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Disc. Luke 4:14-30


Leader Guide

Participant Guide

Luke 4:14-30 –Rock Star Status

Lesson Focus:

As Jesus begins his earthly mission he calls us to join him in proclaiming his Good News to those whom we might think shouldn’t receive it.

Lesson Outcomes:

Through this lesson students should:

Understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel’s Old Testament hope for a Messiah.

Understand that Jesus’ mission is not just directed to those we might consider “in.”

Discuss ways in which we might extend God’s grace and Good News to those whom we consider outsiders.

Catching up on the story:

After Luke’s account of Jesus’ baptism, we are given a genealogy that traces Jesus’ line all the way back to Adam. We are told that Jesus is about 30 years old when he begins his public ministry. After his baptism, Jesus does not jump right into his ministry, but first heads out into the wilderness where he spends the next 40 days fasting. During those 40 days he is tempted by the devil. Jesus passes each test and by doing so, declares what type of Messiah he will be. All of the devil’s temptations are not toward things that we would name as pernicious evil, but were offered as ways in which Jesus might misuse his Godly power to attain glory for himself. These temptations are temptations to power. Jesus, by resisting these temptations, will be a Messiah whose reign is not characterized by power, at least not as the world knows it, but by sacrifice and dependence on God.

The Text:

Rock Star Status: Luke 6:14-15

As we begin to look at this next story in Luke’s Gospel, you will notice that Jesus moves from being praised by everyone to having to escape a homicidal mob in the span of just sixteen verses. Jesus, having passed his wilderness temptations, now moves back toward his home region of Galilee. Luke tells us, so that we will not forget who this Jesus is and how he is empowered in his ministry, that Jesus is filled with the power of the Spirit. By noting that Jesus is filled with the power of the Spirit, Luke wants to stress for us that Jesus has, and will throughout the narrative, aligned himself completely with the will of the Father.

As Jesus returns he begins to teach in the synagogues in Galilee. The synagogue was the weekly gathering place of the Jews during this time. They would have gathered to read scripture together, to hear exposition of those scriptures and to engage in discussion about faithful living. Jesus’ Spirit filled teaching spread throughout all of the surrounding country. Jesus is approaching rock start status.

Home, Sweet Home: Luke 4:16-22

As Jesus’ fame begins to increase it was inevitable that he would once again return to his hometown of Nazareth. It appears that while Jesus was growing up in Nazareth he would attend the meeting at the synagogue each Sabbath. Jesus, upon his return home, resumes his normal custom and attends the meeting at the synagogue. Luke’s presentation of Jesus here gives us the impression that Jesus not only regularly attended the synagogue, but that he was also no stranger to being one who read scripture and expounded upon it (Green, 209). At the outset it appears to be just another normal Sabbath with Jesus at the synagogue. Luke also is making a case for Jesus being completely orthodox in his Jewish faith.

There is little evidence of the normal order of service for a synagogue gathering at this time. Some believe that the gathering would have begun with private prayer on entry to the building by the worshippers. There was then a public confession of the Jewish faith in the Shema (Dt. 6:4–9; 11:13–21). This would have been followed by prayers, including the Tephillah and the Shemoneh Esreh. The center of the worship gathering would have been the reading of the Scriptures. First, a passage from the Pentateuch was read. This would have followed some prescribed order and would have been done by several members of the congregation in turn. An Aramaic paraphrase would have been offered too, because Aramaic (a close linguistic relative of Hebrew) was the common language. This would have been followed by a reading from the prophets. Additionally, there would been more prayer and some teaching by a Rabbi if one was present (Marshall, 181).