If you've ever been to church or Sunday school or read the Bible, you're familiar with the miracles Jesus did while He was on earth. We know that not everything He did is recorded in the Word, but the Gospels make it clear that His ministry included such amazing feats as raising the dead, healing the sick, delivering people from demons and multiplying food.
Have you ever wondered how He did those things? Yes, He was God, but what was the secret behind His supernatural abilities? Was it His divinity? What was the source of His power?
The Gospels tell us that Jesus had the Holy Spirit without limit and that He returned from the temptation in the wilderness full of the Spirit's power. The Holy Spirit was His secret!
In today's culture, it's virtually impossible to survive without Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connects us to the world around us through messaging, emails and social media. It's our access to the worldwide system of information through sites such as Google and Wikipedia. It has become almost as important as electricity or air conditioning. In a somewhat analogous way, the Holy Spirit was Jesus' connection, providing access to His Father, to His assignments and to the power of heaven. Jesus did only what He saw His Father do first, and He could see that only because of the Holy Spirit.
Here's a question I've asked my kids: "If you had to go back in time several thousand years and could bring only one thing with you, what would it be?" They've said everything from a gun or knife to a car or plane. Once you play out all the scenarios, you realize what a difficult decision it would be. If you brought a car, you would eventually run out of gas. If you brought a gun, you'd run out of bullets. A book of ancient languages may be of some help, but who knows?
When Jesus came to earth, He basically left the most sophisticated society, the kingdom of God, and traveled into time with only one tool from that eternal realm to help Him navigate this world's craziness. That tool was His relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was all Jesus brought with Him. With the Spirit's help, He had to fulfill every prophecy. He had to live a perfect, sinless life. He couldn't afford to make even one mistake. What a challenge! Still today, the Holy Spirit is Christians' only hope of fulfilling all the things we are created to do. We need Him not only to demonstrate God's supernatural power but also to love those around us the way Jesus wants us to. We need the Spirit to live in obedience to God's Word, resist temptations to sin and even keep our mouths shut when we want to lash out. It's impossible to be a true disciple of Jesus without a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus knew firsthand the power associated with the Holy Spirit. I'm not talking about atomic power or even explosions on the sun. I'm talking about universe-creating power. When God said, "Let there be," He demonstrated a make-it-happen kind of power. All that power dwelled in Jesus, ready to be unleashed with just a word. It was limitless power, able to heal the sick, drive out devils and calm storms. It was the same power that raised the dead body of Jesus back to life. In the Greek, it is called dunamis power. It's where we get the word dynamite.
The Holy Spirit was given to Jesus so He could accomplish every assignment given Him. For us to truly be Christ's followers and demonstrate the same works He did—and even greater works—we must be empowered by the same Spirit. It is impossible for us to walk in the same anointing Jesus had without it. This is why Jesus insisted that the disciples not leave Jerusalem until they had received the promised Holy Spirit. Only after the Spirit came upon them would they receive dunamis power to take the gospel "to the ends of the earth."
Most Christians would love to walk in the power Jesus operated in, but we often fail to acknowledge the source of His power: His intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus was in a constant dialogue with the Spirit, completely trusting the Spirit's voice and leadership.
Thankfully, we have the ability to know the Holy Spirit as He did. All we have to do is ask, and the Father will give us this gift just as He gave it to Jesus. It is truly impossible to be a Christ follower without it.
Excerpted from Chapter 5 of The Real Jesus by Jonathan Stockstill.
Jonathan Stockstill is a third-generation lead pastor of Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the age of 30, Jonathan transitioned from worship pastor to lead pastor of Bethany Church, following in the footsteps of his father, Larry Stockstill, and his grandfather, Roy Stockstill.
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