The bull of St Luke


Chapter 4: Overview

Chapter 4 began with the Temptation of Jesus, 4,1-13. We read this episode with chapter 3 because it completes the opening presentation of the adult Jesus to the readers of the Gospel, 3,21-4,11. We saw how Jesus' baptism, genalogy and his temptation together introduce the adult Jesus and complete his pre-public life.

Public Presentation of Jesus: 4,14-44

We can now read through the rest of this chapter, seeing how it divides into two distinct parts situated in two different places. Why is 4,44 a conclusion? Look for the bracket between verse 14 and verse 44. For this, note 5,1 as well.

What might be the purpose of the first part of the chapter?

Then look at the various episodes in the second part. Who might be present in this second part but not the first? There's a clue in verse 38. Then consider how there is something different about Jesus' ministry in these verses compared to Mark - and the clue lies at the beginning of chapter 5.

One way of looking at this chapter is to see it as a presentation of Jesus by word and deed. Matthew does something similar in chapters 5 to 9 of his Gospel. What is the weakness of this view?

Read now the first story of the following chapter (5,1-11). How can we take this incident as the conclusion to the healings of chapter 4?

Then take a look at the response from me.

Reading Plan

We will take four pages to read this chapter. It's as well to read the Nazareth sermon in two parts because that is how it is presented in the Sunday Lectionary for the 3rd and 4th Sundays of Ordinary Time

We begin then with Jesus arriving in Nazareth, 4,14.