Jesus' name, amen.

"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." By reading just the first verse, it sounds like the rest of the chapter is going to be peaceful, doesn't it? Jesus, filled with the Spirit, and then led by the Spirit out into the desert. It's like, ahhh! It sounds like it's going to be just a great, wonderful, peaceful chapter. And we might even think by reading the first verse, "Great! Jesus is going to get some R & R out in the desert." Maybe you'll picture Jesus in Palm Springs by a pool with a Diet Coke, [laughter] little umbrella in the glass. Well, far from that, Jesus is walking right into oppression and affliction, conflict. We're going to find out that as soon as Jesus is baptized, which we read about the last couple of weeks, he goes out into the desert and for forty days he is tempted by the devil.

And wherever we read of our Jesus, we find him in conflict with Jewish leaders, the Jewish people, eventually the Roman leaders, and here, the source of all conflict, Satan himself. But by just reading the first verse, it sounds like it's just going to be a smooth skate into the future. No, no. He's going out into the wilderness and will face the temptation of his archenemy the devil. We're going to see not only that, but we're going to see Jesus in the synagogue where he is opposed by his own countrymen. Not only that, but we're going to see him in yet another synagogue where he is opposed by a demon-possessed man, and the demon speaks out of this man in the synagogue service. We're also going to discover the power of punctuation. My English teacher would love to hear those words, "the power of punctuation."

In this case, the power of a comma, the power of a comma in a single sentence that made all the difference. I'll explain in a moment. There was once a woman who was traveling overseas, a wealthy gal. Her husband was wealthy and she felt it was her calling to spend his money. And so she was overseas, and she had her little iPhone. And she found a bracelet, and the price was $75,000. She thought she had to have it, so she texted her husband to clear it with him, to get permission. She said in her text: "Found the perfect bracelet, only $75,000. May I buy it?" Question mark, good punctuation piece at the end, question mark. Well, he read the text, immediately re---he was in a meeting, but he said, "Excuse me, I have to respond to this now." And he wanted to respond, "No, price too high."

But he left the comma out between the "no" and the "price," so it sounded to her, she read it as: "No price too high." [laughter] Missing the comma made him miss $75,000 in his bank account. See what I mean by the power of punctuation? Keep that in mind as we get into this chapter. "Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing, and afterward, when he---when they had ended, he was hungry." Never think that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will not be afflicted by the devil. Never think that if you are "led by the Spirit," words in this text, you will not be lambasted by the devil. In fact, I think it's safe to say if you are led by the Spirit, you are going to experience the attacks of the enemy.

Jesus, filled with the Spirit, Jesus, led by the Spirit, will face opposition. So don't assume: "I'm a child of God, I'm a Christian, I love Jesus, so it's going to keep me safe from all that evil and all that temptation." And here is the example of that. Not only that, but notice it's for a season, it's not like a day. It's not like it's over after the first week. There are forty days of this, almost six weeks. That's a season of temptation that Jesus is walking into. I think it's important that you recognize when our Lord is tempted: it was after he was baptized. He was baptized, a miracle happened during his baptism. The affirmation of the Father happened at his baptism. The heavens opened, they parted, the Spirit came down like a dove. And there was an audible voice that said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." And immediately after that he is tempted.

Is there something to be learned in that? Yes. Every time God gives you a blessing, your enemy the devil would love to steal that blessing. Just be aware of that. You don't have to be frightened of it, just know that's how he works. "We are not ignorant of his devices," the Bible says. Don't be ignorant of that. Don't think that, "Wow, I'm under the spout where the glory comes out, so that's going to happen perpetually. I'm going to have my daily miracle." Can I just say, if it's daily, it's really probably not a miracle. It's a daily occurrence; it's not out of the ordinary. You think back in the Old Testament, the children of Israel miraculously delivered out of Egypt by that final plague, followed up immediately by the pursuit of Pharaoh to destroy them.

Think back to King Hezekiah inaugurating the Passover, rediscovering the Passover, and celebrating a glorious feast in Jerusalem. Talk about wanting to be in the will of God. Talk about doing everything right. And as soon as they celebrate the Passover, it's then that the Assyrians under Sennacherib surround the city of Jerusalem and threaten to destroy it. The transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, the three disciples, Peter, James, and John, saw that. They just thought, "Wow! Can you believe it? This is like the---it doesn't get any better than this." And maybe they thought they were now living at a plane above the rest of the disciples. As soon as they got that blessing, they went down the mountain. The first person they met was a demon-possessed boy who challenged the authority of the disciples.

"We asked your disciples to cast him out, and they could not." Now they were going from up here, to depleted down there. So, that's a pattern of attack. God gives a blessing; the enemy would love to rip that blessing off. When you're in the will of heaven, expect the wrath of hell. You're a target, you see. Again, not to make you afraid. I say, "Okay, that's part of the deal, bring it on." "Greater is he that is in [me], than he that is in the world." But I don't want you to be naive of it. These things happen; they did even to our Lord. I don't know if you've heard the name J. C. Ryle. Probably not, because he lived, like, over a century ago. But he was a bishop of the Anglican Church in Liverpool, England. And he was a great teacher, good expositor, and he said some pithy things.

