Luke 4:1-13 The Temptations of Jesus
The most comprehensive commentary on this subject may be found in the Matthew section, Matt. 4:1-11.
Luke 4:1 Jesus...was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
"The King James Version records that after his baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 'to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.' (Matt. 4:1-2.)
"The Joseph Smith Translation gives a different view: 'Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be with God. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil.' ([Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible]. The Holy Scriptures: Inspired Version. Independence, Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1970 Matt. 4:1-2.)
"Furthermore, the account given by Luke states that Jesus was 'forty days tempted of the devil' (Luke 4:2). The Joseph Smith Translation corrects this by saying, 'And after forty days, the devil came unto him, to tempt him' ([Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible]. The Holy Scriptures: Inspired Version. Independence, Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1970 Luke 4:2).
"The King James Version further states in both Matthew and Luke that 'the devil taketh' Jesus to a high mountain and also to a 'pinnacle of the temple.' However, according to the Joseph Smith Translation, it was not the devil but 'the Spirit' who transported Jesus to these places, after which the devil then appeared to him. (Compare King James Version Matt. 4:5-8 and Luke 4:5-9 with [Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible]. The Holy Scriptures: Inspired Version. Independence, Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1970 Matt. 4:5-8 and Luke 4:5-9.)
"Thus the Joseph Smith Translation contributes in three ways toward a better understanding of Jesus' experience in the wilderness. First, his purpose for going there was not to seek out the devil, but to commune with God; second, he was not tempted for the forty days, but after the forty days were over; and third, it was the Spirit of God, not the devil, who conveyed Jesus to the mountain and the pinnacle. The Joseph Smith Translation account is also more reasonable than that of the King James Version, for one would not fast and seek solitude in order to be tempted of the devil, but would do so to commune with God." (Robert J. Matthews, Behold the Messiah [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 188.)
Luke 4:6 All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them
"...we are confronted by two opposing concepts of dominion that have always divided the human race. From the beginning men have been asked to choose between them. Thus the Clementine Recognitions tell us that Abel's claim to dominion was challenged by Cain, that Noah was challenged by the giants (the 'Watchers' of Enoch's day), Abraham by Pharaoh, Isaac by the Philistines, Jacob by Esau, Moses by the magicians of Egypt, Christ by the adversary in person, Simon Peter by Simon Magus, the apostles by the whole world, and finally, in the last days, Christ by the anti-Christ again. In each case the challenger argued from a position of strength and promised 'all the kingdoms of the world' with all their power and glory to those who would worship and follow him, while the other offered the kingdom of heaven hereafter to those who worship the Lord and serve him only. (Luke 4:5-8.)" (Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless [Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978], 86 - 87.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Perhaps the adversary hoped Jesus would actually consider a mortal Messiahship in which He could commence His reign at once. Perhaps the adversary hoped Jesus would reflect on how, by so doing, He could accomplish so much good, fulfilling the very type of Messiahship that, by the way, the Jews were confidently expecting.
"Satan obviously hoped Jesus would take second place, so Satan could have that preeminence once refused him. The rebel made his new bid for ascendancy, but, again, he was dispatched!" (Even As I Am [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 75.)
Luke 4:8 Get thee behind me, Satan
David O. McKay
"Your weakest point will be the point at which the Devil tries to tempt you, will try to win you, and if you have made it weak before you have undertaken to serve the Lord, he will add to that weakness. Resist him and you will gain in strength. He will tempt you in another point. Resist him and he becomes weaker and you become stronger, until you can say, no matter what your surroundings may be, 'Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' (Luke 4:8.)" (Conference Report, October 1959, General Priesthood Meeting 88.)
Elder Eldred G. Smith
"The only power I know of that will bind Satan, or render him powerless, is righteous living....When you have resisted a temptation until it no longer becomes a temptation, then to that extent, Satan has lost his power over you, and as long as you do not yield to him, to that degree he is bound.
"For instance, if you have learned to pay tithing until it is no burden or no real temptation anymore, then to that extent you have bound Satan. The same is true in keeping the Word of Wisdom or living the laws of chastity, or the other laws of the gospel. Satan becomes powerless to you in that field.
"Then step by step, you may bind Satan now; you don't have to wait for the millennial reign." (Conference Report, April 1970, Afternoon Meeting 142.)
Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Willing obedience provides lasting protection against Satan's alluring and tantalizing temptations. Jesus is our perfect example of obedience. Learn to do as He did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Even though He was weakened by fasting, His answer was quick and firm: 'Get thee behind me, Satan.' Elder Neal A. Maxwell said this of the Savior's example in resisting temptation: 'Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to Him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!' When Satan comes calling, cast him out as quickly as possible. Do not let temptation even begin to entertain you." ("Live in Obedience," Ensign, May 1994, 40)
Hugh B. Brown
"I wish all of us could do what Jesus did. Some of us say, 'Get thee behind me, Satan,' but when we are struggling with some weakness, we turn right around and face him and expect him to stay behind us. By that I mean that we tempt ourselves by overestimating our strength." (The Abundant Life [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965], 292.)
Elder Moses Thatcher
"I heard a story in regard to a brother in Farmington a few years ago. The question of gathering the poor saints from England came up in an evening meeting.
"The brother had two cows, and he donated one for the purpose mentioned. In going home a spirit of darkness said unto him: 'You have been very foolish. You have given away one of the two cows you possessed, while Brother so-and-so, a much wealthier man than you, has only given five dollars.
"'Now, you have done a wrong thing, a foolish thing.' And thus was this brother tempted until he turned around and said, as though addressing himself to Satan: 'If you don't cease tempting me, I will go back to the bishop and give him the other one.'" (Church News, 15 January 1977, 16 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament: The Four Gospels, by Pinegar, Bassett, and Earl, p. 43-44)
Luke 4:9 If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence
Howard W. Hunter
"In power and dignity, Jesus commanded, 'Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' (Matt. 4:10.) Anguished and defeated, Satan turned and went away. 'And when the devil had ended all the temptation,' Luke adds, 'he departed from him for a season.' (Luke 4:13.) Matthew tells us that 'angels came and ministered unto him.' (Matt. 4:11.)
"As with Jesus, so with us, relief comes and miracles are enjoyed after the trial and temptation of our faith. There is, of course, running through all of these temptations, Satan's insidious suggestion that Jesus was not the Son of God, the doubt implied in the tempter's repeated use of the word if. 'If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.' (Matt. 4:3.) 'If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.' (Matt. 4:6.) These, of course, foreshadowed that final, desperate temptation which would come three years later: 'If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.' (Matt. 27:40.) But Jesus patiently withstood that ploy also, knowing that in due time every knee would bow and every tongue confess.
"It was not necessary then, or ever, for Jesus to satisfy the curiosity of men, least of all unholy men. As victory in every encounter came to Jesus, so the pathos and tragedy of Lucifer's life is even more obvious: first, bold and taunting and tempting; then pleading and weak and desperate; and finally-ultimately-simply banished.
"The question for us now is, Will we succeed? Will we resist? Will we wear the victor's crown? Satan may have lost Jesus, but he does not believe he has lost us. He continues to tempt, taunt, and plead for our loyalty. We should take strength for this battle from the fact that Christ was victorious not as a God but as a man." (Howard W. Hunter, That We Might Have Joy [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 35.)
Luke 4:13 the devil...departed from him for a season
James E. Talmage
"This victory over the devil and his wiles, this triumph over the cravings of the flesh, the harassing doubts of the mind, the suggested reaching out for fame and material wealth, were great but not final successes in the struggle between Jesus, the embodied God, and Satan, the fallen angel of light. That Christ was subject to temptation during the period of His association with the apostles He expressly affirmed. (Luke 22:28) That His temptations extended even to the agony in Gethsemane will appear as we proceed with this study. It is not given to the rest of us, nor was it given to Jesus, to meet the foe, to fight and overcome in a single encounter, once for all time. The strife between the immortal spirit and the flesh, between the offspring of God on the one hand, the world and the devil on the other, is persistent through life." (Jesus the Christ, 125)
Luke 4:14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee
It is no coincidence that the power of the Spirit rested on Jesus as he began his ministry. His preparation has been immaculate. He has done all the right things to invite the Spirit into his life. He has kept the commandments of God. He has just communed with God for forty days. He has just fasted and prayed and meditated upon his assignment. He has accepted his calling. Finally, he has 'quenched all the fiery darts of the wicked' one. In all this, he has been the great Exemplar, for certainly we will also be blessed with 'the power of the Spirit' if we can follow this same pattern.
