Luke 4

Chapter 4

Jesus Is Tempted by the Devil.[a] 1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert 2 for forty days, where he was tempted by the devil. During that time he ate nothing, and at the end of it he was famished.

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to be transformed into bread.” 4 Jesus answered him: “As it states in Scripture:

‘Man does not live by bread alone.’ ”

5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world, 6 saying to him, “To you will I give all this dominion with its accompanying glory, for it has been delivered into my power, and I can bestow it on whomever I choose. 7 All this will be yours if you worship me.” 8 Jesus answered him: “Scripture says:

‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him alone shall you serve.’ ”

9 Next the devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the summit of the temple. Then he said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for according to Scripture:

‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you,’

11 and:

‘With their hands they will raise you up
lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

12 Jesus answered him, “Scripture says:

‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

13 When the devil had ended all his tempting, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Ministry of Jesus in Galilee[b]

14 Jesus Is Accepted throughout Galilee. Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and reports about him began to spread throughout the surrounding region. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16 Jesus at Nazareth.[c]When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the passage where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring the good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed intently on him.

21 Then he began by saying to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All present spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that flowed from his lips. They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”

23 He said to them, “Undoubtedly you will quote to me the proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself,’ and say: ‘Do here in your hometown[d] the deeds we have heard that you performed in Capernaum.’ 24 Amen, I say to you,” he went on, “no prophet is accepted in his own country.

25 [e]“I tell you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the skies remained closed for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet it was to none of them that Elijah was sent, but to a widow at Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27 There were also many people with leprosy in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but not one of these was cleansed except for Naaman the Syrian.”

28 When they heard these words, all the people in the synagogue were roused to fury.[f] 29 They leapt up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the top of the hill upon which their town was built, intending to hurl him off the cliff. 30 However, he passed through the midst of the crowd and went on his way.

31 Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon.[g]Jesus then went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and began to teach the people on the Sabbath. 32 They were astounded at his teaching because his message had authority.

33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he shrieked loudly, 34 “Leave us alone! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”[h] 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!”

Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and emerged from him without doing him any harm. 36 The people were all amazed, and they said to one another: “What is this teaching? For with authority and power he gives commands to unclean spirits, and they come forth.” 37 And reports about him began to spread throughout the entire region.

38 Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law. On leaving the synagogue, he entered Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they begged him to help her. 39 Jesus stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and began to serve them.

40 Jesus Ministers throughout Galilee. At sunset they brought to him all those who were sick with various diseases. He laid his hands on each of them and healed them. 41 Demons also emerged from many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 Jesus Is the Envoy of God for All Israel.[i] At daybreak he departed and made his way to a secluded place. But the crowds went forth in search of him, and when they located him, they tried to prevent him from leaving there. 43 However, he said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other towns as well, because this was the purpose for which I was sent.” 44 Thus, he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.


  1. Luke 4:1 By means of images, we are shown the drama Jesus experienced in his conscience, his struggle to follow with determination the great options of his existence. He knows the temptations for immediate success, domination, and prestige, the temptations to which Israel succumbed during its sojourn in the desert and that remain the lot of the Church, every believer, and every person. Jesus refuses to use his powers for his own benefit but accepts poverty and destitution; he does not seek the glory of a political Messiah and does not yield to the idols of power. He turns away from the seduction of prestige; when he goes to Jerusalem it will not be to mount the pinnacle of the temple but to carry the supreme trial of the cross.
    There is, in this choice without compromise, a radical recognition of God and the true values he is forever giving us to reflect upon. The victory of Christ over the forces of evil foreshadows the power of his mission (see Lk 10:18; 11:22; 12:16), which is achieved through patience on the cross and the triumph of the Resurrection after the final attacks of the spirit of evil (see Lk 22:3, 53). To live with Christ is to accept this struggle humbly and resolutely.
  2. Luke 4:14 The Gospel does not try to reconstitute an exact chronology and geography of the life of Christ. Its intention is to present to us the sayings and actions of the Lord, to arouse and renew our faith in him, and to make us grasp the essential requirements of our existence. As in Matthew and Mark, the first stage of Jesus’ mission, which takes place in Galilee, leads to the recognition of Jesus as it moves from the first question about him to the profession of faith.
  3. Luke 4:16 By reading his own vocation and mission in the great passage from Isaiah (61:1), Jesus will direct the thinking of the Church and every apostle: God’s work is to proclaim salvation to the poor and the oppressed.
  4. Luke 4:23 Hometown: i.e., Nazareth, where Jesus was brought up. Capernaum: see notes on Mt 4:12-17; 4:12; and 4:13.
  5. Luke 4:25 These verses illustrate the theme of universal salvation, so dear to Luke, with allusions to the miracles of Elijah and Elisha (1 Ki 17; 2 Ki 5).
  6. Luke 4:28 The words of Jesus hinted at the rejection of the people of Israel and the election of the Gentiles. The people of Nazareth become infuriated, but Jesus escapes their fury in a mysterious manner.
  7. Luke 4:31 In the Gospel, the accounts of miracles are intended to attest, first of all, that God the Savior is present for people in Jesus Christ. There is a sensible and visible evil in the sickness, wherein we see hostile forces at work. Christ brings healing; he changes the condition of human beings and saves them from alienation. Demons are sharper than humans in penetrating the divine powers of him who frees humans from the grip of death. However, Jesus reduces them to silence, because he does not want people to regard him as a triumphant liberator but to discover, in his words and actions as man amidst his human brothers and sisters, the true visage of the Messiah, Son of God.
  8. Luke 4:34 See note on Mk 1:24.
  9. Luke 4:42 The good news of the kingdom, this announcement of the coming of God (Lk 4:18; 6:20-28), must reach all human beings.

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