Luke Chapter Four
In Luke chapter four, we finally get to see the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. However, before we get there, Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness by himself with no food. He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. We are never told the purpose of the Spirit leading Jesus to the wilderness, but I imagine it served as a great time for Jesus to focus in on God all by himself before he began his earthly ministry.
While Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, the devil came to tempt Jesus. Three times the devil tempted Jesus, but he had zero success. To combat the temptation, Jesus responded each time with scripture (verses 4, 8 and 12). Scripture offers us a great way to combat temptation, as Jesus demonstrated here. Psalm 119:11 supports this notion, as it states, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Whenever we are confronted with temptation, as we all are, a great way to resist and combat that temptation is by quoting scripture. Now, this is only possible if you have scripture memorized in the first place. This is a big reason why it is important to store God’s Word in our hearts.
After Jesus withstood the temptation of the devil in the wilderness, Jesus officially began his earthly ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. He did not have quite the warm welcoming, as the Jews tried to throw him off of a cliff (Luke 4:29). This was just the beginning of the Jews seeking to end and kill Jesus. They were constantly taken back by Jesus’ bold claims that he makes. In the end, the Jews send him to the Roman government to have him killed because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 26:54). The Jews seldom got along with Jesus because they did not believe that he was the Christ, the Son of God.
Luke chapter four ends with Jesus telling us his purpose, as Jesus states, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent,” (Luke 4:43). Jesus himself stated that his purpose was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. From the very beginning of his ministry, he preached all about the Kingdom. The message of the kingdom was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry, and it should be at the heart of our ministry as well.