Luke 4:18 The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me
The title of Christ literally means "the anointed one." We might ask, "what was Jesus anointed with?" Or, "who performed this anointing?" The answer comes from Peter, 'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power' (Acts 10:38). Therefore, when Isaiah declares, 'the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me,' it means just what it says: Jesus was filled with the Spirit because he was anointed by the Father. Our own anointings symbolize this same outpouring of the Spirit. The pure olive oil is anointed in priesthood administrations to symbolize the sanctification of the Spirit.
"As an illustration, when the young Benjamite, Saul, was anointed Israel's king, Samuel 'took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head,' with the attendant promise that 'the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee,' and that Saul would be 'turned into another man' (1 Samuel 10:1, 6). In the anointing of David we read: 'Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward' (1 Samuel 16:13)...'The oil with which the priests were anointed was understood by the ancients to represent the necessity of those on the Lord's errand being filled with his Spirit. More directly, the idea of anointing and the concept of sanctification are consistently associated in the scriptures with the reception of the Holy Ghost (Alma 13:12; 3 Nephi 27:20). The Holy Ghost is the Sanctifier.'" (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1999], 115.)
Luke 4:18 he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor
Beyond his poetic eloquence, the words of Isaiah convey great meaning in very few words. His prophecies can have both temporal and spiritual applications. The spiritual application of this verse is a classic example. We know that Christ intended to preach the gospel to the rich as well as the poor. Perhaps, more appropriately, the Master was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor in spirit. In an attempt to apply a more spiritual meaning, we might take the liberty to render this verse as follows:
To set at liberty them that are bruised and battered in spiritual bondage.
Such a rendering emphasizes Christ's atoning mission rather than the political deliverance that the rabbinical interpretation implies.
Jeffrey R. Holland
"Perhaps no more beautiful passages have ever been written about the Savior's atonement and crucifixion than those written by Isaiah. We have already noted the first three verses of the 61st chapter of Isaiah, the passages with which Christ announced his Messiahship to what must surely have been a startled synagogue in the tranquil village of Nazareth. Those verses would rank among the most moving and meaningful ever written, particularly in light of their true Messianic meaning and the use that the Savior himself made of them." (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 89.)
Jeffrey R. Holland
In what would be the most startling moment of His earthly ministry, Jesus stood up in His home synagogue in Nazareth and read these words prophesied by Isaiah and recorded in the gospel of Luke: "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and ... set at liberty them that are bruised."
Thus the Savior made the first public annoincement of His messianic ministry. But this verse also made clear that on the way to His ultimate atoning sacrifice and Resurrection, Jesus's first and foremost messianic duty would be to bless the poor, including the poor in spirit.
From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus loved the impoverished and the disadvantaged in an extraordinary way. He was born into the home of two of them and grew up among many more of them. We don't know all the details of His temporal life, but He once said, "Foxes have holes, and... birds... have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Apparently the Creator of heaven and earth "and all things that in them are" was, at least in His adult life, homeless. (Ensign, Nov. 2014, 40)
Luke 4:18 he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted
J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
"When the Savior came upon the earth he had two great missions; one was to work out the Messiahship, the atonement for the fall, and...the other was the work which he did among his brethren and sisters in the flesh by way of relieving their sufferings...He left as a heritage to those two great things-work for the relief of the ills and the suffering of humanity, and the teaching of spiritual truths which should bring us back into the presence of our Heavenly Father." (Conference Report, Apr. 1937, 22 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament: The Four Gospels, by Pinegar, Bassett, and Earl, p. 66)
Bruce C. Hafen
"By thus referring so broadly to the bruised and brokenhearted, the Savior pointed toward his eventual Atonement as the healing power not only for sin but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and the entire range of mortal bitterness. The Atonement is not just for sinners.
"I believe there is in the Church today a compelling need for us to teach and understand the Atonement more fully than we do...after all we can do, the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak.
