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Luke 4:1-13

Context
The Temptation of Jesus

4:1 Then 1  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River 2  and was led by the Spirit 3  in 4  the wilderness, 5  4:2 where for forty days he endured temptations 6  from the devil. He 7  ate nothing 8  during those days, and when they were completed, 9  he was famished. 4:3 The devil said to him, “If 10  you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 11  4:4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man 12  does not live by bread alone.’” 13 

4:5 Then 14  the devil 15  led him up 16  to a high place 17  and showed him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world. 4:6 And he 18  said to him, “To you 19  I will grant this whole realm 20  – and the glory that goes along with it, 21  for it has been relinquished 22  to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. 4:7 So then, if 23  you will worship 24  me, all this will be 25  yours.” 4:8 Jesus 26  answered him, 27  “It is written, ‘You are to worship 28  the Lord 29  your God and serve only him.’” 30 

4:9 Then 31  the devil 32  brought him to Jerusalem, 33  had him stand 34  on the highest point of the temple, 35  and said to him, “If 36  you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 4:10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 37  4:11 and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 38  4:12 Jesus 39  answered him, 40  “It is said, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’” 41  4:13 So 42  when the devil 43  had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time. 44 

Luke 11:14-23

Context
Jesus and Beelzebul

11:14 Now 45  he was casting out a demon that was mute. 46  When 47  the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute began to speak, 48  and the crowds were amazed. 11:15 But some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, 49  the ruler 50  of demons, he casts out demons.” 11:16 Others, to test 51  him, 52  began asking for 53  a sign 54  from heaven. 11:17 But Jesus, 55  realizing their thoughts, said to them, 56  “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, 57  and a divided household falls. 58  11:18 So 59  if 60  Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because 61  you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 62  cast them 63  out? Therefore they will be your judges. 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger 64  of God, then the kingdom of God 65  has already overtaken 66  you. 11:21 When a strong man, 67  fully armed, guards his own palace, 68  his possessions are safe. 69  11:22 But 70  when a stronger man 71  attacks 72  and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s 73  armor on which the man relied 74  and divides up 75  his plunder. 76  11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, 77  and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 78 

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate continuity with the previous topic.

2 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity.

3 sn The double mention of the Spirit in this verse makes it clear that the temptation was neither the fault of Jesus nor an accident.

4 tc Most mss (A Θ Ξ Ψ 0102 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat) read εἰς τὴν ἔρημον (ei" thn erhmon, “into the wilderness”), apparently motivated by the parallel in Matt 4:1. However, the reading behind the translation (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, en th ejrhmw) is found in overall better witnesses (Ì4vid,7,75vid א B D L W 579 892 1241 pc it).

5 tn Or “desert.”

6 tn Grk “in the desert, for forty days being tempted.” The participle πειραζόμενος (peirazomeno") has been translated as an adverbial clause in English to avoid a run-on sentence with a second “and.” Here the present participle suggests a period of forty days of testing. Three samples of the end of the testing are given in the following verses.

7 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

8 sn The reference to Jesus eating nothing could well be an idiom meaning that he ate only what the desert provided; see Exod 34:28. A desert fast simply meant eating only what one could obtain in the desert. The parallel in Matt 4:2 speaks only of Jesus fasting.

9 tn The Greek word here is συντελεσθείσων (suntelesqeiswn) from the verb συντελέω (suntelew).

sn This verb and its cognate noun, sunteleia, usually implies not just the end of an event, but its completion or fulfillment. The noun is always used in the NT in eschatological contexts; the verb is often so used (cf. Matt 13:39, 40; 24:3; 28:20; Mark 13:4; Rom 9:28; Heb 8:8; 9:26). The idea here may be that the forty-day period of temptation was designed for a particular purpose in the life of Christ (the same verb is used in v. 13). The cognate verb teleiow is a key NT term for the completion of God’s plan: See Luke 12:50; 22:37; John 19:30; and (where it has the additional component of meaning “to perfect”) Heb 2:10; 5:8-9; 7:28.

10 tn This is a first class condition: “If (and let’s assume that you are) the Son of God…”

11 tn Grk “say to this stone that it should become bread.”

12 tn Or “a person.” The Greek word ὁ ἄνθρωπος (Jo anqrwpo") is used generically for humanity. The translation “man” is used because the emphasis in Jesus’ response seems to be on his dependence on God as a man.

