This is an excerpt from our current article, "Jesus The Anointed One: Our Example for Supernatural Ministry," in the series of practical Pneumatology articles featured in Enrichment Journal (Fall 2009-Summer 2010).
Did Jesus perform miraculous acts purely out of His raw divinity (as the Eternal Son) or was there another factor at work? The scripture is clear; as the messianic God-man, he would never be divested of his deity in any way (Col 2:9), but he would operate under the auspices of the Spirit’s anointing. Luke 4 records the fulfillment of Isaiah’s messianic prophecy, “The Spirit is upon me because he has anointed me…” (Luke 4:18ff, Isa 61:1ff). The Apostle Peter’s cristological pneumatology is revealed when he teaches the Caesareans that “God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power and how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil for God was with him (Acts 10:38). Jesus operated under the auspices of the Spirit’s enabling—not because his divinity was insufficient, but because as our great example he would have to lead us in paths we would be able to follow. His promise of the power coming with Spirit baptism (Acts 1:8) would allow us to operate in realms not accessible to mere humanity.
The promise of “greater works” (John 14:12) has kept many a minister up late at night in introspection. Jesus spoke about us doing these “greater works,” but how can earthly novices like us actually expect that to happen? Talk about being under-qualified! The context of Christ’s words is the eminent sending of the Holy Spirit to empower believers—the same Holy Spirit that came upon Him at His baptism in the Jordan.
More than a Trinitarian photo-op, the baptism of Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Spirit—along with the audible expression of the Father’s approval—should speak volumes to us about the process of our personal quest for supernatural ministry. Jesus did not need forgiveness for personal sin nor the Spirit’s power to enable for personal weakness, but as our great example, he would follow the Father’s will step by step; clearing the path that we—who desperately need forgiveness and empowering—could follow. The Holy Spirit’s descent upon Jesus following his baptism established another facet of the pattern we are to emulate, for immediately afterwards Luke records that Jesus was considered “full” of the Spirit (Luke 4:1).
Christ’s reliance on the Spirit’s power loudly speaks of our desperate need for Spirit Baptism and the “fullness” of supernatural ministry power that comes with it. We can follow Christ’s great example as our ministry role model because, like him, we can experience and rely upon the Holy Spirit’s power.