Luke 4* The temptation of Christ. (1-13) Christ in the synagogue ofNazareth. (14-30) He casts out an unclean spirit and heals thesick. (31-44)1-13 Christ's being led into the wilderness gave an advantageto the tempter; for there he was alone, none were with him bywhose prayers and advice he might be helped in the hour oftemptation. He who knew his own strength might give Satanadvantage; but we may not, who know our own weakness. Being inall things made like unto his brethren, Jesus would, like theother children of God, live in dependence upon the DivineProvidence and promise. The word of God is our sword, and faithin that word is our shield. God has many ways of providing forhis people, and therefore is at all times to be depended upon inthe way of duty. All Satan's promises are deceitful; and if heis permitted to have any influence in disposing of the kingdomsof the world and the glory of them, he uses them as baits toinsnare men to destruction. We should reject at once and withabhorrence, every opportunity of sinful gain or advancement, asa price offered for our souls; we should seek riches, honours,and happiness in the worship and service of God only. Christwill not worship Satan; nor, when he has the kingdoms of theworld delivered to him by his Father, will he suffer any remainsof the worship of the devil to continue in them. Satan alsotempted Jesus to be his own murderer, by unfitting confidence inhis Father's protection, such as he had no warrant for. Let notany abuse of Scripture by Satan or by men abate our esteem, orcause us to abandon its use; but let us study it still, seek toknow it, and seek our defence from it in all kinds of assaults.Let this word dwell richly in us, for it is our life. Ourvictorious Redeemer conquered, not for himself only, but for usalso. The devil ended all the temptation. Christ let him try allhis force, and defeated him. Satan saw it was to no purpose toattack Christ, who had nothing in him for his fiery darts tofasten upon. And if we resist the devil, he will flee from us.Yet he departed but till the season when he was again to be letloose upon Jesus, not as a tempter, to draw him to sin, and soto strike at his head, at which he now aimed and was whollydefeated in; but as a persecutor, to bring Christ to suffer, andso to bruise his heel, which it was told him, he should have todo, and would do, though it would be the breaking of his ownhead, #Ge 3:15|. Though Satan depart for a season, we shallnever be out of his reach till removed from this present evilworld. 14-30 Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of publicworship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, topray and praise. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit wereupon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may beloosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace fromthe bondage of corruption. He came by the word of his gospel, tobring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power ofhis grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And hepreached the acceptable year of the Lord. Let sinners attend tothe Saviour's invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed.Christ's name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than inthe word of his grace, and the power that went along with it. Wemay well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to suchgraceless wretches as mankind. Some prejudice often furnishes anobjection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and whileit is the word of God that stirs up men's enmity, they willblame the conduct or manner of the speaker. The doctrine ofGod's sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men.They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry whenothers have the favours they neglect. Still is Jesus rejected bymultitudes who hear the same message from his words. While theycrucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Sonof God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by ourobedience. 31-44 Christ's preaching much affected the people; and aworking power went with it to the consciences of men. Thesemiracles showed Christ to be a controller and conqueror ofSatan, a healer of diseases. Where Christ gives a new life, inrecovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more thanever in his service, to his glory. Our business should be tospread abroad Christ's fame in every place, to beseech him inbehalf of those diseased in body or mind, and to use ourinfluence in bringing sinners to him, that his hands may be laidupon them for their healing. He cast the devils out of many whowere possessed. We were not sent into this world to live toourselves only, but to glorify God, and to do good in ourgeneration. The people sought him, and came unto him. A desertis no desert, if we are with Christ there. He will continue withus, by his word and Spirit, and extend the same blessings toother nations, till, throughout the earth, the servants andworshippers of Satan are brought to acknowledge him as theChrist, the Son of God, and to find redemption through hisblood, even the forgiveness of sins.
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