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Luke 4:16-44

Rejection at Nazareth

4:16 Now 1  Jesus 2  came to Nazareth, 3  where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue 4  on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. 5  He 6  stood up to read, 7  4:17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He 8  unrolled 9  the scroll and found the place where it was written,

4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed 10  me to proclaim good news 11  to the poor. 12 

He has sent me 13  to proclaim release 14  to the captives

and the regaining of sight 15  to the blind,

to set free 16  those who are oppressed, 17 

4:19 to proclaim the year 18  of the Lords favor. 19 

4:20 Then 20  he rolled up 21  the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on 22  him. 4:21 Then 23  he began to tell them, “Today 24  this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” 25  4:22 All 26  were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They 27  said, “Isn’t this 28  Joseph’s son?” 4:23 Jesus 29  said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ 30  and say, ‘What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, 31  do here in your hometown too.’” 4:24 And he added, 32  “I tell you the truth, 33  no prophet is acceptable 34  in his hometown. 4:25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, 35  when the sky 36  was shut up three and a half years, and 37  there was a great famine over all the land. 4:26 Yet 38  Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 39  4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, 40  yet 41  none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 42  4:28 When they heard this, all the people 43  in the synagogue were filled with rage. 4:29 They got up, forced 44  him out of the town, 45  and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that 46  they could throw him down the cliff. 47  4:30 But he passed through the crowd 48  and went on his way. 49 

Ministry in Capernaum

4:31 So 50  he went down to Capernaum, 51  a town 52  in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he began to teach the people. 53  4:32 They 54  were amazed 55  at his teaching, because he spoke 56  with authority. 57 

4:33 Now 58  in the synagogue 59  there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean 60  demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 4:34 “Ha! Leave us alone, 61  Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One 62  of God.” 4:35 But 63  Jesus rebuked him: 64  “Silence! Come out of him!” 65  Then, after the demon threw the man 66  down in their midst, he came out of him without hurting him. 67  4:36 They 68  were all amazed and began to say 69  to one another, “What’s happening here? 70  For with authority and power 71  he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 4:37 So 72  the news 73  about him spread into all areas of the region. 74 

4:38 After Jesus left 75  the synagogue, he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus 76  to help her. 77  4:39 So 78  he stood over her, commanded 79  the fever, and it left her. Immediately 80  she got up and began to serve 81  them.

4:40 As the sun was setting, all those who had any relatives 82  sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus. 83  He placed 84  his hands on every one of them and healed them. 4:41 Demons also came out 85  of many, crying out, 86  “You are the Son of God!” 87  But he rebuked 88  them, and would not allow them to speak, 89  because they knew that he was the Christ. 90 

4:42 The next morning 91  Jesus 92  departed and went to a deserted place. Yet 93  the crowds were seeking him, and they came to him and tried to keep him from leaving them. 4:43 But Jesus 94  said to them, “I must 95  proclaim the good news of the kingdom 96  of God to the other towns 97  too, for that is what I was sent 98  to do.” 99  4:44 So 100  he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea. 101 

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

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

3 sn Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown (which is why he is known as Jesus of Nazareth) about 20 miles (30 km) southwest from Capernaum.

map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.

4 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

5 tn Grk “according to his custom.”

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

7 sn In normative Judaism of the period, the OT scripture was read and discussed in the synagogue by the men who were present. See the Mishnah, m. Megillah 3-4; m. Berakhot 2. First came the law, then the prophets, then someone was asked to speak on the texts. Normally one stood up to read out of respect for the scriptures, and then sat down (v. 20) to expound them.

8 tn Grk “And unrolling the scroll he found.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Instead a new sentence has been started in the translation.

9 tn Grk “opening,” but a scroll of this period would have to be unrolled. The participle ἀναπτύξας (anaptuxa") has been translated as a finite verb due to the requirements of contemporary English style.

10 sn The phrase he has anointed me is an allusion back to Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3:21-22.

