Luke 4

14 Luke skips most of Jesus' first year of ministry, as does Matthew and Mark. Nonetheless, Jesus did many miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit and quickly gained a reputation as a prophet and miracle worker.
15 Jesus' main purpose was to educate people about the coming Kingdom and their need to turn to God and away from sin. He used miracles both to back up His teaching and to show compassion on people. In general, people thought very highly of Jesus.

Synagogues were established during the Babylonian captivity. The Temple had been destroyed, so the Jews established local places of worship. After the Temple was rebuilt, the synagogues remained as centers of worship and community activities.

16 Guest teachers and those who had a special word of encouragement were allowed to read the Scriptures and teach in the synagogues. His return to Nazareth was like a homecoming, and the people welcomed Him because of His good reputation.
18 Jesus quotes Isa 61:1-2 from a messianic passage. This is a summary of what Jesus' mission was to be. First, He is appointed and anointed with the Holy Spirit (Messiah means "anointed"). His main mission is to preach the Good News that God would pay for the sins of people and welcome them into His kingdom. The Gospel (which means "Good News") was preached to all people, including the poor. All people are born poor in spirit, but the financially poor tend to be more receptive to the Gospel because they can more easily see their needs. Those who are brokenhearted can be healed by Jesus' love when they come to Him. Those who are captive to sin can come to Him for freedom. Those who are spiritually blind (i.e., they do not know God) can come to Jesus and find sight. Those who are oppressed by the people of this world will find liberty in heaven, which they can only attain through faith in Jesus.
19 God knows all things, and He sent Jesus at just the right time (Rom 5:6). Jesus' mission would have been less effective if He had come earlier or later in history. Those of us who have lived after Him have the special blessing of being able to look at the past events to see the evidence for our hope in Him. Those who hear the Good News now have more reason to accept it than those did who lived before Jesus and only had the messianic prophecies.
20 Everyone was curious what Jesus would say about the Messiah, since He had just read a messianic passage.
21 Jesus indicates He is the fulfillment of this passage.
22 Jesus' message about the Kingdom of God was gracious. Obviously, He spoke the words of a prophet. However, the people had doubts because Jesus had grown up among them. Jesus had lived a perfect life, even as a youngster, but He did not begin speaking as a prophet (or the Messiah) until He began His ministry after John baptized Him. They found it difficult to believe that Jesus had "suddenly" become a prophet or the Messiah when they had not previously seen Him with these characteristics. The people would not believe Jesus because of their preconceived notions about Him. In former days, they did not imagine that Jesus would amount to anything beyond being a carpenter (Mat 13:54-58).
23 Jesus begins to rebuke them. Some of them would eventually ask to see miracles from Him. These would be challenges to Jesus' identity, not the faith response that God desired from His people.
24 While this is typical human behavior, it is not right.
25 Jesus then expands this principle. Jesus' rejection would not merely by His hometown, but by most Jews as well. However, this would not hinder God. Jesus gives two examples where God could have worked miracles among the Israelites, but since there were apparently none faithful enough, He performed them upon Gentiles. The implication is clear. Jesus' messianic ministry would be rejected by most Jews, but God would expand that ministry to the Gentiles. God has a great desire to save people from His judgement. If He could not find faith among His chosen people, He would find it among the Gentiles.
28 This message enraged the people. They had been told all their lives that God would honor them merely for being descendants of Abraham. They had also been led to believe that God would never bless a Gentile over a Jew. Now Jesus -- perhaps in their eyes a self-proclaimed Messiah -- was telling them that they had no faith, would be rejected, and the hated Gentiles would receive the gifts of God that were originally intended for Israel.
29 Unwittingly confirming Jesus' assessment of them, they decide to stifle the word of God by murdering the Prophet.

When we receive a rebuke we must be very careful to evaluate what is being said. If we react negatively because the rebuke is painful, then we will not learn anything or change our ways. In fact, we will likely increase our guilt. If we consider what God is telling us, then we will be far happier when we align our will with His.