"The Savior's victory can compensate not only for our sins but also for our inadequacies; not only for our deliberate mistakes but also for our sins committed in ignorance, our errors of judgment, and our unavoidable imperfections. Our ultimate aspiration is more than being forgiven of sin-we seek to become holy, endowed affirmatively with Christlike attributes, at one with him, like him. Divine grace is the only source that can finally fulfill that aspiration, after all we can do." (The Broken Heart: Applying the Atonement to Life's Experiences [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 1, 20)
"The Lord has promised to heal our broken hearts and 'to set at liberty them that are bruised' (Luke 4:18); to give power to the faint, to heal the wounded soul, and to turn our weakness into strength (see Isa. 40:29; Jacob 2:8; Ether 12:27); to take upon Him our pains and sicknesses, to blot out our transgressions if we repent, and loose the bands of death (see Alma 7:11-13). He promised that if we will build our lives upon His rock, the devil will have no power over us (see Hel. 5:12). And He has vowed that He will never leave us or forsake us (see Heb. 13:5). There is simply no mortal equivalent. Not in terms of commitment, power, or love. He is our only chance.
"Our responsibility is to learn to draw upon the power of the Atonement. Otherwise we walk through mortality relying solely on our own strength. And to do that is to invite the frustration of failure and to refuse the most resplendent gift in time or eternity. 'For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed ... and he receive not the gift?' (D&C 88:33). My brother and I would have been foolish to not seek or accept our father's help when we were stranded. Likewise, the Lord is our advocate, and He 'knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted' (D&C 62:1). In other words, He knows how to succor all of us. But we activate the power of the Atonement in our lives. We do this by first believing in Him, by repenting, by obeying His commandments, by partaking of sacred ordinances and keeping covenants, and by seeking after Him in fasting and prayer, in the scriptures, and in the temple." ("Our Only Chance," Ensign, May 1999, 67)
Luke 4:18 to preach deliverance to the captives
Anthon H. Lund
"He read these verses, which describe His own mission. Among other things, His mission, He tells us, was to liberate the captives and to open their prison doors. This part of His mission He did not fulfill while living in the flesh, so far as we have any account, but we have an account that He fulfilled it afterwards. Peter tells us that He preached to the spirits in prison-those that Job speaks of when he says that they should be brought forth out of the pit and out of their prison. Jesus went and opened their prison doors; He led captivity captive; He brought joy to the many millions that were waiting in prison, for His coming, who were there because at one time they had rejected the Gospel. They belonged to the antediluvians, and when Noah preached the Gospel to them they rejected him; hence they had a long time to wait, but finally the joyful tidings came to their prison house. Jesus went and preached the Gospel to them, and salvation was offered to them once more. They had learned by sad experience what it meant to reject the Gospel." (Conference Report, October 1900, Second Day-Morning Session 25.)
"Here then we have an account of our Savior preaching to the spirits in prison, to spirits that had been imprisoned from the days of Noah. And what did he preach to them? That they were to stay there? Certainly not. Let his own declaration testify: 'He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised' [Luke 4:18]. Isaiah has it, 'to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness from the prison house' [Isa. 42:7]. It is very evident from this that he not only went to preach to them but to deliver, or bring them out of the prison house." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 219)
Bruce R. McConkie
"This doctrine that the Lord will free the prisoners from their prison, that he will deliver them from the depths of their dungeon, and that they will come forth from the pit and be free-free from the sorrow of sin, free from the chains of hell, free from that spiritual death which is to be dead as pertaining to the things of righteousness-all this is part of the glorious doctrine of salvation for the dead, and it includes the fact that our Lord ministered personally to the spirits in prison.
"The doctrine of salvation for the dead is that all who die without a knowledge of the gospel, without a knowledge of Christ and his atoning sacrifice, without having the opportunity to believe and obey in this life and thereby qualify for celestial salvation-the doctrine of salvation for the dead is that all such, if they would have received the gospel with all of their hearts, had it been available to them, all such shall hear and believe and obey in the spirit world and thereby become heirs of the celestial kingdom of heaven. Gospel ordinances-baptisms, endowments, marriages, sealings-will be performed for them vicariously by those yet in mortality." (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978], 240.)
