Luke 4 paints the picture of a very real, very “normal,” Saviour – who can relate to us in our human experiences and to whom we can relate in response.
Jesus’ experiences are our experiences: From the understatement that after eating nothing for forty days, that he was hungry (vs2); to the reality of Him facing the temptation to enjoy worldly success by adopting the world’s ways and personal compromise (vs3-13). Or the sadness of being rejected by your own people, your hometown, because you dare to speak the truth in love to those who don’t really want to hear it (vs14-30); and the pressure of being distracted by those who have their own, often selfish, agenda for your time and talents.
Jesus knows what it is to be human and to experience what we experience on a daily basis.
And yet, He is able to navigate through them in a way we often don’t. Led by the Spirit and in obedience to the Father, Jesus remains true in every situation, amidst temptation, rejection, and distraction – He stays the course without sinning.
He remains true to who He is – the Son of God. He is clear about His identity and lives up to it always. Even though the time is not yet ready for Him to be fully revealed (hence, His habit of keeping the demons from speaking and giving too much away too soon) – He remains true to His identity.
And He remains true to why He came – as the Messiah to bring good news, freedom, recovery, and salvation (vs18-19). He has come to save His people as the promised Messiah (vs41). But there is no shortcut to achieve that end (hence He resists the Devil’s offer); there is no easy way to save (hence He endures hardship and rejection); there is no alternative reason for His coming (hence He refuses to be distracted). No, He will proclaim the good news of salvation at hand and when the time is right, He will become the sacrificial Lamb who brings salvation.
In Luke 4, we meet a Saviour who we can relate to in so many ways; and yet we also meet the Saviour we so desperately need to overcome the temptation, rejection, hardship & distraction that sin places at our door. This is the Saviour for me!