13 tc Most mss (A [D] Θ Ψ [0102] Ë1,13 33 Ï latt) complete the citation with ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι θεοῦ (ajllejpi panti rJhmati qeou, “but by every word from God”), an assimilation to Matt 4:4 (which is a quotation of Deut 8:3). The shorter reading is found in א B L W 1241 pc sa. There is no good reason why scribes would omit the rest of the quotation here. The shorter reading, on both internal and external grounds, should be considered the original wording in Luke.

sn A quotation from Deut 8:3. Jesus will live by doing God’s will, and will take no shortcuts.

14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

sn The order of Luke’s temptations differs from Matthew’s at this point as numbers two and three are reversed. It is slightly more likely that Luke has made the change to put the Jerusalem temptation last, as Jerusalem is so important to Luke’s later account. The temporal markers in Matthew’s account are also slightly more specific.

15 tn Grk “he.”

16 tc Most mss (א1 A [D W] Θ Ψ 0102 Ë1,[13] 33 700 2542 Ï it) refer to Jesus being taken up “to a high mountain” (with many of these also explicitly adding “the devil”) here in parallel with Matt 4:8, but both scribal harmonization to that text and the pedigree of the witnesses for the shorter reading (א* B L 1241 pc) is the reason it should be omitted from Luke.

17 tn “A high place” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied for clarity.

18 tn Grk “And the devil.”

19 sn In Greek, this phrase is in an emphatic position. In effect, the devil is tempting Jesus by saying, “Look what you can have!”

20 tn Or “authority.” BDAG 353 s.v. ἐξουσία 6 suggests, concerning this passage, that the term means “the sphere in which the power is exercised, domain.” Cf. also Luke 22:53; 23:7; Acts 26:18; Eph 2:2.

21 tn The addendum referring to the glory of the kingdoms of the world forms something of an afterthought, as the following pronoun (“it”) makes clear, for the singular refers to the realm itself.

22 tn For the translation of παραδέδοται (paradedotai) see L&N 57.77. The devil is erroneously implying that God has given him such authority with the additional capability of sharing the honor.

23 tn This is a third class condition: “If you worship me (and I am not saying whether you will or will not)…”

24 tn Or “will prostrate yourself in worship before…” The verb προσκυνέω (proskunew) can allude not only to the act of worship but the position of the worshiper. See L&N 53.56.

25 tn One could translate this phrase “it will all be yours.” The sense is the same, but the translation given is a touch more emphatic and more likely to catch the force of the offer.

26 tn Grk “And Jesus.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

27 tc Most mss, especially the later ones (A Θ Ψ 0102 Ë13 Ï it), have “Get behind me, Satan!” at the beginning of the quotation. This roughly parallels Matt 4:10 (though the Lukan mss add ὀπίσω μου to read ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, σατανᾶ [{upage opisw mou, satana]); for this reason the words are suspect as a later addition to make the two accounts agree more precisely. A similar situation occurred in v. 5.

28 tn Or “You will prostrate yourself in worship before…” The verb προσκυνέω (proskunew) can allude not only to the act of worship but the position of the worshiper. See L&N 53.56.

29 tc Most later mss (A Θ 0102 Ï) alter the word order by moving the verb forward in the quotation. This alteration removes the emphasis from “the Lord your God” as the one to receive worship (as opposed to Satan) by moving it away from the beginning of the quotation.

sn In the form of the quotation in the Greek text found in the best mss, it is the unique sovereignty of the Lord that has the emphatic position.

30 sn A quotation from Deut 6:13. The word “only” is an interpretive expansion not found in either the Hebrew or Greek (LXX) text of the OT.

31 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

32 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the devil) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

34 tn Grk “and stood him.”

35 sn The reference to the highest point of the temple probably refers to the one point on the temple’s southeast corner where the site looms directly over a cliff some 450 feet (135 m) high. However, some have suggested the reference could be to the temple’s high gate.

36 tn This is another first class condition, as in v. 3.

37 sn A quotation from Ps 91:11 by the devil. This was not so much an incorrect citation as a use in a wrong context (a misapplication of the passage).

38 sn A quotation from Ps 91:12.

39 tn Grk “And Jesus.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

40 tn Grk “Jesus, answering, said to him.” This is redundant in English and has been simplified to “Jesus answered him.”

41 sn A quotation from Deut 6:16 used by Jesus in reply to the devil. The point is that God’s faithfulness should not be put to the test, but is rather a given.

42 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a summary.

43 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the devil) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

44 tn Grk “until a favorable time.”

sn Until a more opportune time. Though some have argued that the devil disappears until Luke 22:3, this is unlikely since the cosmic battle with Satan and all the evil angels is consistently mentioned throughout Luke (8:26-39; 11:14-23).

