The bull of St Luke


Chapter 4: Overview

Chapter 4 opens with the Temptation of Jesus recounted in verses 1-13 which completes the opening presentation of the adult Jesus to the readers of the Gospel. This we have read together with his baptism and the genealogy in chapter 3. His pre-public life is now concluded.

Public Presentation of Jesus: 4,14-44

As you read through the rest of this chapter, note how it divides into two distinct parts in two different places. Why is 4,44 a conclusion? Look for the bracket between verse 14 and verse 44. For this, note too 5,1.

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 this 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?

Take a look now 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 stages because that is how it is presented in the Sunday Lectionary (and taking note of the overlap of the two Sunday Gospels in the lectionary).

We begin then with Jesus arriving in Nazareth.