What does Luke 4:22 mean?
ESV: And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
NIV: All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. 'Isn't this Joseph's son?' they asked.
NASB: And all the people were speaking well of Him, and admiring the gracious words which were coming from His lips; and yet they were saying, 'Is this not Joseph’s son?'
CSB: They were all speaking well of him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from his mouth; yet they said, "Isn't this Joseph's son? "
NLT: Everyone spoke well of him and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. 'How can this be?' they asked. 'Isn’t this Joseph’s son?'
KJV: And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
Verse Commentary:
A common English proverb says, "familiarity breeds contempt." When we know a person—or think we know them—we tend to underestimate them. The longer we are around someone, the more willing we are to consider flaws and ignore strengths. In the case of Jesus' hometown, this is exactly what happened (Luke 4:24; Matthew 13:57). The people appreciate the wisdom He displays but won't fully embrace it.

Those who lived in Nazareth (Luke 4:16) during Jesus' childhood, struggle to believe He's anything special. His words are impressive (Luke 4:14–15). Still, their view of Him is that of a boy who grew up next to their own children. The remark about Jesus being Joseph's son is actually a statement: this is "only" the boy we saw being raised by Joseph and Mary. Mark's gospel expands on this statement (Mark 6:1–4). Some in Jesus' era explicitly believed the Christ would appear as a mysterious, unknown man (John 7:27).

Before judging the Nazarenes' skepticism too harshly, we should remember that Jesus' own family also expressed doubt. His brothers teased Him about His ministry (John 7:3–5). At one point the family even assumed Jesus had gone insane and went to fetch Him (Mark 3:21). The gospel of John notes how often people struggled to believe someone with Jesus' background could really be the Messiah (John 1:46; 6:42; 7:52). That doesn't excuse their stubbornness, however. As the rest of this encounter shows, the Nazarenes will react aggressively when Jesus challenges their prejudices (Luke 4:28–30).
Verse Context:
Luke 4:14–30 records the earliest days of Jesus' public ministry. He begins teaching in synagogues before returning to His hometown of Nazareth. There, He reads a prophecy from Isaiah and claims that He has fulfilled it. When those familiar with Him imply that Jesus has no place making such claims, Jesus implies that God will send signs to Gentiles if Israel refuses to believe. This results in an uproar, though Jesus makes what seems to be a miraculous escape.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus is taken into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. While fasting there, He is tempted by Satan. These temptations share an element of ignoring God in favor of what seems easier or quicker. Jesus resists all of these, citing Scripture as He does. When Jesus returns, He preaches and heals to great publicity in Judea and Galilee. While His hometown responds with stubborn skepticism, others are eager to hear His teaching and experience His miraculous power.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 3 explained how John the Baptist preached to prepare others to receive Jesus Christ. Luke then provided Jesus' earthly ancestry. Chapter 4 begins with Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. He returns to preach and perform healing miracles in Judea and Galilee. Chapter 5 shows Him calling disciples and demonstrating further proofs of His authority.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:34:51 PM
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