30 This was not the time or the manner in which Jesus was to die. He was able to walk right through the crowd unharmed, seemingly through a miracle.
31 It appears that Jesus made Capernaum His hometown after Nazareth rejected Him.
32 Mat 7:28-29 explains this amazement more clearly. The religious leaders of the day often quoted rabbis past and present. None of them seemed to be able to say anything authoritatively unless someone else had said it before them. Jesus, however, did not quote from other rabbis to back up His statements. His sources were the Scriptures and the direct words from God.
33 Satan and his minions are not afraid to try to infiltrate places where God is worshiped. Unfortunately, we can not assume that everyone who attends church is really on God's side. Without God's presence and discerning hearts, the demon-possessed person may never be found out.
34 The presence of God is so strong that the demon can not help but cry out. The frightened demon is actually trying to take advantage of the situation. On one hand, it was commonly thought that to have knowledge of someone (most importantly their name) meant they could be controlled to a certain degree. On the other hand, the demon may have known that Jesus wanted people to accept His Messiah ship by faith, not by proclamation -- and certainly not by the proclamation of a demon.
35 Jesus, of course, is neither shocked nor perplexed by the demon's outcry. The first order of business was to silence the demon. Jesus would not tolerate a demon influencing people in a place of worship while He was present. The second thing was to drive the demon out of the man. This was a great act of compassion on the man. The man had been affected greatly by sin, and may have invited the demon into his life. Jesus drove the demon out and gave the man a second chance. Hopefully, he learned from experience that demonic influences only harm and take control.

The demon can not resist Jesus' command since a demon is no match for God. Even the demon's attempt to harm the man's body as he leaves is ineffective.

36 Jesus did not need to recite a complicated incantation or invoke God's name. By His own word, Jesus was able to drive out the demon. It was obvious that the demon could not resist. They had not seen this kind of power before.
37 When people see this kind of power, they can not help but share the amazing story with others. Soon, Jesus' reputation spread everywhere. A prophet had appeared in Israel, and everyone wanted to know about it.
38 Simon (a.k.a. Cephas or Peter) was married (1 Cor 9:5). It is likely that his wife's father had died and he had become responsible for the care of his mother-in-law. It was common for the widowed mother to move in with her oldest son. Perhaps his mother-in-law had no son of her own, so Simon became the one responsible for her care.

Jesus had already performed many miracles, so they requested that Jesus heal her too. Jesus knew she was ill, but He did not act until they asked Him to. In spiritual matters, God works the same way. God can not save someone from their sins if they do not even have the faith to ask Him.

39 We get the idea that Jesus personified the fever for the sake of the listeners. With our modern understanding of disease, we would assume the fever was brought on by a virus or bacteria. Jesus obviously has the power to destroy these disease organisms specifically. However, the effects went beyond merely getting rid of the disease. Typically, when a person has been cured they need a few days to recover from the damage that the disease caused to his system. Here we see that her energy and strength were restored immediately. No only was she willing to serve, but she undoubtedly did it with thankfulness. When God heals us spiritually or physically, we should immediately respond with thanksgiving and service (i.e., obedience).
40 Jesus' reputation as a healer quickly spread throughout town after the incident at the synagogue. Many people responded in faith and brought sick people to Him to be healed. He did not turn anyone away, but healed each one.
41 Demon possession is typically downplayed in modern psychology (and medicine in general). However, some people display damaging behavior without medical explanation. Demon possession might be involved in at least some of these cases. Some who do practice Satanism claim to be possessed by demons and can consequently act destructively. Of course, the difficulty with demon possession is that it is not something that can be deduced by physical methods. In addition, it seems that God has granted very few people the ability to discern spirits and perform exorcisms. It may be a matter of faith or gifting.

Regardless of how modern people view demon possession, the Bible makes it clear that it can occur, and at least did occur in a small percentage of the population. The fact that there were "many" who were demon-possessed indicates that such occurrences were either undetected, misdiagnosed, or simply not dealt with because there was no "cure." Jesus, however, is the cure. By the power of God, He can control those spiritual beings that oppose Him.

42 Part of Jesus' daily routine was to take time out to pray to the Father. He was always in communication with the rest of the Godhead, but even Jesus found it necessary to remove Himself from the distractions of the physical world to communicate with the Father. If this is what Jesus, the perfect and sinless man, needed to do, how much more do we, who are neither perfect nor sinless?

The people of the town interrupted His quiet time to beg Him to stay. However, Jesus' ministry was to have a broader scope that one town. In His physical body, He was geographically limited. He could only be at one place at a time, and His mission was to share the Good News in many parts of Israel and Samaria.