It’s easy to conclude that the reason Jesus performed signs and wonders, healing the sick, casting out demons, freeing captives, raising the dead, feeding multitudes…, was just because He could so do. After all, Jesus is the God Son, God in the flesh right? This stance, however fair, might potentially give one an incomplete understanding about Spiritual Gifts and their use.
I didn’t realize I once had this incomplete understanding, till a friend and some amazing teachers shed more light on the subject to make me see another reason for the good works Jesus did. He did them to fulfill scripture — Him being the Word and what not — long prophesied by prophets in the Old Testament about the coming of a Messiah. We see this come to play in Luke 4 after He gets baptized by the Baptist, John; is filled with the Holy Spirit who descends on Him in bodily form and is vocally approved by God; and after He was tempted by the enemy for 40 days and nights — during which time He ate nothing —; and successfully resisted all of the enemy’s temptations.
Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power, would then return to His boyhood home in Nazareth, visit the synagogue and stand up at the appointed time to read the scriptures; where He’d be presented with the Scroll of Isaiah and find the prophesy written:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come. ” — Luke 4:18-19 NLT
This is the part to pay attention to and it gets me every time I’ve enlightenedly read it:
“Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” — Luke 4:21 NLT
It gets and sends me because Jesus gave them guys one of those “… so I said all of that to say this” speeches 😂😂😂. My Man!!! And when they’d mob Him with the intention to murder Him a few more verses down — because He pressed their buttons, telling them what they’d eventually do, exposing their heart postures —; He’d swiftly slide through the crowd and hit ‘em with a “Can’t touch this!” shuffle. My Man!!! 🤣🤣🤣
So! We receive the Spirit of the Lord that’s being poured out on all flesh. We experience the same anointing and power that was upon Jesus Christ when He walked on the earth’s surface. We not only exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, we now have as our main feature, the gifts of the Spirit, measured to us according to the Spirit’s discretion… But:
- Why do we think the Spirit is poured on us?
- What do we do with Him?
I’m led to ask these questions because it’ll shock us, the answers we come up with as a result of the misconceptions we unfortunately have.
“Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this.” — 1 Corinthians 12:1 NLT
As I was enabledly Bible studying Numbers 11 this morning, the Holy Spirit shed deeper light on another reason for the signs and wonders that ensue after His Spirit is poured out on flesh. And it’s to bear the peoples’ burden — which was what Moses was doing on behalf of the people, having being baptized by the Spirit himself, with all the time He’d spent in God’s presence.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you. I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.
And the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this never happened again.” — Numbers 11:16-17, 25 NLT (there is a story to that last sentence, but I digress).
When the above verses are put into perspective, we’d be enabled to see that bearing the people’s burden was what Jesus anointedly did whilst performing signs and wonders — and as with all things created, He did them for God’s glory.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” — Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT
Jesus didn’t come to show off His prowess. He didn’t just come with a resume to list His skills and accolades — the Word already does this for Him, Him being the Word and what not… He came on assignment. A Spiritual one at that, to restore the Kingdom. He performed miracles because He is one with the Spirit — God’s power on earth — Who was fully at work in Him while He was doing good works. The same goes for us who are joined with the Lord and one with Him Spirit.
“But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.” — 1 Corinthians 6:17 NLT
To answer that second question posed: “What do we do with Him?”… we allow the Spirit of the Lord be at work in us. He is the one who does something with us. He is the one who performs signs and wonders through us, to fulfill scripture long ago prophesied by the prophets and disciples of old, to bear the burden of the people today, restore God’s Kingdom and for God’s glory — of which when the Holy Spirit blesses us with His Spiritual Gifts to do good works and perform signs and wonders, He makes us into present day apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers; He makes us future generation’s prophets and disciples of old.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” — Ephesians 2:10 NLT
So in Moses’s words, “…I wish (pray) that all the Lord’s people are prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them all!” — Numbers 11:29b NLT and enable us come into the understanding that we’re all on Spiritual assignment.
“‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke.” — Acts of the Apostles 2:17-19 NLT
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” — 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT
Categories of Spiritual Gifts
- Word of wisdom
- Word of knowledge
- Discerning of spirits
- Diverse tongues
- Interpretation of tongues
- Gifts of healings – different healings because they manifest in a greater degree.
- Gifts Working of miracles
- Gift of great/special faith
Remember: “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” — 1 Corinthians 12:11 NLT
Ask the Holy Spirit to bless you with whichever Spiritual Gifts He deems fit for you and receive by faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.