Luke 4:18 and recovering of sight to the blind
Gerald N. Lund
"The next phrase, 'and recovering of sight to the blind,' also contains a highly significant word. Jesus did not talk about giving sight to the blind, but about recovering sight to the blind. These are people who once saw but now are blinded. I suspect that the blinding could come from many kinds of darkness-sin, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, ignorance, and so on. It doesn't really matter what the cause of darkness is if a person cannot see. But in all cases Christ provides the illumination to help us see again." (Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 23.)
Luke 4:21 This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears
Let's take a moment to imagine this scene. Jesus had lived in Nazareth most of his life. As Nazareth is a small town, there was probably only one synagogue for him to attend. We might imagine that he dutifully attended this very synagogue with his family. They sat together as the Torah and Talmud were read and discussed. As the oldest son, he probably helped Mary with controlling his younger siblings. Jesus would have drawn no more attention to himself than any other member of the synagogue. His presence was not commanding. He did not participate in scriptural commentary. He just sat quietly, waiting 'upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come' (JST Matt 3:24).
What incredible patience! Over the many years of worship service, Jesus must have heard many Messianic prophecies. Likely, he came to the gradual realization that they were speaking of a mission that he was to perform. What was going through his mind as he first listened to the story of Moses and the burning bush? Did this story seem too familiar? Gradually, he realized that it was he that spoke to Moses on Sinai! What an incredible realization! Undoubtedly, he knew the scriptures better than the rabbis. He could neither be taught by them, nor needed he 'that any man should teach him' (JST Matt. 3:25). How frustrating it must have been for him to sit there over the years, listening to the uninspired and shortsighted interpretations of his synagogue! How easy it would have been for him to stand up and declare the meaning of the scriptures. How easy it would have been for him to give new meaning to the Old Law. Yet, with the patience of Job, he waited upon the Lord. He had plenty of time to think of what scripture he would use to introduce his ministry. Finally, he could begin to preach. His first message is to tell them what he has known for decades-that this unassuming son of Mary was in fact the unequalled Son of God.
James E. Talmage
"[Jesus]...as was His custom, attended the synagog service on the Sabbath day. Many times as a boy and man He had sat in that house of worship, listening to the reading of the law and the prophets and to the commentaries or Targums relating thereto, as delivered by appointed readers; but now, as a recognized teacher of legal age He was eligible to take the reader's place. On this occasion He stood up to read, when the service had reached the stage at which extracts from the prophetical books were to be read to the congregation. The minister in charge handed Him the roll, or book, of Isaiah; He turned to the part known to us as the beginning of the sixty-first chapter, and read: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' Handing the book to the minister, He sat down. It was allowable for the reader in the service of the Jewish synagog to make comments in explanation of what had been read; but to do so he must sit. When Jesus took His seat the people knew that He was about to expound the text, and 'the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.' The scripture He had quoted was one recognized by all classes as specifically referring to the Messiah, for whose coming the nation waited. The first sentence of our Lord's commentary was startling; it involved no labored analysis, no scholastic interpretation, but a direct and unambiguous application: 'This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.'" (Jesus the Christ, 167.)
Luke 4:22 Is not this Joseph's son?
Neal A. Maxwell
"They were truly impressed. Yet they asked, 'Is not this Joseph's son?'
"Mark's writings, too, indicate how impressed His own people were as Jesus spoke to them in their own country. They marveled at His wisdom and His works. No doubt they had heard of His miracles. (Mark 6:1-6.) Matthew says they were astonished at His 'wisdom and these mighty works' (Matthew 13:53-58).
"Yet all of this was discounted or dismissed by some because in their view, after all, 'Jesus was Joseph the carpenter's son.'
"In His sermon in one synagogue, Jesus boldly declared His Lordship. He was rejected, and some of the people even tried to throw Him off the brow of a hill...Familiarity got in the way of their recognizing Jesus' divinity.
"Instead of truly assessing Him, they used labels-'the carpenter's son'-to classify Him. Past proximity caused townsfolk and kinsmen alike to regard Him with indifference.
"In addition to the problems caused by familiarity and proximity, something else was present. Though subtle, this insight must not escape us. There was apparently no objection to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. However, the Sermon at Capernaum (John 6) caused a violent reaction. Why? Because in the sermon at Capernaum, Jesus declared His Lordship! The more declarative He was, the more restive His audience and the more attrition among His followers. The more specific His message, the more difficult He was to follow." (Sermons Not Spoken [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1985], 41-43.)
