Holy Spirit in Luke

Holy Spirit in Luke

The gospel of Luke was written with one purpose. That we may know for certain the things that we believe (1:4), the things we have been taught, the things we, gentiles, profess to believe. The gospel of Luke is a very reliable book as it was written after a very accurate research, we know for certain that the author spoke with those who were eyewitness of the events Jesus performed (1:2). Therefore we can fully relay on what has been laid written in black and white for us. Even though the main character in the gospel is Jesus and what he did while doing ministry among people, we get to see another character in action. This second person is not introduced to us in formal and proper approach, yet he is mentioned. Not only is he mentioned, certain aspects of what is it that he does, can be found and traced in the pages of the gospel. He is introduced to us as the one who overshadowed Mary in Luke 1:35. We are not told how it will occur. Out of 1:35 we are told one thing about the person of the Holy Spirit, and that is that he has power to do and accomplish things unimaginable to our human mind. Form this point forward whenever I use the term he or him I will be referring to the Holy Spirit.

One of those things our intellectual mind might not yet fully understand is the reality that He fills people’s life. Before the book of Acts the Holy Spirit was not yet been poured out permanently on earth, therefore it was not yet given unto people. Still the Holy Spirit filled people. Out of those moments, recorded in Scripture, where he fills people, we are able to learn some of the purposes the filling of the Holy Spirit accomplishes in someone’s life. The filling of the Holy Spirit enable people to accomplish specific purposes. The gospel tells us that Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit because she was to give birth to Jesus (1:35). That was the purpose of Mary’s filling. We also learn that John the Baptist was filled with the Spirt before his birth (1:15). This statement illustrates the fact that being filled with the Holy Spirit enable us to do a specific work. For John the Baptist the fact that he was to be filled with the Spirt meant not only that he will operate with power and authority but that the filling will help him serve as forerunner. The same principle can be applied to Elizabeth after she was filled with the Holy Spirit in 1:41, she was then illuminated to speak out a spiritual truth in verse 42. Another thing accomplished through the filling of the Spirit is that it enables us to speak out spiritual truths. In the specific case of Zechariah, after he was filled, he prophesied (1:67). The Holy Spirit fills us today and we are able not only to comprehend but to speak scriptural truths, he illuminate us, and reminds us of what God has already spoken. The case of Zechariah is a very interesting one. Once he’s filled he begins to speak, clearly directed and oriented by the Spirt to declare God’s will. From 1:68 all the way to 1:79 we have Zechariah using a praise plasm that speaks about mercy, redemption, and salvation. The wisdom reflected on this song is one that can only find its source in heaven. Human wisdom per se would never be as profound and accurate as the revelation given by the Holy Spirt. The Holy Spirit today enable us to clearly understand what God has already said of himself in the Bible. He also helps us to properly interpret and apply the truth contained in Scripture. John the Baptist tells us that it is Jesus the one who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (3:13), this baptism takes place at the moment of spiritual regeneration (salvation) (Gal. 3:27). Baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us through teaching and revelation of Scripture to live a godly life, the result of that empowerment is that the Holy Spirit directs and leads our lives.

The Holy Spirit is freely given to those who, out of their own will, turn to Jesus for salvation. In the gospel of Luke we see an example of how it is that the Holy Spirit reveals specific truths to people. Such is the case of Simeon. In Luke 2:25-26 we read that it was the Holy Spirit the one who revealed him that he would not die until he get to see the long-expected and promised Messiah. Today the Holy Spirit revelas us spiritual truths contained in Scripture. He also directs our steps and decisions towards those things that are godly. The Holy Spirit empowers our lives by revealing us eternal truths contained in the Bible. The case of Simeon is different than the rest because we get to see how the Holy Spirit reveals him a very particular piece of information. On this matter R.C. Sproul writes: “Simeon was especially singled out by God to be uniquely gifted by the Holy Spirit. Not only did he have the unique endowment of God’s Spirit upon him, but God had given him a very special revelation[1].”. Today God has given us a ver special revelation, His Word. According to Galatians 3:27 we have received the Holy Spirit, therefore we are now endowed to receive God’s revelation as it has already been reviled and recorded for us. According to 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 it is the Spirit the one who reveals us spiritual things that have been given to us freely. It is through discernment that the Spirit reveals us spiritual truths. The Holy Spirit teaches and directs us. Jesus himself, when speaking to his disciples in Luke 12:12, said that the Holy Spirit will teach us what to say at the proper time. On this regard the gospel of John throws more light as we find Jesus clearly saying to his disciples that once the Holy Spirit were released not only will he teach us, but will remind us his words (Jn. 14:26). Today we can be confident on the fact that the Holy Spirit reveals us, through Scripture, spiritual truths; He also remind us Jesus’ words. Our lives are empowered by the teaching and by the revelation that the Holy Spirit sheds into our heart and soul.

As a result of the empowering we experience our lives get both directed and lead by the third person of the Trinity. There is yet another feature of the Holy Spirit that we find in the gospel of Luke all we’ve got to do is go back to Simeon’s story. In 2:26 we read that he was instructed by the Holy Spirit to go into the temple that particular day. On the previous verse we read how the Spirit revelad him a unique and marvelous piece of information, it was that revelation the one thing that drove old Simeon into the temple the day when Joseph and Mary were presenting baby Jesus. Apart from the act of revealing, we see how the Holy Spirit directs people to do specific things. Not only does He revels, directs, He also guide us.  John wrote that Jesus declared to his disciples that one of the may things the Holy Spirit will do is that of guiding us. Guidance is a key element in Christian life. If we are to walk a godly life and if we intend to bring glory to God through the decisions we take here on Earth, it is of vital importance that we seek the Holy Spirit guidance. I am convinced that we will receive guidance from the Spirit as we meditate on Scripture and allow the Spirit to softly and gently remind us those good things that bring honor to our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit also leads people. In the Gospel of Luke we find this to be true as we are told that Jesus himself was led by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). About this verse Calvin says that the words used here “imply, that he was then more abundantly endued with the grace and power of the Spirit[2]”. Jesus was lead by the Spirit to the wilderness. There was a purpose for having him going into the desert. He was about to suffer temptations from Satan. He was lead to go into a fast in the middle of the wilderness for the sole purpose that he might be more fortified. If Jesus was lead by the Holy Spirit it is expected that we, his followers, we who have received the Holy Spirit, would also be lead by the Spirit. A few more verses ahead of 4:1, we read that Jesus went to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (4:14). Jesus was about to start his public ministry and through the empowering of the Holy Spirit the Savior was to perform miraculous deeds for tree years, deeds that will exhibit the Spirit’s full power operating through him. Today the Holy Spirit empower us to do good deeds and to boldly declare good news. We are not Jesus and certainly we would never be able to replicate what he did while he was here on Earth. But, most certainly, the Spirit will lead us into ministry and once we are there, he will empower us to fulfill the call we have received from the Father. Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit (3:1), he was then lead by it (4:1), and he was empowered by it for ministry (4:14). As born again Christians we are baptized with the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:27), then we are instructed by him (12:12), as a result we are lead by him (4:1), and finally we are empowered by him for ministry (4:14).

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[1] Sproul, R. C. (1999). A Walk with God: An Exposition of Luke. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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