The Power of the Spirit in Us {Luke 4}

12:00 AM




By Sue Desmarais

I’ll admit that in the past I’ve skimmed over much of this chapter, and truly never saw the value and significance of much of what is here until now! This chapter is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth and it’s packed full of so many important truths that I doubt I can adequately cover all of it in just one post, but I’ll try! Much of what I don’t want you to miss is found in verses 14-21,

“Then Jesus went back to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and the news about Him spread through the entire region.  And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised and glorified and honored by all.

 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.  The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the captive free.
to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the favor of God abound greatly].” (Isaiah 61:1-2a)

 Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down [to teach]. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:14–21 emphasis mine).

Jesus stopped reading in the middle of verse 61:2. The rest of verse 2 reads, “and the day of our God’s vengeance.” which refers to Jesus’ second coming and judgment on the world. So what is Jesus saying exactly? The Jews knew this was a messianic prophecy, therefore when He tells them that, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He’s saying, “I am the Messiah; the Sent One.”

This is important to note for it makes the rest of the passage come to life! Notice now when He reads,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, and God has anointed Me to proclaim good news—that’s the gospel—to those who need it. It’s important because it marks the beginning of Jesus' three year ministry leading up to the Cross. The first Adam sinned and failed to fulfill his purpose. Jesus, as the last Adam didn’t sin and did fulfilled His purpose as a man. Clearly Jesus was always fully God, but for a time, He chose to "empty" Himself of His divine prerogatives (something we can’t fully grasp or explain), and was living His life here as an example of the perfect life Adam should have lived and the "ideal life" that all believers today should aspire to (1Cor 11:1). I know you’re probably thinking, “He was God”, but what Luke is alluding to in this chapter is that Jesus relied on the same Source of power, the Holy Spirit, that you and I have access to today, for the Spirit of Christ indwells every believer (Rom 8:9). Therefore, as Jesus told us Himself in John 14:12, we have the power to do all Jesus did and even “greater things” because we possess the same power He relied on (Eph 3:20)! Look back at Luke 4:1,

“Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.” The Greek word for “filled” or “full” also means “controlled”. All believers possess the Holy Spirit within, but not all believers are “full” or “controlled” by the Holy Spirit and here lies the problem. A carnal Christian (one operating in the flesh) looks to what he/she can do FOR The Lord but a Spirit-controlled Christian is surrendered to the Spirit’s control so that the Spirit is free to work through them and there is a tremendous difference between what our finite selves can do and what an infinite God can do through us!!

Let me explain. Jesus also said, “God has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives.” In other words, “I have come to set you free. You don’t have to be slaves to sin or idolatry anymore.”  Freedom comes through Christ and in Christ alone.

Now all of us may be able to break some bad habits by just sheer self-will and discipline, but we won’t truly be free, for we’re not free until we’re yielded and controlled by Christ’s Spirit. Then and only then will all those issues be behind us and no longer have any control over us, and that’s when we’re truly free to serve Him.

As I mentioned last week our surrendering and being wholly controlled by The Spirit is a moment by moment exercise. We can expect to battle the flesh for as long as we’re here, but let me show you something even worse; another truth hidden in the chapter in verses 4:28-30,

“As they heard these things, the people in the synagogue were filled with a great rage; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to hurl Him down the cliff.  But passing [miraculously] through the crowd, He went on His way.”

We never read of Jesus returning to Nazareth again in Scripture. His invitation is for “today” and may not come again. Which caused me to think of the writer’s exhortation to us in Hebrews 3:15, “As it has been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart...” There may never be another chance to accept Him and His Spirit He offers.

Therefore, I must ask:


Do you know Him? And are you wholly surrendered to Him? Is He not only Savior, but Lord of your life? Are you relying each moment on His power within, or on your strength to get by?

Are there sins you are still trying to overcome; diet, exercise, anger, unforgiveness, slander, malicious gossip, etc? Have you given them over to His control or are you trying to conquer them on your own?
Have you experienced true freedom?

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for emptying Yourself for a time and coming to earth to not only redeem us through Your death on the cross and for modeling for us how we ought to live now, but also for indwelling us and giving us the power to live a victorious life free from the sins that constantly seek to beset us.


Come Lord Jesus, come by Your gracious Holy Spirit to live in me; to empower me and set me free from all sins that have enslaved me until now. May I walk experiencing true freedom today and each day forward. No tuning back, I pray, for I know I am redeemed. I know You are my life, and all I could ever need! I know You will never leave me, nor forsake me, but will be here to guide me and empower me to accomplish all that has been ordained for my life; for Your honor, glory and praise! I pray this in Your name and with a grateful heart. Amen 

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