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Authority Over All – Luke 4

Luke 4:1-12 – Jesus is Tempted

Right after his baptism, Jesus was “led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). The purpose of this time was for him to be tempted by Satan. After forty days of fasting and being alone, Satan came to Jesus and tempted him with food and authority. The food part is obvious since Jesus had to be hungry, but isn’t it fascinating that Satan tempts Jesus by offering him authority? After all we have read and studied in chapters 1-3, we know that Jesus will have authority, but Satan offers him a shortcut. Jesus resists the temptation because Jesus is the one who actually has authority over everything, including Satan.

Luke 4:14-30 – Jesus Fulfills Old Testament Prophecy

Jesus returns from the wilderness temptation and begins his ministry. We read that he was teaching and being glorified by everyone who heard it (Luke 4:14-15). His teaching ministry takes him to his hometown of Nazareth. While there, he reads a prophecy out of Isaiah and declares the prophecy is about him. Ultimately, it makes them want to throw him off a cliff (literally, I know, it’s crazy), but he evades them. This event shows that not everyone will accept or submit to Jesus’ authority. It does not change the fact that he is authoritative, but people then, just like today, do not like to submit.

What was Jesus claiming about himself when he read Isaiah? The book, or in this case, a scroll of Isaiah, was written about 700 years before this moment. Jesus unrolled the scroll and claimed that one of Israel’s most beloved prophets spoke about him 700 years ago. That is a bold claim, but it was true! The text Jesus reads out of Isaiah speaks of a man anointed by the Spirit (remember Jesus’ baptism), who proclaims the good news (Jesus did this a lot), frees the captives (frees them from their bondage to sin), gives sight to the blind (Matt. 9:28, 11:5, 12:28, Luke 18:35, John 9:1), and proclaims the Lord’s favor (Jesus invites us into the Lord’s favor). Jesus is announcing he is here to bring salvation!

Luke 4:31-40 – Jesus has All Authority

Jesus’ ministry was a showcase of his authority. Verse 32 says people were “astonished at his teaching for his word possessed authority.” But Jesus didn’t just speak authoritatively; he backed it up with action. As he was teaching in the synagogue, a man with an unclean spirit approached, and Jesus rebuked the demon in the man and cast it out. Again, the people rightly confess about Jesus, “With authority and power he commands the unclean spirits” (Luke 4:36).

Jesus then goes to Simon’s house and heals his mother. Apparently, word traveled fast in that area because Simon’s house was overrun with people wanting to see and be healed by Jesus. Luke tells us that Jesus healed every one of them and cast out many demons. Jesus has so much authority over the demons that he wouldn’t allow them to speak. It may seem strange here that Jesus wouldn’t let demons announce who he was, but he did this because he had a perfect plan for how this would happen.

What Have We Seen So Far?

Over these four chapters, we have seen the promise and fulfillment of Christ, the humility of Christ, the identity of Christ, and ultimately the authority of Christ. Luke does such an amazing job pointing to Jesus’ total authority. In Luke 4, we see that he has authority over demons and unclean spirits (the spiritual world), sickness and disease (the physical world), and authority in his teaching (over the hearts and minds of men). Jesus’ authority is absolute!

As we conclude this study, our hope and prayer is that it helps you see Christ for who he is. We hope you have seen and continue to see the depth and detail Scripture gives us about who Christ is and what he came to accomplish. We challenge you to continue reading through Luke and learning about Jesus. This study is an “on-ramp” to our focus this summer as we study Luke and the authority of Christ. Pray with us that your life and the lives of others will be changed by the power of Jesus and his Gospel this summer at SWO24.  


  • Why do you think the crowd from Nazareth responded to Jesus so violently?
  • What other stories from the Gospels show Jesus’ authority? In what ways do they show his authority?
  • Spend time memorizing the verse below. Think about how beautiful it is that Jesus really does fulfill all these things.


  • In what other ways have you seen the authority of Jesus on display or proclaimed in the first four chapters of Luke?
  • Share your favorite stories of God’s power and authority in the Bible – Old Testament or New Testament, your choice.
  • What is the biggest thing you learned during this study?

Memory verse:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

         because he has anointed me

         to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

         and recovering of sight to the blind,

         to set at liberty those who are oppressed.

Luke 4:18

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April 19, 2024

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