This verse finds ultimate fulfillment in Jesus. And the Spirit of God came upon him after he was baptized by John in river Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17). God was not going to send him to work, let him go into the work of ministry without the Spirit upon him. At river Jordan, the Spirit descended like a dove upon him. He was marked by a new level of power, the power to meet the felt-needs of people.
It was not the power to make a good argument, marshal the right points. He was able to do those when he was in his preteen years (Luke 2:2-52). But this time around (after the Jordan experience of the Holy Spirit) things were different. He will raise the dead, heal the sick, cleanse lepers, multiply food, turn water into wine, cause fishermen to get a bumper catch, opened blind eyes, grow out non-existent limbs etc.
He is the personification of the answer to all men’s needs. He said: if you thirst come to me and out of you will flow out rivers of living water (John 7:37-39), which is a reference to the ability within God, made to manifest within man. The same ability in which he (Jesus) walked is now the reality in which we walk, so it is true that as he is so we are in this world (1John 4:17).
The empowerment is to be servants. Jesus with all his power said that he has not come to be served but to serve and to offer his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). It was to pour himself out for the benefit of humanity. It was not to set up a monument for himself like Absalom did (2Samuel 18:18), but to set up a place in people’s hearts for himself so that they live by him, living effectively, expressing the love of God through various gifts, in loving service.
It is to change people’s fortune, to change their lot. It is to turn things around for them. He refused to turn stone into bread because he was not called to serve himself but to serve others, God meets his own needs, while he meets the needs of others. He was empowered to be effective in service, as the full representative of God, who is about meeting other people’s needs.
The Holy Spirit made it possible for us to serve others in love. Without him we would be inwardly convoluted in selfishness. It is the nature of God to be selfless and that nature gets implanted in us by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us (Romans 5:5).
All functions not motivated by love for God and for others are empty, meaning nothing. If your act of ‘service’ does not communicate love it is not communicating God and there is no point to it. It is actually self-serving.
The Spirit upon empowers us to communicate God in all ramifications, and be all that we can be. It is to move us beyond the mundane to the supernatural. We are no longer helpless (we have help and are able to give help) but we offer hope in the hopelessness facing people around us.
You stand strong because of the power of God that is with you. We are strengthened with power by the Spirit in our inner man (Ephesians 3:16). That makes us stand out.
It made Jesus stood out in everything he did. Nicodemus told Jesus that he knew he was a man sent from God, because no one can do the wonders he does without God being with him (John 3).
But Jesus told him it is not about him, but about the Spirit, making us shine with spiritual essence, with the same spiritual essence that he (Jesus) walked in on earth. And John spoke about him that he received the Spirit of God without measure.
After spending forty days in the wilderness without eating, the bible said that he returned in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1-14) and his fame was spread abroad (Mark 1:28). Now he had something to offer people and he became a centre of attraction. He operated by the Holy Spirit, lived by an higher life.
The Holy Spirit is the mark of the presence of God. Without the Spirit there is no life, there may be existence, but there is no life, just as the stone exists but does not have life. Without the life of God there is no functioning like God (man was made to function like God).
It is with the life of God that we connect with him and are able to fully represent him on the earth, as the extension of God.
Without connection with God there can be no real connection with one another. God made both Adam and Eve and he had connection with them on an individual basis. There could be no effective relationship between them except they are in full connection with God.
That is why the problem of sin immediately manifested in the firstborn of Adam and Eve who killed the second born. There was crisis in the first family because without the life of God things do not work very well. Without proper connection with God there is no connection with one another.
In God there is no selfishness and Paul said that we should focus on what is best for others and not just on ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-8) and that is in the context of service; with that we get to live out the life of love, live out the life of God.
The love expressed by the Spirit of God is the love expressed in power. Jesus was a man of love, and his expression of God was the expression of power (Acts 10:38). The bible says that faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). Paul wrote that if we have faith that can move mountain we are nothing, if not moved by love. The right motivation, the right colouration for our action is the love of God, anything else and we are not representing God but ourselves.
- Jesus in the Wilderness (maranathayoga.com)
- The Baptism in the Holy Spirit – Its Promise and Purpose (opentheism.wordpress.com)
- Encounters With God (aviesplace.wordpress.com)
- The Third Temptation of Jesus Matthew 4:8-10 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
- How the Spirit Magnifies Christ and His Gospel (disciplesforlife.wordpress.com)
- The Work of the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit Empowers (opentheism.wordpress.com)
- Theology of the Trinity (colewayant.wordpress.com)
- Supernatural Ability for Mind Boggling Acts (joshuaidemudiasilva1.wordpress.com)