And here's one of the things he noted about spiritual warfare. He said, "Sometimes Satan is more active in church than anywhere else." Now just think of the times you've come and maybe the Lord gave you some blessing at church, you heard something you needed to hear, you received a word from the Lord through his Word, the Scripture, in just the community gathering like this. And so you go, "I got my answer. I feel so good. Man, I'm on cloud nine. That's so good!" And then you get out in the parking lot or out on Osuna or you get up on the freeway and some crazy driver---and the Lord knows this place is filled with them---[laughter] aims to cut you off or run you off. Now your joy is challenged. Now I wonder what comes out of your mouth. Is it, " 'O bless the Lord, O my soul; and let all that is within me,' run him off the road"? [laughter]

Or you go out to the parking lot after the service and you discover your car has been broken into. We've had a few of those, even though we have security that go through the parking lot and they keep this place safe, such a great security team. We've had that happen and I just wonder, "Oh Lord, what they must be thinking, 'Great, I come to church only to get ripped off.' "Well, he was "being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing." He was fasting. That's a long time not to eat. Can you make it four days? I don't know if you've tried to fast. Let me just explain fasting. I have fasted; I have not gone on any prolonged fast. I've done a few days and it's been very difficult. What I'm told---I can't tell you by experience, only what I've read---that when you fast at first it's hard, then it gets harder, then it gets harder.

But then eventually if you withhold yourself from food and your stomach begins to shrink and your body gets used to it, eventually you lose your appetite. I do not know that by experience. I have not made it that far. But I'm told by what I read that you actually lose your appetite, and you're doing okay. Now, you're feeling weakened physically, but you lose your appetite. But then your appetite returns. When your appetite returns and you're experiencing hunger again, like Jesus was after forty days, now you're on the verge of starving to death. You will die if you don't soon remedy your condition with food. That's the condition we're dealing with, with our Lord Jesus Christ. He was hungry now after forty days. He's now on the verge of being so physically deprived that he is starving to death.

In the Bible, in a nutshell, people would fast for a few different reasons. Reason number one, mourning for the dead. Grief causes you to lose your appetite anyway. And sometimes to identify with another person, you withhold from food as an act of mourning. A second reason people fasted in the Bible was as an act of repentance. You've heard of Yom Kippur, yes, the Day of Atonement? They would fast. The biblical term for that both in the Torah, as well as the prophet Isaiah, chapter 58, is to "afflict your soul." That's a synonym for not eating: "afflict your soul." It's hard, but you're doing it out of repentance. A third reason it was done was for dependence. Dependence: I'm depending on the Lord; I'm getting in touch with him; I'm trying to learn his heart; I'm trying to ascertain his will.

And I'm adding to my prayers and my worship this aspect of fasting to show that I'm not dependent on physical nutrition as much as spiritual nutrition. Now, let me warn you about fasting. It is not spiritual diet. "Oh, I need to lose some weight, so I'm fasting today." It's good that you want to lose some weight, it's good to fast, but do it for the right reason. It's not a sanctified diet, nor is fasting simply a way to twist God's arm to get what you want. "Well, if I really show him that I'm serious and I mean business, and he'll see it in my fasting, then he'll give me what I want." Why would God want to let you have what you want if it's not good for you in the long run? What kind of a "good" God would that be? So all of your twisting of his arm won't help, rather it's simply a way to tune out the flesh and tune in the Spirit, to say no in order to say yes.

Acts 13, "As they worshiped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate unto me Paul and Barnabas for the work to which I've called them.' "So those three reasons principally we find in Scripture: mourning---what was the second one? Yeah, thank you---repentance, and then dependence. "And the devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.' "Now that makes sense that that would be the first temptation. If he is weak physically, the devil is counting on him being vulnerable emotionally. You know how that works. When you are weak, when you're physically weak, you're very vulnerable emotionally. You will try anything to cure what ails you. You'll do anything to get that strength back. So capitalizing on his physical weakness, and hopefully his emotional vulnerability, is this first temptation.

Now in this first temptation, Satan is questioning God's provision in saying, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." You see, the little word "if"? It could be translated "since you are the Son of God." It's not a supposition, it's an affirmation. The Wuest's translation of the New Testament puts it this way: "In view of the fact that you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." "Since you have all power, use your power to satisfy yourself." Why is that a temptation? It's really a slur, it's really a slam, it's really a question on God's provision. "Hey, since you're the Promised One, you're the Son of God, since that's true, why isn't your Father providing for you out here? Why would he let his own Son, the Messiah, starve to death? So, use your power to satiate yourself, to satisfy yourself."

We find that same kind of temptation in the garden of Eden, do we not? There's the tree. There are many trees. Satan comes along and says, "Why don't you eat of this tree?" And Eve says, "Look, we can eat of any of the trees of the garden; this is the only one we can't. That's what God said." And the devil said, "Has God said that you will only eat of that tree?" Now he's questioning God: "Why would God keep something good from you? What kind of a God do you serve?" Or what about Abram and Sarah? God promised them a son, but it seemed like years went by and they're not getting any younger. They weren't spring chickens to begin with. They're old folks. So Sarah suggests, "Hey, not gonna happen. Take my handmaiden. Let's help God out a little bit." Really, questioning God's ability to provide what he said.

