“…The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
— JOHN 14:10
Spirit-empowered living is a promise for every follower of Jesus. Jesus modelled for us how to live in the power of the Spirit. When we read about Jesus doing miracles and
living a sinless life, if we are honest, we may think, “Well, he was God; of course he could do all those things and live perfectly.” Yet, Scripture teaches that Jesus, while being fully God, was also completely human. Jesus, in his human capacity, limited himself to live and work in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Here are a few examples of Jesus’ relationship with the Spirit:
• The Holy Spirit descended on him at his baptism (Luke 3:22)
• Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert (Luke 4:1)
• The Spirit of the Lord was on Jesus and anointed him (Luke 4:18)
• The power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal the sick ( Luke 5:17)
Peter summarizes Jesus’ ministry in Acts 10:38: “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
Jesus had a practice of going to a solitary place to pray. It is fair to assume that in those moments, Jesus listened to the Father’s instructions and submitted to the Spirit. God longs to display his power and glory by empowering us with his Spirit. The model of Jesus living in submission and obedience to his Father and the Spirit invites us to do the same.
FURTHER SCRIPTURE REFLECTION: PHILIPPIANS 2:1–8
1. How does Jesus’ example of only doing what the Father instructed challenge me?
2. Ask God to increase both your dependence on the Spirit and your faith to expect his unexplainable power to work in your context.
Joanne Beach serves the C&MA in Canada as the Director of Alliance Justice and Compassion.