February 13, 2006


Matthew 3:13-17

He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. Matthew 3:16


Why could Jesus do what he did during his ministry? What gave him power to heal the sick and raise the dead? What gave his teaching such power that it went beyond anything other rabbis taught? Well, first of all, we might say that as the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus could do anything. But we must remember that Jesus set aside the privileges of divine glory to fulfill his mission as our incarnate Savior (see Philippians 2:6-8). So where did the power for his unique ministry come from? The Spirit of God made a special descent to equip Christ for his calling. As the Spirit hovered over the waters of creation, so the Spirit hovered over Jesus to prepare him for his work. We shouldn't minimize the cost of this spiritual anointing. The Father's voice from heaven identifies Jesus, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love." These words recall prophecies from Isaiah about the Lord's Servant who would fulfill God's promise of salvation. God's Son, honored at his baptism by both the Father's voice and the Spirit's presence, would be "led like a lamb to the slaughter" (Isaiah 53:7). The Spirit's anointing did not spare Jesus from a road of suffering. The Spirit's anointing is for service. We who follow Jesus in this world do well to remember this.

Father, thank you for equipping us with the Spirit's power. In our call to costly obedience, may we take courage from the Spirit who dwells in us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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