So, it's questioning God's provision. "Jesus answered," verse 4, "saying, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." '" He's quoting Deuteronomy, chapter 8. Just tuck that in your mind, Deuteronomy, chapter 8. It's the whole manna incident in Deuteronomy. "Man shall not live by bread alone." How many times have you had the feeling or the thought inside your little head: "Hey, I'm a child of God. I'm a Christian. I believe in Christ. I've devoted my life to him. Why isn't God taking care of me?" Have you ever had that thought? Has that ever been whispered in your head? "How come God isn't taking better care of you?" Second temptation, verse 5, this is now questioning God's promise: "Then the devil, taking him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time."

One has to wonder, can I just say, when you're out in the wilderness there, what high mountain is there? Now, I've been to this area. It's about thirty-five miles by twenty miles, the Judean Desert. You're going to laugh when I tell you this: most scholars will point to a mountain near Jericho, and they call that the ""Mount of Temptation," because it's the only high mountain in the area. You know how tall it is? Twelve hundred feet. You know how high Sandia Mountain is? Almost 11,000, ten thousand six, seven hundred feet. That's a high mountain. And, yet, keep in mind when the Bible speaks about the Sea of Galilee, it's not like wow, it's a sea, an ocean. Oh, it's a little lake, but "sea" in the language simply means a body of water, and "mountain" doesn't necessarily mean---it just means an elevated place, an elevated place.

And so this "high mountain" in comparison to that area, which is mostly below sea level, 1,200 feet above sea level, it's a pretty high mountain. So, anyway, just thought I'd throw that in, 'cause if you ever go there, you're going to go, "Now, where is that high mountain that the Bible tells me about?" [laughter] And we'll show it to you, and you can laugh as well then. "The devil, taking him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to him, 'All this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me.' "He is called "the prince of power of the air," "the god of this world." "'And I will give it to whomsoever I wish. Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be yours.' "This is questioning God's promise.

Can I paraphrase it? "Jesus, I know why you've come. You've come for the whole world. You've come to rule the whole world?" You know that one of the promises of the Messiah is that he would have world domination. Psalm 2 is your key verse for that, and you can write that down, look at it later. Psalm 2, the Lord speaks, "You are my Son, this day I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession." The Bible says that one day Jesus will rule and reign over the whole earth; first, he came to redeem it by his death on a cross. Satan is suggesting this: "Why go it the hard way? Why go it the painful way? You came for the earth. You came to redeem it back. I know why you've come. I know what the promise is.

"If you'll just worship me now---let's strike a deal---I'll give it to you. No fight involved. No pain involved. No cross involved. Just indulge me." It's what he's always wanted: "I will be like the Most High." "Just the satisfaction of having the Son of God bow before me, ahhh! It's yours. I'll give it to you. You don't have to go the painful way of the cross. You can have immediate gratification." Ever heard those words? "Why are you waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled? Just do something for yourself. You know that if you only did this, you'd be happy. Do something to be immediately gratified." The child of God will say, "No. I'm going to wait on the Lord for that. I'm going to wait for his promise to be fulfilled. If he wants me to have it, he'll do it and he'll do it in his time."

And so notice what Jesus says, "Get behind me Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.' "Now this comes out of Deuteronomy, chapter 6. Remember the first one was Deuteronomy 8? This is Deuteronomy 6; Deuteronomy 6 is the passage where Moses warns the people of Israel, "When you get into the land the Lord your God is giving you, don't think that you are here because you're such a great group of people. And don't forget the Lord your God, but you will bless the Lord and depend on the Lord, and thank the Lord." It was a warning chapter, Deuteronomy, chapter 6. "Then he brought him," verse 9, "to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, 'If you are the [or since you are] the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.' "

Now, in this third temptation he is questioning, I believe, God's protection over him. " 'Throw yourself down from here, for it is written' "---now the devil's quoting Scripture. Now the devil throws out a few verses of his own. You know that the Bible---or that Satan knows the Bible better than we do. You know, he was trained in the best seminary in the universe, right, heaven. And he's had long history with humanity. So, he knows the Bible and he knows what to bring in and what to leave out. Now, he's going to quote, but he's going to take it out of context. He'll leave out a very crucial part of the verse. You'll see it. Verse 10, " 'It is written: "He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you," and' "---that's where he missed out, because the original text says, "He will keep you"---here's the rest of it---"in all your ways."

What Satan was suggesting was not the way of God. It was not the way the Scripture predicted. It's just your own personal protection. "'"He will keep you," and, "in their hands he shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone." '" "Okay, you're the Son of God, okay, God the Father protects his Son sending his Son into the world, prove it! Let's give the Father a chance to fulfill what he promised. For it is written: 'You can jump and you won't stub your toe,' "I'm paraphrasing," 'God's angels will bear you up.' "Any text, any text of Scripture, any text taken out of context can become a pretext. You can prove just about anything you want with the Bible simply by taking it out of its context. That's how cultures started. That's how people use proof text for the weirdest, wildest, crazy schemes; they quote a verse of Scripture.