11 tn Grk “to evangelize,” “to preach the gospel.”

12 sn The poor is a key term in Luke. It refers to the pious poor and indicates Jesus’ desire to reach out to those the world tends to forget or mistreat. It is like 1:52 in force and also will be echoed in 6:20 (also 1 Pet 2:11-25). Jesus is commissioned to do this.

13 tc The majority of mss, especially the later Byzantines, include the phrase “to heal the brokenhearted” at this point (A Θ Ψ 0102 Ë1 Ï). The phrase is lacking in several weighty mss (א B D L W Ξ Ë13 33 579 700 892* pc lat sys co), including representatives from both the Alexandrian and Western texttypes. From the standpoint of external evidence, the omission of the phrase is more likely original. When internal evidence is considered, the shorter reading becomes almost certain. Scribes would be much more prone to add the phrase here to align the text with Isa 61:1, the source of the quotation, than to remove it from the original.

14 sn The release in view here is comprehensive, both at a physical level and a spiritual one, as the entire ministry of Jesus makes clear (Luke 1:77-79; 7:47; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43).

15 sn Again, as with the previous phrase, regaining of sight may well mean more than simply miraculously restoring physical sight, which itself pictures a deeper reality (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

16 sn The essence of Jesus’ messianic work is expressed in the phrase to set free. This line from Isa 58 says that Jesus will do what the nation had failed to do. It makes the proclamation messianic, not merely prophetic, because Jesus doesn’t just proclaim the message – he brings the deliverance. The word translated set free is the same Greek word (ἄφεσις, afesi") translated release earlier in the verse.

17 sn Again, as with the previous phrases, oppressed may well mean more than simply political or economic oppression, but a deeper reality of oppression by sin (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

18 sn The year of the Lords favor (Grk “the acceptable year of the Lord”) is a description of the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:10). The year of the total forgiveness of debt is now turned into a metaphor for salvation. Jesus had come to proclaim that God was ready to forgive sin totally.

19 sn A quotation from Isa 61:1-2a. Within the citation is a line from Isa 58:6, with its reference to setting the oppressed free.

20 tn Grk “And closing.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

21 tn Grk “closing,” but a scroll of this period would have to be rolled up. The participle πτύξας (ptuxas) has been translated as a finite verb due to the requirements of contemporary English style.

22 tn Or “gazing at,” “staring at.”

23 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

24 sn See the note on today in 2:11.

25 tn Grk “in your hearing.”

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

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

28 sn The form of the question assumes a positive reply. It really amounts to an objection, as Jesus’ response in the next verses shows. Jesus spoke smoothly and impressively. He made a wonderful declaration, but could a local carpenter’s son make such an offer? That was their real question.

29 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

30 sn The proverb Physician, heal yourself! means that Jesus should prove his claims. It is a “Prove it to us!” mentality that Jesus says the people have.

31 sn The remark “What we have heard that you did at Capernaum” makes many suspect that Luke has moved this event forward in sequence to typify what Jesus’ ministry was like, since the ministry in Capernaum follows in vv. 31-44. The location of this event in the parallel of Mark 6:1-6 also suggests this transposition.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

32 tn Grk “said,” but since this is a continuation of previous remarks, “added” is used here.

33 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

34 sn Jesus argues that he will get no respect in his own hometown. There is a wordplay here on the word acceptable (δεκτός, dektos), which also occurs in v. 19: Jesus has declared the “acceptable” year of the Lord (here translated year of the Lord’s favor), but he is not “accepted” by the people of his own hometown.

35 sn Elijahs days. Jesus, by discussing Elijah and Elisha, pictures one of the lowest periods in Israel’s history. These examples, along with v. 24, also show that Jesus is making prophetic claims as well as messianic ones. See 1 Kgs 17-18.

36 tn Or “the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. Since the context here refers to a drought (which produced the famine), “sky” is preferable.