Luke 4:23 Physician, heal thyself
Bruce R. McConkie
"A common rabbinnical proverb, which as used here seems to mean: 'You have performed miracles in Cana and Capernaum, but none here, and yet you are a native of Nazareth. Why can't we see a sign, some great exhibition of your purported power? Don't you know that charity begins at home, that unless the physician heals himself of his own diseases we cannot believe he has power to heal others?'" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 162.)
Luke 4:24-28 No prophet is accepted in his own country
Noah was laughed to scorn by riotous crowds. Abraham was rejected by his idolatrous father in Ur of the Chaldees. Moses was not accepted in the court of Pharaoh. Lehi was threatened with his life. Joseph had no support in Palmyra. And Jesus was almost murdered in Nazareth. The list could be made much longer, but the pattern is clear-those too close to the prophets, either in time or in space, cannot see them for what they are. Prophets appear too much like ordinary men. They have brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. There is nothing about them to suggest divine approval. They have new and unpopular ideas. So it was with Jesus.
The examples of rejected prophets which the Master uses are the stories of Elias (or Elijah) and Eliseus (or Elisha). Luke's rendition of this story is most fitting. As the gospel writer who is most concerned with the salvation of the Gentiles, he alone includes this story of Jesus. The message is that the chosen people had rejected these two prophets. Elijah had to go to a gentile of Sarepta to find faith sufficient to sustain him through the famine. Elisha could have healed many lepers in Israel, but only the gentile from Syria had the faith to be healed. What a slam! The town folk of Nazareth had been insulted and they knew it. Jesus was declaring the glaring truth-that if he were to preach in Sarepta or Syria, among the Gentiles, he would be accepted, but among the Jews in Nazareth, there was no hope. Hence, 'when they heard these things, [they] were filled with wrath.'
Luke 4:28 they in the synagogue when they heard these things, were filled with wrath
Theodore M. Burton
"Thus Jesus Christ was rejected by the people because he told them what saving work he would do for the captives then confined to a spiritual prison and for those who had been bruised in their souls through iniquity. Instead of rejoicing in this liberation, the people hated Jesus for being so presumptuous as to tell them that he had been anointed to open the prison doors. Even his very life was threatened. Nevertheless, he continued to preach this doctrine even more clearly, in the hopes that people would understand him and the importance of the work he had been called to do." (Conference Report, October 1970, Afternoon Meeting 34.)
Luke 4:30 he passing through the midst of them went his way
Bruce R. McConkie
"How he escaped the wrath and murderous designs of the Nazarene mob is not recorded. Luke says simply: 'But he passing through the midst of them went his way.' 'Perhaps His silence, perhaps the calm nobleness of His bearing, perhaps the dauntless innocence of His gaze overawed them. Apart from anything supernatural, there seems to have been in the presence of Jesus a spell of mystery and majesty which even His most ruthless and hardened enemies acknowledged, and before which they involuntarily bowed. It was to this that He owed His escape when the maddened Jews in the Temple took up stones to stone Him; it was this that made the bold and bigoted officers of the Sanhedrin unable to arrest Him as He taught in public during the Feast of Tabernacles at Jerusalem; it was this that made the armed band of His enemies, at His mere look, fall before Him to the ground in the Garden of Gethsemane. Suddenly, quietly, He asserted His freedom, waved aside His captors, and overawing them by His simple glance, passed through their midst unharmed. Similar events have occurred in history, and continue still to occur. There is something in defenseless and yet dauntless dignity that calms even the fury of a mob.' (Farrar, p. 175)" (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 2: 27.)
Luke 4:34 Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?
Jeffrey R. Holland
"We are amazed that everywhere he went the forces of evil went before him and that they knew him from the beginning, even if mortals did not. At the same time that some people were saying, 'Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?' (John 6:42), the devils were calling out, 'Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? [We] know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God' (Luke 4:34).
"We stand all amazed as these forces of evil were cast out and defeated, even as the lame were made to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the infirm to stand. Indeed we are all amazed at every movement and moment-as every generation from Adam to the end of the world must be." ("I Stand All Amazed," Ensign, Aug. 1986, 68)