I see it in the secular news media, people quoting the Bible, and I think, "Out of context." Many examples; don't have to get into it. Now, please notice in verse 9, he was set "on the pinnacle of the temple." The pinnacle of the temple is the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. You can see a picture of it here before you. You see the little corner there? It's not shown in this picture, but below this is a valley called the Kidron Valley. You've heard that name, the Kidron Valley. The measurement from the top of that retaining wall, in Jesus' day, to the bottom of the Kidron Valley was over 450 feet. It was impressive. For Jesus to jump off that, past where the picture is being taken, down into the Kidron Valley, and have angels protect him as we goes down, that would make the nightly news. That would be on YouTube before night fall. Right?

Everybody would be tweeting that. That would make national news. You know, "Do something incredible to prove that God will protect you," that's the idea. Now, let me just sew up a few loose ends. The rabbis had predicted that when the Messiah comes, he will come to the pinnacle of the temple, or he'll come to the Temple Mount in this corner. And here's why they believed that. They said this before Christ. There's a text of Scripture, Malachi, chapter 3, it says this, listen carefully: "And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant." So there was this belief among some of rabbis that the Messiah will come to the temple, and he will reveal himself in this area where there are throngs of people and where people below on the road would be able to see him, and there'll be some demonstration.

So probably capitalizing on that interpretation of Malachi 3, that is where Satan's suggestion comes: "Let's make a show out of this. Let's make a display out of this." "And Jesus answered and said to him, 'It has been said' "---now quoting the Scripture once again---" ' "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." '" Again, he quotes Deuteronomy: " ' "You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time." Notice that. He ended his temptations for now, at this time. There were three times he did it. Now he's done. There will be more times. And when will that time be? Just the right time, "an opportune time." It's as if---can you get the picture?---that the devil looks to find the weakest moment, the right time, the opportune time.

The word the Greek is kairos, not chronos, not chronological time, but just the right showing of time. "Ah, that person is weak, right there,"---temptation, for "an opportune time." Please notice: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." I'm wondering something. Let me throw this out at you. It's my belief that we test the Lord our God all the time. Example: we exceed the speed limit, and then have the audacity to pray that we won't get a ticket. [laughter] "Lord, please, just keep me. Oh, there's a police officer---O Lord, just don't let him see that." [laughter] We walk into a bar and we pray, "Lord, don't let me drink." We watch porn and we pray, "Lord, help me with my lust." You cannot expect to walk into temptation and then ask the Lord, "Deliver us from evil." He will. Stay away from it.

Don't deliberately test the Lord your God, place yourself in that kind of a position. What are the two ways that Jesus handled temptation? There are two ways, and here's two ways for you: number one, stand your ground. Stand your ground. Don't run away. Stand up to him. Stand your ground. The Bible says in James 4 "to resist the devil." It's a military term. Stand immovable. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing right here. I'm not afraid of you." Stand your ground, number one. Number two, study your Bible. Stand your ground and study your Bible. Those two things will help you in temptation. Face it head-on and know the Scriptures. Do you realize---and this is why it's so great that you're here. You have an advantage. You're learning God's Word.

I pity those who have become so biblically illiterate that in times of temptation they have no reference point, they have no source of authority. Remember what Jesus said to the religious leaders? "You do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." You'll never know the power of God until you know the Scriptures; they go hand and hand. Stand your ground. Study your Bible. Now, I just planted some thoughts in your mind along the way about Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy. Right? Jesus keeps quoting Deuteronomy. All that happened when the children of Israel were out in the wilderness. Jesus is out in the wilderness. He's quoting what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness. Now, here's the---here's the corollary: in the wilderness, Israel failed; in the wilderness Jesus our Lord succeeded.

He was successful even in the wilderness, even during this time of temptation. "Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of him went out through all the surrounding region. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all." Jesus went to Galilee. I love Galilee. It's one of my favorite places to go. If you go there today, it's pretty rural. It's pretty much like it was. In fact, I would say it's less crowded today than it was back then. Flavius Josephus the Jewish historian said this: at the time of Christ there were no less than 204 little towns or villages---not "little towns"---towns or villages in Galilee, 204, each of them having "a population of no less than 15,000" per village or town. So we're dealing with a population of about 3 million people in Galilee, heavily populated.

Galilee, named after the Sea of Galilee principally is a region in that northern part of Israel. It goes by several other names though. Number two, its second name is the Lake of Gennesaret. You're going to find that name in chapter 5. I think it's verse 1, chapter 5, "the Lake of Gennesaret." Gennesaret is a little piece of land where they grow stuff, farms, right there to the left, the west of the lake. So Galilee is one name, Gennesaret is another one, a third name is the Lake of Kinneret. Today in Israel the Jews call it the Kinneret Lake, and that's because of the Hebrew word kinnor, which means harp. And why is it called "harp"? Well, look at a map at the back of your Bible and look at the shape of the lake. It's shaped like an ancient harp. It looks like a kinnor, so they call it Kinneret, named after a harp-like body of water.

The fourth name of this lake or area is Tiberias, named after a Hellenistic town that became a Roman---it became named for a Roman emperor. But it was a town that's still there today on the southwest shore of that lake. So all four names are given. Here it's called Galilee. The region with the lake is called Galilee. So, he returned---that is, from the desert, to the northern part, Galilee. "And news of [Jesus] him went throughout all of the surrounding region." Why Galilee? Well, he was raised in Nazareth, that's part of Galilee, but he will spend his headquarters, his days around the lake at a little town called Capernaum. He's going to move his residence. Why? Isaiah, chapter 9, predicted that the Messiah would arise out of Galilee. "Those who sat in darkness have seen a great light." And it identifies that place as the "Galilee of the Gentiles."