37 tn Grk “as.” The particle ὡς can also function temporally (see BDAG 1105-6 s.v. 8).

38 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.

39 sn Zarephath in Sidon was Gentile territory (see 1 Kgs 17:9-24). Jesus’ point was that he would be forced to minister elsewhere, and the implication is that this ministry would ultimately extend (through the work of his followers) to those outside the nation.

map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

40 sn On Elisha see 2 Kgs 5:1-14.

41 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.

42 sn The reference to Naaman the Syrian (see 2 Kgs 5:1-24) is another example where an outsider and Gentile was blessed. The stress in the example is the missed opportunity of the people to experience God’s work, but it will still go on without them.

43 tn The words “the people” are not in the Greek text but have been supplied.

44 tn Grk “cast.”

45 tn Or “city.”

46 tn The Greek conjunction ὥστε (Jwste) here indicates their purpose.

47 sn The attempt to throw him down the cliff looks like “lynch law,” but it may really be an indication that Jesus was regarded as a false prophet who was worthy of death (Deut 13:5). Such a sentence meant being thrown into a pit and then stoned.

48 tn Grk “their midst.”

49 tn The verb πορεύομαι (poreuomai) in Luke often suggests divine direction, “to go in a led direction” (4:42; 7:6, 11; 9:51, 52, 56, 57; 13:33; 17:11; 22:22, 29; 24:28). It could suggest that Jesus is on a journey, a theme that definitely is present later in Luke 9-19.

50 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the continuation of the topic; in light of his rejection at Nazareth, Jesus went on to Capernaum.

51 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region, and it became the hub of operations for Jesus’ Galilean ministry.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

52 tn Or “city.”

53 tn Grk “them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

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

55 sn They were amazed. The astonishment shown here is like that in Luke 2:48.

56 tn Grk “because his word was.”

57 sn Jesus’ teaching impressed the hearers with the directness of its claim (with authority). A study of Jewish rabbinic interpretation shows that it was typical to cite a list of authorities to make one’s point. Apparently Jesus addressed the issues in terms of his own understanding.

58 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a specific example of how Jesus spoke with authority (v. 32).

59 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

60 tn Grk “having an unclean, demonic spirit,” that is, an evil spirit. This is the only place Luke uses this lengthy phrase. Normally he simply says an “unclean spirit.”

61 tn Grk “What to us and to you?” This is an idiom meaning, “We have nothing to do with one another,” or “Why bother us!” The phrase τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί (ti Jhmin kai soi) is Semitic in origin, though it made its way into colloquial Greek (BDAG 275 s.v. ἐγώ). The equivalent Hebrew expression in the Old Testament had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12; 2 Chr 35:21; 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13; Hos 14:8). Option (1) implies hostility, while option (2) merely implies disengagement. BDAG suggests the following as glosses for this expression: What have I to do with you? What have we in common? Leave me alone! Never mind! Hostility between Jesus and the demons is certainly to be understood in this context, hence the translation: “Leave me alone….” For a very similar expression, see Luke 8:28 and (in a different context) John 2:4.

62 sn The confession of Jesus as the Holy One here is significant, coming from an unclean spirit. Jesus, as the Holy One of God, who bears God’s Spirit and is the expression of holiness, comes to deal with uncleanness and unholiness.

63 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast involved in Jesus’ reply.

64 tn Grk “rebuked him, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

65 sn The command Come out of him! is an example of Jesus’ authority (see v. 32). Unlike other exorcists, Jesus did not use magical incantations nor did he invoke anyone else’s name.

66 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

67 sn The departure of the evil spirit from the man without hurting him shows Jesus’ total deliverance and protection of this individual.

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

69 tn This imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

70 tn Grk “What is this word?” The Greek term λόγος (logos) has a wide range of meaning. Here it seems to mean, “What is this matter?” More idiomatically it would be, “What’s going on here?!”

