Overview of Jesus' Ministry (4:14-44)

Luke summarizes Jesus' activity by juxtaposing teaching (4:16-30) with miraculous activity (4:31-44). Jesus' teaching evokes both wonder and rejection, two reactions that continue in our contemporary world. This passage's events take place mostly on one day; only the introductory overview, the synagogue speech and the concluding verses move outside this narrow time frame. The section could be summarized by the title "A Few Days in the Life of Jesus." While up to this point the Gospel's events have moved quickly, jumping months and years at a time, now the pace winds down to give us a slow-motion look at Jesus. Those who study narrative tell us that when time decelerates in the presentation of an account, important events are being related. That is certainly the case here.

In the midst of people's rejection, there is also cosmic struggle as Jesus encounters hostile spiritual forces in 4:40-41. Jesus is always dealing with the reality behind the scenes of everyday life. The passage closes with reflection about Jesus' mission in Luke 4:42-44. He must preach God's kingdom. Jesus must explain how his rule and God's promises come in stages and how he overcomes forces hostile to humanity and to God (10:9, 18; 11:14-23; 17:20-21; 24:44-49; Acts 2:16-38; 3:14-26; 10:34-43).

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