It was a place that was populated more than any other place in the land with outsiders, non-Jewish people. Wars had been waged in the past and Gentiles surrounded that region for a long time. And because of that, there were mixed marriages between Jew and Gentile in that region more than any other part of the land. That is why the people down in Jerusalem snubbed the Galileans, considered them outcasts, second-rate citizens, hicks, if you will. Did you know the Galileans even had an accent, a certain kind of a pattern of speech that gave away that they were from Galilee? When Peter was down in the courtyard of the high priest, and the servant girl said, "You were one of his disciples, for your speech betrays you." "I can hear by your hick accent that you're a Galilean."

Now, I'm not going to point to any part of the country that would have that kind of an accent, but you can use your imagination and have a lot of fun with it. Jesus headquarters himself in Galilee. "And," notice verse 15, "He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read." I hope you don't mind, but I want to give you as much background information as I can. We read here of a synagogue and the synagogues. You know why that's important? Because you never read about a synagogue when you read your Old Testament ever once. There's never a synagogue in the Old Testament. It doesn't appear. They don't exist.

Suddenly you start opening up the New Testament and you keep reading "synagogue," "synagogue," "synagogue." So I hope you ask questions like: "Where'd that come from?" In the Old Testament there was a tabernacle, then a temple, no synagogues. What happened? The temple got destroyed, that's what happened; 586 BC the Babylonians destroyed the temple, right, and then took the children of Israel captive into a foreign land? Now as captives in Babylon, they cannot practice ceremonial law. Priests can't offer sacrifices. They're in captivity. So now that they cannot practice ceremonial law, having no priesthood to offer sacrifices in a Jewish temple, being in captivity, they can only do one thing: study written law. The synagogue develops in Babylon.

They decided to have little meetings, little home Bible studies, let's call them that, that they called beit knesset, which means the house of gathering. "Come to my home. Let's gather. Let's talk about Scripture." The Greek word for beit knesset is sunagógé. Did I say that right, Steve? sunagó---he's my Greek professor, so he'll check me on this stuff. It means the same thing: you're gathering people together in one commonplace. The synagogue develops in captivity. So here's what goes on: they meet together, they can't offer sacrifices, they can't atone for their sins, so they start reading and studying Scripture. And this is where the office of the scribe develops. They start asking questions like: "H'm, what would Moses do in this situation?" "How do we apply these Scriptures to our lives?"

And they talk about it, and they argue about it, and they deliberate about it. And they right that stuff down and that eventually becomes the oral law: rulings, the Talmud divided into two---well, there's two of them, the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud---volumes of literature all developed because of the absence of a sunagógé, a beit knesset, a synagogue. Now that the absence of a temple, they gather together in these studies, and they try to figure that out. So when they come back, and they build their temple, they still maintain the office that never was a part of the Old Testament, but it came from the captivity, and they still meet in synagogues. So now every village in Galilee, in Judea, has a synagogue facing toward the temple. And enough said on that.

"So he came to Nazareth," this is his hometown, "where he had been brought up. As"---and this is---please notice this in verse 16, "And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read." Jesus had a custom to be in fellowship every weekend. We would say, to go to church every week. It was his custom. He didn't look for an excuse. He didn't say, "Well, you know, that rabbi's just a little too dry. I'm just not into it. I don't like the music in that synagogue." [laughter] "I'm worshiping God. I'm gonna be there. I'm gonna be there. That's my custom." That's how he was raised, with an emphasis. Now I've heard people, not live as examples, but look for excuses. "Well, I worship God, but I just worship him a little bit differently. I worship him on the golf course, in nature.

"The smell of that green grass just causes my spirit to rise up." [laughter] Well, I think there's a big difference between an admirer of God and a worshiper of God. Thirty-seven percent of Americans will go church this weekend. Ninety-six percent of Americans claim to be believers in Christ, Christians. Admirers or worshipers? When somebody says, "I worship God, but I'm on the golf course," I would honestly say, you're probably just worshiping golf. It was his custom. He was there. It was important to him. Now I don't think that the synagogue services were all that stimulating. It would be easy to say, "It's kind of boring. And we kind of stand up, do this little invocation, this little chant, sit down, read a Scripture, take on offering. Somebody kind of comments on the Scripture, not always too polished." But it was his custom. He did it.

"And he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he opened the book, he found the place where it was written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down." Are you noticing something interesting? When they would read the Scripture, they would stand up. Jesus stood up, opened the scroll, and read the Scripture. Then he closed the book and he sat down. That was how they did services: You stand up, saying, "I respect and revere the Word of God."

Then you sit down and you hear from the preacher. The preacher would sit down like I'm doing here, and he would give an exposition of what he read. So he sat down. "And he began to say to them"---he didn't get to finish the message. You'll see why. "'Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.' "He's quoting Isaiah 61. The readings in the synagogue were prescribed. It's not like Jesus said, "I'm going to preach Isaiah 61 today." It was already what the ruler of the synagogue had prepared to be read. It was read on certain days. Jesus happened to be there that day. I use "happened" loosely. He walked in there, he opened up the Scripture to Isaiah 61, read it. That was the prescribed Scripture. And then he addresses them, and here's his message: "This Scripture has happened today, you're seeing it before your very eyes."