45 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

46 tn The phrase “a demon that was mute” should probably be understood to mean that the demon caused muteness or speechlessness in its victim, although it is sometimes taken to refer to the demon’s own inability to speak (cf. TEV, “a demon that could not talk”).

47 tn Grk “And it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here δέ (de) has not been translated either.

48 sn This miracle is different from others in Luke. The miracle is told entirely in one verse and with minimum detail, while the response covers several verses. The emphasis is on explaining what Jesus’ work means.

49 tn Grk “By Beelzebul.”

sn Beelzebul is another name for Satan. So some people recognized Jesus’ work as supernatural, but called it diabolical.

50 tn Or “prince.”

51 tn Grk “testing”; the participle is taken as indicating the purpose of the demand.

52 tn The pronoun “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

53 tn Grk “seeking from him.” The imperfect ἐζήτουν (ezhtoun) is taken ingressively. It is also possible to regard it as iterative (“kept on asking”).

54 sn What exactly this sign would have been, given what Jesus was already doing, is not clear. But here is where the fence-sitters reside, refusing to commit to him.

55 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

56 sn Jesus here demonstrated the absurdity of the thinking of those who maintained that he was in league with Satan and that he actually derived his power from the devil. He first teaches (vv. 17-20) that if he casts out demons by the ruler of the demons, then in reality Satan is fighting against himself, with the result that his kingdom has come to an end. He then teaches (v. 21-22) about defeating the strong man to prove that he does not need to align himself with the devil because he is more powerful. Jesus defeated Satan at his temptation (4:1-13) and by his exorcisms he clearly demonstrated himself to be stronger than the devil. The passage reveals the desperate condition of the religious leaders, who in their hatred for Jesus end up attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan.

57 tn Or “is left in ruins.”

58 tn Grk “and house falls on house.” This phrase pictures one house collapsing on another, what is called today a “house of cards.”

59 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that the clause that follows is a logical conclusion based on the preceding examples.

60 tn This first class condition, the first of three “if” clauses in the following verses, presents the example vividly as if it were so. In fact, all three conditions in these verses are first class. The examples are made totally parallel. The expected answer is that Satan’s kingdom will not stand, so the suggestion makes no sense. Satan would not seek to heal.

61 tn Grk “because.” “I ask you this” is supplied for the sake of English.

62 sn Most read your sons as a reference to Jewish exorcists (cf. “your followers,” L&N 9.4; for various views see D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1077-78), but more likely this is a reference to the disciples of Jesus themselves, who are also Jewish and have been healing as well (R. J. Shirock, “Whose Exorcists are they? The Referents of οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν at Matthew 12:27/Luke 11:19,” JSNT 46 [1992]: 41-51). If this is a reference to the disciples, then Jesus’ point is that it is not only him, but those associated with him whose power the hearers must assess. The following reference to judging also favors this reading.

63 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

64 sn The finger of God is a figurative reference to God’s power (L&N 76.3). This phrase was used of God’s activity during the Exodus (Exod 8:19).

65 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

66 tn The phrase ἔφθασεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (efqasen efJuma") is important. Does it mean merely “approach” (which would be reflected in a translation like “has come near to you”) or actually “come upon” (as in the translation given above, “has already overtaken you,” which has the added connotation of suddenness)? The issue here is like the one in 10:9 (see note there on the phrase “come on”). Is the arrival of the kingdom merely anticipated or already in process? Two factors favor arrival over anticipation here. First, the prepositional phrase “upon you” suggests arrival (Dan 4:24, 28 Theodotion). Second, the following illustration in vv. 21-23 looks at the healing as portraying Satan being overrun. So the presence of God’s authority has arrived. See also L&N 13.123 for the translation of φθάνω (fqanw) as “to happen to already, to come upon, to come upon already.”

67 tn The referent of the expression “a strong man” is Satan.

68 tn The word αὐλή (aulh) describes any building large and elaborate enough to have an interior courtyard, thus “dwelling, palace, mansion” (L&N 7.6).

69 tn Grk “his goods are in peace.”

70 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

71 tn The referent of the expression “a stronger man” is Jesus.

72 tn Grk “stronger man than he attacks.”

73 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the first man mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

74 tn Grk “on which he relied.”

75 tn Or “and distributes.”

76 sn Some see the imagery here as similar to Eph 4:7-10, although no opponents are explicitly named in that passage. Jesus has the victory over Satan. Jesus’ acts of healing mean that the war is being won and the kingdom is coming.

77 sn Whoever is not with me is against me. The call here is to join the victor. Failure to do so means that one is being destructive. Responding to Jesus is the issue.

78 sn For the image of scattering, see Pss. Sol. 17:18.



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