71 sn The phrase with authority and power is in an emphatic position in the Greek text. Once again the authority of Jesus is the point, but now it is not just his teaching that is emphasized, but his ministry. Jesus combined word and deed into a powerful testimony in Capernaum.

72 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate resultative nature of the action.

73 tn That is, “information concerning a person or an event – ‘report, news, word, information’” (L&N 33.211).

74 sn Given Luke 4:31, the phrase the region is a reference to Galilee.

75 tn Grk “Arising from the synagogue, he entered.” The participle ἀναστάς (anastas) has been taken temporally here, and the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

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

77 tn Grk “they asked him about her.” It is clear from the context that they were concerned about her physical condition. The verb “to help” in the translation makes this explicit.

78 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the resultative nature of Jesus’ actions.

79 tn Or “rebuked,” but “rebuke” implies strong disapproval, while the usage here involves more of a command with perhaps the implication of a threat (L&N 33.331).

sn The language here (commanded) almost treats the illness as a personal force (see vv. 35, 41), but this is not the case. This healing shows Jesus’ power over sickness and should not be construed as an exorcism.

80 tn Grk “and immediately.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, δέ (de) has not been translated here. Instead a new sentence is started in the translation.

sn The note that this happened immediately shows the speed and totality of the recovery.

81 tn The imperfect verb has been translated ingressively.

82 tn Grk “everyone, as many as had those being sick.” The use of εἶχον (eicon, “had”) suggests that the subject of the accusative participle ἀσθενοῦντας (asqenountas, “those being sick”) is not simply acquaintances, but rather relatives, perhaps immediate family, and certainly close friends.

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

84 tn Or “laid.” The participle ἐπιτεθείς (epiteqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

85 sn Demons also came out. Note how Luke distinguishes healing from exorcism here, implying that the two are not identical.

86 tn Grk “crying out and saying.” The participle λέγοντα (legonta) is redundant in English and has not been translated here.

87 tc Most mss (A Q Θ Ψ 0102 Ë1,13 Ï) read “the Christ, the Son of God.” But the earliest and best mss, along with several other witnesses (א B C D L W Ξ 33 579 700 1241 2542 lat sa), lack “the Christ” here. It is likely that later scribes wished to bring the demons’ confession in line with what Luke says they knew later in the verse.

88 tn Or “commanded,” but “rebuke” implies strong disapproval, which seems to be more in keeping with the context here (L&N 33.419).

89 sn Jesus would not allow the demons to speak because the time for such disclosure was not yet at hand, and such a revelation would have certainly been misunderstood by the people. In all likelihood, if the people had understood him early on to be the Son of God, or Messiah, they would have reduced his mission to one of political deliverance from Roman oppression (cf. John 6:15). Jesus wanted to avoid, as much as possible, any premature misunderstanding about who he was and what he was doing. However, at the end of his ministry, he did not deny such a title when the high priest asked him (22:66-71).

90 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn Note how Luke associates Son of God with Messiah (Christ) in this context, a regal connection with OT roots (Ps 2:7). Also, see the note on Christ in 2:11.

91 tn Grk “When it became day.”

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

93 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate that the crowds still sought Jesus in spite of his withdrawal.

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

95 tn Here δεῖ (dei, “it is necessary”) indicates divine commission (cf. Luke 2:49).

96 sn The good news of the kingdom, the kingdom of the rule of God through the Messiah, is the topic of Jesus’ preaching.

97 tn Or “cities.”

98 sn Jesus was sent by God for this purpose. This is the language of divine commission.

99 tn Grk “because for this purpose I was sent.”

100 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the summarization.

101 tc Most mss (A D Θ Ψ Ë13 33 Ï latt) have “of Galilee”; others, “of the Jews” (W). “Judea” (read by Ì75 א B Q 579 892 pc sa, and [with minor variation] C L Ë1 1241) is probably the original reading since it is both the harder reading and supported by the best witnesses. “Galilee” is an assimilation to Mark 1:39 and Matt 4:23.

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