Quite a sermon. "So all bore witness to him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said"---now they're whispering to each other---" 'Isn't this Joe's kid?' " [laughter] "This is Joe's boy, right? This is the carpenter's little boy. This is Yeshua. This is Jesus. We know this guy. Did he just say what I think he just said? He's claiming to be what Isaiah 61 is all about?" They knew that was a messianic passage, by the way. They knew that. It was well established in their interpretation. "He's claiming to be what we've known that passage to mean, that he is God's chosen Messiah? He's saying it's fulfilled today in our hearing?" So it creates a little bit of stir in this synagogue service. "And he said to them, 'You will surely say this proverb to me, "Physician, heal yourself! Whatever you have heard done in Capernaum, do also in your country." ' "

"If you're such a good doctor, Jesus, and heal---us here, we've heard about your miracles in Capernaum. Pull off a few here, just don't preach us a sermon, give us a miracle." "And he said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon," up in modern-day Lebanon, "to a woman who was a widow." Notice two things there: it's a Gentile region, she's a Gentile widow; and she's a woman. Right? Just notice those things. Those are important.

"And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian," a Gentile. Women, lepers, Gentiles---the lowest rung of the Jewish ladder 2,000 years ago. They did not esteem lepers, they were outcasts. They did not esteem women, second-class citizens. They certainly hated Gentiles. Their saying was: "God created Gentiles as kindling wood for the fires of hell." And Jesus says, "You know, let me tell you about two prophets misunderstood by the Jewish nation in their time: Elijah and Elisha. And God didn't send them to the Jewish people, but to Gentiles who received them, and he did a miracle." There were plenty of lepers in Israel, there were plenty of widows in Israel, but these two prophets were sent to Gentiles regions.

So what he's doing, he's taking these second-class citizens---women, lepers, Gentiles---and saying they are better than unbelieving Israelites. You need to know that so you understand their response to his sermon. "Then all those in the synagogue," verse 28, "when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down over the cliff." Augustine---you've heard his name, I've quoted him before---speaks about some people, even some people in churches who, like these people---he said that---he said this: "They love the truth when it enlightens them; they hate the truth when it accuses them." Jesus gets up and preaches a sermon: "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Was it the truth? Yup. Did they like the truth? Absolutely not. "That's Joe's boy." Then he says, "Unbelieving Gentiles in your history received God's favor," and they're rejected him. They're rejecting Jesus, and they are rejecting his words, because he brings this up. "They love the truth when it enlightens them; they hate the truth when it accuses them," and Jesus is doing that here. Okay, we're coming to a close, and I wasn't able to get through it all. No problem. We'll do it again. But I'll say this: I've been on the brow of this hill outside of Nazareth where they attempted to throw Jesus off. In fact, usually when we're there, we have a worship service on the brow of that hill, and we recall this scene, and it's an incredible view.

Can I just let you know that Jesus, when he grew up in Nazareth, it's a hilly country, and from Nazareth looking out over the valley all of Old Testament history was displayed before Jesus as a young boy. He could look up north and see Mount Tabor and think about Deborah and Barak and the battle with Sisera that happened there. He could look at Mount Gilboa a little bit further down and think about Saul and Jonathan being killed on Mount Gilboa and the battle with the Philistines. And so much of it was just laid before him, all of the history of Israel, where Abraham came and Isaac lived. But also what Jesus was looking down at was a very interesting valley called the Valley of Armageddon. You see, Nazareth is attached right up to the north, and Jesus could look right down at the city of Megiddo and the entire Valley of Armageddon.

And what thoughts must have filled his mind as he could see not only what happened in the past, but what would happen in that valley in the future when all the world would come against Jerusalem in the last days and actually try to fight against the Lord. You know, Zechariah says that all the nations of the world will be against Jerusalem, so don't be surprised when you see this happening day by day in the news, and even what's happening in our political structure in our country. It's not happy, but it's predicted. Well, we're out of time. We're actually a minute over time, and I didn't even get to get into really the best part, which is Isaiah 61 and how Jesus incredibly put a period where Isaiah put a comma. But it's the most important comma in the entire world, because you're into it right now. More on that next time we meet. Let's pray.

Father, we believe this to be your Word. I think it was afternoon when Billy Graham at Forest Home opened his Bible on a stump and confessed that there was much of the Scriptures he did not understand, he did not grasp, he couldn't make sense of. But he said, "I believe that this is your Word and I believe that you can change a person's life by the preaching of your Word." And he committed himself there and then to the proclamation of truth. We thank you, Lord that in the hearing of your truth there is freedom. "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." And not only are we freed by it, our faith grows because of it. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes through the word of God." We have heard your Word. We have heard these stories. We've imagined it in our mind's eye.

And I pray, Lord, with these principles, again, not only would we have the information, but have received the inspiration by your Spirit, especially as we deal in our temptations, in our struggles, to stand our ground and to study our Bibles, in Jesus' name, amen.

