The Lion of Judah
Book 6: The Spirit of Jesus
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Selection from (1) The Titles of Jesus: Aslan – The Lion of Judah
Selection from (2) The Reign of Jesus: Appendix – China Miracle
Selection from (3) The Life of Jesus: Prayer, Crowds and Healing
Selection from (4) The Death of Jesus: The Tree
Selection from (5) The Resurrection of Jesus: Biblical accounts
Selection from (6) The Spirit of Jesus: Testimonies
Cover art by Rebecca Brogan – www.jtbarts.com
Contents of (6) The Spirit of Jesus
God has given us the Spirit of His Son
The Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament
The Spirit of the Lord in Jesus
The Spirit of the Lord in Us
Selection from this book:
The Spirit of the Lord in Jesus
Jesus was conceived in the power of the Holy Spirit, anointed by Spirit of God at his baptism, ministered in the power of the Spirit, and imparts his Spirit to us.
The Spirit in Jesus
Luke records how the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive Jesus by the power of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
The stories in Luke surrounding Jesus’ birth make frequent reference to the Spirit’s activity (see Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67; 2:25‑27).
For about thirty years, Jesus matured as a Jewish male, worked as a craftsman in the family business, and would have supported his family. Then a major turning point came during the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist. John saw his main task as announcing the coming of the Messiah and preparing the people for that great event (Matthew 3:1‑17; Mark 1:1‑8; Luke 3:1‑22; John 1:19‑34).
Jesus’ experience of being filled with the Spirit was public and open, not a secret. God announced by his Spirit that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, the one who would baptize us in the Spirit
“The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ 32 And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’” (John 1:31‑33).
The Spirit of God coming on Jesus at his baptism transformed his life. It launched him into three years of powerful and controversial ministry culminating in his death, resurrection and ascension.
It did not make Jesus any more holy. He was already holy.
It did not make Jesus more obedient. He was already obedient.
It did not make Jesus more divine. He was already divine.
It did anoint and empower Jesus for his mission, as he explained in Nazareth, quoting from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19; see Isaiah 61:1-2).
The passage in Luke 4:18-19, where Jesus quotes from Isaiah, makes a dynamic link between Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfilment concerning the Spirit of the Lord.
Jesus recognised the work of the Spirit of the Lord as crucial to his ministry. He did no mighty works before the Spirit came upon him at his baptism. Luke, especially, sees this as pivotal in Jesus’ life. The Holy Spirit came upon him (3:22), he returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit (4:1), faced and overcame temptation being led by the Spirit (4:1), and then returned north to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (4:14). At Nazareth, Jesus interpreted his experience in terms of the Spirit of the Lord coming on him for the purposes described in Isaiah 61:1‑3.
Jesus’ ministry gives many examples of his words and his deeds which fulfilled this prophecy concerning the Spirit of the Lord, as Luke describes:
* bringing good news to the poor (Luke 4:38‑44; 6:17‑19);
* proclaiming liberty to captives (Luke 8:26‑39; 11:14‑23);
* giving sight to the blind (Luke 7:36‑50; 18:35‑43);
* setting free the oppressed (Luke 13:10‑17; 17:11‑19);
* announcing the Lord’s salvation (Luke 10:21-22; 12:32‑40; 18:15‑30).
Jesus answered a question about him being the Messiah by referring to that charter:
“John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’
20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, ‘John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”’
21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, illnesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.’” (Luke 7:21‑23).
Jesus’ ministry demonstrated how the Spirit of the Lord was upon him enabling him to fulfil God’s purposes. The Spirit of the Lord fulfils God’s will in the world. Jesus saw his ministry in that context. So can we.
God’s purposes were supremely fulfilled in Jesus’ atoning death, his mighty resurrection and his ascension to glory where he now has all authority in heaven and on earth. He expresses that authority through the Spirit of Lord, his Spirit, in his people. The Holy Spirit continually glorifies Christ and reveals God’s will to his people and to the world. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement by the resurrected Christ through his Spirit. (John 16:8-15; Acts 2:32-39; 3:13-16; 17:30-31).
Our mission is to continue the ministry Jesus had. The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, fulfils that work in and through us.
Jesus gave his disciples power and authority to do what he did (the twelve, Luke 9:1‑6; the seventy-two, Luke 10:1‑12). Then, after the resurrection he renewed that same commission:
Matthew 28:19‑20, we are to obey all Jesus commanded them to do;
Mark 16:15‑18, this applies to everyone;
Luke 24:45‑49, Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible by his Spirit;
John 20:19‑22, we are sent as Jesus was sent by the Father in the Spirit’s power;
Acts 1:8, we are his witnesses to the whole earth, filled with the Spirit.
Further, Jesus promised us the power to do it. The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, still empowers the servants of the Lord.
Matthew 28:18-20, all authority has been given to Jesus; he is with us:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
Mark 16:17‑18, Jesus gives believers power for mission:
“Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”
Luke 24:44-49, Jesus said he would send the promised power:
“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’
John 20:19-23, Jesus breathed the Spirit on his followers:
“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”
Acts 1:1-9, Jesus promised that his followers would be baptised in the Spirit:
“In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
The Spirit of the Lord comes on us for mission, as on Jesus, and his disciples. This is the kingdom perspective: the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Jesus, imparts power for mission.
Jesus, at the Last Supper, promised to send what the Father had promised – his Spirit.
‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)