Saturday, March 29, 2014

For God was With Him

That word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:37-38)
How did Jesus do the things He did? Jesus gave His own answer at the Last Supper: “The Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:10). And now Peter, in his announcement of the gospel to Cornelius provides an answer:
  • God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power.
  • God was with Him.
Now understand, Jesus was (and is) fully divine as well as fully human. In other words, He is God. Yet Peter does not say that Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for He is God.” Rather, he says that it was because “God was with Him.” The miracles Jesus performed, He performed in His humanity but anointed with the Holy Spirit, and because God the Father was with Him.

But how was God with Him? Remember, when Jesus was baptized, the voice of the Father said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” This identified Jesus as the Son God promised would come to rule and reign over Israel and the nations, and whom God would anoint with His Spirit. That anointing happened at Jesus’ baptism. The Holy Spirit descended like a dove and rested on Him (Matthew 3:16-17).

The Holy Spirit was always with Him and in Him, of course, but now the Holy Spirit was upon Him, anointing Him (this is why Jesus is called “Christ” or “Messiah,” which means “Anointed”). And when the Holy Spirit comes, there is power. And it was by this anointing and this power that Jesus went about doing good and working miracles of healing and deliverance from demonic oppression.

Peter gives us this account in Acts 10. But think back now to Acts 1, where Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the “Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). By this, He meant that they were to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. He said,
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Ten days later, during the festival of Pentecost, as the disciples waited at Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit came upon them — just as He had upon Jesus! Throughout the rest of the book of Acts, the power of the Holy Spirit is revealed in them through miracles, healings, exorcisms, and other ways — even raising the dead. God was with them just as He was with Jesus.

This same anointing with the Holy Spirit and power is available today for all who come to the Lord Jesus Christ in faith. The history of the Church is full of the same sorts of miracles and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. God is still doing today what He has always done, that we may show the evidence of who Jesus is and bring healing and freedom to the nations in Jesus’ name.