If you've missed any of our Expound studies, all of our services and resources are available at expoundabq.org.


Additional Messages in this Series

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6/25/2014
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Luke 1:1-25
Luke 1:1-25
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Luke gave a methodical account of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection that painted just one perspective of the full portrait of Christ. In this study, we recount the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments and see how God closed the Old Testament with both a promise and a curse. In a natural segue, Luke picked up on that promise with the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth, and we see how God turned the curse into grace when Jesus entered the picture.
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7/9/2014
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Luke 1:26-80
Luke 1:26-80
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Two thousand years ago, an angel announced to the young virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God. Her response of faith and song of praise demonstrated a deep love for the Lord. As we close out the first chapter of Luke, we are also introduced to the man who would announce Jesus the Messiah, and we are exhorted to reevaluate our own concept of greatness in light of God's view.
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7/16/2014
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Luke 2
Luke 2
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As we study the birth of Jesus in Luke 2, we learn about the events surrounding this special occasion, including the days leading up to Jesus' birth, Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem, the angel's proclamation to the shepherds, and blessings from two people present at Jesus' dedication in the temple. Through these events recorded in Luke's gospel, we are reminded about God's sovereignty, Jesus' humility, and our salvation.
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7/30/2014
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Luke 3
Luke 3
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In Luke 3, we are introduced to John, the forerunner of Jesus. Although John seemed to be an unusual man and shocked many people by what he said and did, his dedication to follow the Lord is what made his life count. Jesus even said that there hasn't been anyone greater than John. As we get a glimpse into his life and character, we are directed to the message he wished to proclaim: Jesus Christ the Messiah.
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8/6/2014
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The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Luke 3:23-38
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When studying the Scriptures, genealogies can often be overlooked, mistakenly seen as an unimportant list of names. But as we consider the genealogy of Christ found in Luke 3, we find that the lineage of Mary, Jesus' mother, shows us four important things about Christ and solves one of the biggest problems of the Old Testament.
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9/3/2014
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Luke 4:16-5:26
Luke 4:16-5:26
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As we wrap up Luke 4 and begin our study in Luke 5, we continue to explore the public ministry of Jesus, examining aspects of His character as the promised Messiah, our compassionate healer, our great teacher, and the Son of Man who forgives sins. In this passage of Scripture, we learn what it means to serve the Lord and follow Him with uncompromised obedience.
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9/10/2014
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Luke 5:27-6:19
Luke 5:27-6:19
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God uses a variety of people to build His kingdom; in fact, the men Jesus chose as His disciples might even go on a list of "Most Unlikely to Succeed." In this study, we see how Jesus' interactions with His disciples, the Pharisees, and the multitudes were infused with a deep compassion. We are also reminded that God chooses to use the foolish things of the world, and we can take comfort knowing that He sees us for who we will become.
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9/17/2014
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Luke 6:17-7:23
Luke 6:17-7:23
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Jesus' public ministry of preaching to the multitudes and performing miracles went against the flow of the world—especially since He reached out to the downtrodden with love and grace. As we continue our study through Luke 6-7, we examine a different take on the Beatitudes, observe an extraordinary encounter with a Roman centurion that even left Jesus amazed, and learn what it means to live with Jesus as our Lord.
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9/24/2014
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Luke 7:19-8:3
Luke 7:19-8:3
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As we finish our study of Luke 7, John the Baptist comes back into the picture, this time imprisoned and doubting who Jesus is. But Jesus comforted John through the message He sent, and we consider why Jesus called this final Old Testament prophet great. Then, in a passage of Scripture found only in Luke's gospel, we observe the great mercy Jesus extended to the outcasts of society He often spent time with—in this case, women.
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10/1/2014
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Luke 8:1-39
Luke 8:1-39
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Jesus displayed a great measure of compassion throughout His ministry on earth, whether He was performing miraculous works or revealing deep spiritual truths. In this study of Luke 8, we consider Jesus' power to save and heal us, and we learn from His actions and parables about what it means to grow spiritually and place our faith in Him.
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10/8/2014
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Luke 8:40-9:17
Luke 8:40-9:17
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The miracles Jesus performed show that He is sovereign, compassionate, and powerful. Throughout His ministry on earth, a number of people approached Him by faith to ask for healing. As we study Luke 8-9, we see how Jesus met these people where they were and how He challenged His own disciples to trust in God's provision. We are reminded that God cares deeply for us and that He will use us in big ways if we offer Him what we have.
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10/29/2014
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Luke 9:18-62
Luke 9:18-62
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Over the centuries, countless groups and individuals have made claims about the person of Jesus Christ, but that's not enough to know who He really is. Luke presents an accurate picture as he records both Jesus' claims about Himself and what those nearest said about Him. As we continue our study in Luke 9, we consider two different ways to approach life, how to navigate mountaintop and valley experiences, and how worship and evangelism should naturally weave together in our lives.
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11/5/2014
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Luke 10
Luke 10
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The service we give to the Lord is important, but it's equally important to sit before Him in adoration. In Luke 10, we read that Jesus sent out a group of His followers to share His message of peace, told the parable of the good Samaritan, and encountered sisters Mary and Martha. As we study these stories, we are reminded to keep our focus on Christ.
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11/19/2014
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Luke 11:1-28
Luke 11:1-28
