I once heard it said that when making a movie, the majority of the film used ends up on the cutting room floor during the editing process. There are similarities when it comes to planning a sermon or sermon series. One of the most difficult decisions is not deciding what to say or talk about. That is actually one of the easier tasks. The most difficult thing is deciding what gets left out.
We are now half way through our 10-week series on the Holy Spirit. While this is one of the longer series we’ve done over the past 4 1/2 years, it really could have, and maybe should have, been between 20-25 weeks. So during this series I’ve decided to use my newsletter article to touch on some of the subjects that we will not get to during the series.
One of the often overlooked ministries of the Holy Spirit throughout scripture was His ministry to Jesus. From birth to resurrection the Holy Spirit was with Jesus, helping Him, and caring for Him.
In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke we find the birth story of Jesus. In both instances the authors make it clear that Jesus was born to Mary, a virgin, by the work of the Holy Spirit. Matthew writes, “The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 1:18) In Luke, when Mary asked how it would be possible for her, a virgin, to have a child, the angel Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” The virgin birth of Jesus was possible because the Holy Spirit was involved.
The next time we see them interacting is at the baptism of Jesus. All four gospel writers record the event. As Jesus came up out of the water they witnessed the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descending from heaven and resting on Jesus. (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22 and John 1:32) This event was significant in the life of Jesus and marked the beginning of His public ministry. Not only was the Holy Spirit present as Jesus’ birth, but also at the birth of His ministry.
Immediately after His baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus off into the wilderness for His showdown with the devil (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13 Luke 4:1-12). For 40 days and nights Jesus fasted and prayed. At the end of this time, Jesus was tempted by Satan. Three times He was tempted and three times He resisted. Since we know that the presence of the Holy Spirit never leaves us, it is implied that the Holy Spirit not only led Jesus to the wilderness but also led Him through the wilderness.
Finally, it was the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. In Romans 8:11, Paul writes, “Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.”
The Holy Spirit equipped, empowered, guided and ministered to Jesus just as He does to us. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us new life. It is the Holy Spirit that seals us for salvation. It is the Holy Spirit that leads us through the wilderness. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us for life and ministry. It is the Holy Spirit that lives within us and makes us alive.