Luke 4:14-15 (ESV)
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
Note that Jesus’ ministry is an instant hit. A report about him went out through all the surrounding country. The buzz is all about Jesus. Everyone likes his teaching too. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
But it’s the first half of verse 14 that’s the shocker. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.
Why is He in the power of the Spirit? What about His own power? He’s the second person of the Trinity. Why does He need the power of the third person of the Trinity?
I doubt we can know, this side of heaven, why Jesus needed the power of the Spirit. But we know that He did. He gave up a lot when he condescended from on high.
He left his Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite his grace!
Emptied himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be?
That Thou my God shouldst die for me! – Charles Wesley
What does “the power of the Spirit” mean anyway? Who else had the power of the Spirit? Can we have that power? These are hard questions.
Or are they? Maybe our knowledge of the Holy Spirit is a bit thin. The Holy Spirit is obviously important, yet we don’t talk about Him the way they did back then. What changed?
While we don’t have all the powers that Christians had in the apostolic age, we have many of them. Most importantly, we still have the Holy Spirit in us. We know this, but don’t seem to exercise it. It’s like we’ve let the label “Christian” tilt our emphasis toward the second person of the trinity. “Christian” means Christ like (or little Christ) not Christ worshipper. If we’re to be labeled by who we worship, “Trinitarian” is best.
The Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity that we’re closest to. He’s our primary point of contact. Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is so intimate that the He prays for us when we get stuck.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. – Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)
We’ve forgotten our roots.
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