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As the disciples listened to Jesus' teachings and watched Him perform miraculous works, they also saw His dynamic prayer life with God the Father. In this study of Luke 11, we learn that praising and pouting are difficult to do at the same time, see Jesus' great power as he encountered an unclean spirit, and break down the prayer that He gave to the disciples.
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1/7/2015
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Luke 11:29-12:21
Luke 11:29-12:21
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As the antagonism toward Jesus began to grow, the focus of Luke's gospel transitions from the works of Jesus to the words of Jesus. In this study, we see that the Pharisees were unwilling to accept Jesus, focusing only on outward acts. We are cautioned to watch out for hypocrisy in our lives and focus on our relationship with God rather than material satisfaction.
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1/14/2015
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Luke 12:22-13:9
Luke 12:22-13:9
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As Jesus began His private ministry to His disciples, He explained what the attitude of His followers should be. In this study, we are reminded that we can rest in God's care because of our new relationship with Him, even when we're tempted to worry. We are also challenged to let our faith become action by living differently than the world and working to bring others into God's kingdom while we still can.
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1/28/2015
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Luke 13:10-14:24
Luke 13:10-14:24
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Jesus often searched out those who were overlooked by society. He wanted to heal them and love them so He could showcase His work in them to the world. Unfortunately, His acts of love weren't always accepted. In this study, we see the response of His religious adversaries who strictly adhered to the Law of the Old Testament. We also learn that tradition can cause us to miss the most important thing: a relationship with the Lord.
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2/4/2015
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Luke 14:15-15:32
Luke 14:15-15:32
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Jesus was a master storyteller, and He shared stories that shed light on some important truths. In this study, we examine five different parables of Jesus about things that had been lost. We learn what our highest priority should be, what it really means to be a disciple, and what the Lord is all about—rescuing those who were once lost and redeeming them for His glory.
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2/11/2015
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Luke 16:1-18
Luke 16:1-18
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After Jesus addressed several religious leaders in Luke 15, He turned His attention to the disciples to teach about stewardship. Jesus essentially asked them what they were investing their lives in—the temporal or the eternal? In this study, we learn that we must answer this same question and that our response will reveal who we truly serve.
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2/18/2015
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Luke 16:19-17:37
Luke 16:19-17:37
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As Jesus continued to talk to His disciples and the nearby Pharisees, He told them stories about the kingdom of heaven and warned those listening about their eternal fate. He also shared four basic things expected of those who follow Him. In this message, we're challenged to forgive freely, serve faithfully, live thankfully, and be prepared for Jesus' second coming.
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3/11/2015
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Luke 18
Luke 18
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In Luke 18, Jesus continued to share parables with those He encountered, explaining that humility and persistence in prayer are pleasing to the Lord. We also see Him tenderly bless children and call out a rich young ruler's obsession with wealth before we wrap up the chapter by looking at the faith of a blind man Jesus healed.
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3/25/2015
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Luke 19
Luke 19
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In Luke 19, Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as the Messiah and the Passover Lamb, beginning the grand finale of His life: death on the cross. As we look at the story of Zacchaeus, we learn that all of us are short in stature, spiritually speaking. We're also challenged to faithfully serve the Lord, and we study one of the Bible's most intricate prophecies about the end times.
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4/1/2015
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Luke 20
Luke 20
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Luke 20 is all about confrontation: in the middle of the crowded temple court, Jesus addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees' pointed questions with sharp wisdom and divine discernment. Mere days before His crucifixion, we also see Jesus expose the sin of His chosen people and discuss the topics of baptism, taxes, and the resurrection of the dead.
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4/8/2015
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Luke 21
Luke 21
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As Jesus continued to teach in the temple just days before His death, He noted the generosity of a poor widow and then launched into the Olivet Discourse, in which He gave an overview of what the end times will look like. This chapter of Luke is extremely relevant for believers today as we watch and wait for Jesus to come back and establish His kingdom on earth.
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4/15/2015
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Luke 22:1-46
Luke 22:1-46
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In Luke 22, Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover, which was—and is—of monumental importance to the Jewish nation. As we get into the details of the Passover meal itself, we examine how Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross would soon transform the meal's meaning, and we are reminded of the coming kingdom and Jesus' love for all people.
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4/22/2015
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Luke 22:39-23:1
Luke 22:39-23:1
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Human life—including human failure—began in the garden of Eden, but new life began in the garden of Gethsemane. In the second half of Luke 22, we see how Jesus fought the battle for our eternal fate, and we learn about Judas' betrayal and Peter's denial, both of which demonstrate God's sovereignty and control.
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4/29/2015
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Luke 23
Luke 23
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Luke 23 details the sentencing, beating, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. In our study of this chapter, we explore the significance of where Jesus was crucified and ponder the great truth that the cross had to come before the empty tomb.
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5/6/2015
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Luke 24
Luke 24
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As we wrap up our study in the book of Luke, we zero in on the event that sets Christianity apart from every other religion: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this message, we dive into the details surrounding the resurrection, including the women's visit to the tomb, the disciples' conversation on the road to Emmaus, and Jesus' ascension.
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There are 28 additional messages in this series.