47: The Presence of the Spirit at the Incarnation
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In the October Newsletter, I made this comment. “Jesus was not only helped to die with the assistance of the Spirit, but as we will see, every aspect of His earthly ministry was linked to the Spirit.” The third person of the Trinity was also throughly present at the Incarnation. During this Holy Day season, let’s consider the role of the Holy Spirit in the birth of Jesus and his near kinsman John. I have highlighted the specific verses mentioning the Good Holy Spirit.
John’s birth is foretold to his father Zechariah.
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
The birth of the Son of God is announced to Mary by Gabriel.
Luke 1:28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy— the Son of God.
Relatives meet to encourage one another and John reveals his gymnastic abilities.
Luke 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Luke 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,
The Holy Spirit and our New Birth
Without getting ahead of myself, I hope we each are encouraged, as we read these scriptures, knowing that the same Holy Spirit who presided over the birth of Jesus has watched over and been intimately involved in our new birth. Twas He who birthed us from above (John 3:3-8), and twas He who enabled us to call Jesus Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3).
(Testimonial from podcast #7) “What an encouraging message. One of the best I’ve ever heard. How refreshing to hear open, honest talk from a leader….this message encouraged me in so many ways”. Sheila
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May you each have a blessed and Spirit filled Christmas,