Christ’s Spirit 6-23-21 CBByrd
Thoughts this morning….while Jesus in human flesh walked among men he both had the Father’s Holy Spirit and could recognize the Spirit when the Spirit came upon others… as he did with Peter at Caesarea and others whom he healed, saying “ your faith has made you whole” since their faith in Jesus could only have happened as a result of the Spirit coming upon them, too. In each case those individuals had been given the power by the spirit’s presence in them to recognize the Christ in Jesus. After his resurrection he had authority to not only recognize the Spirit upon others but to breathe it upon them, as he did in the Upper Room, protecting and preparing them to receive the fullness of the Spirit’s power at Pentecost to begin being His “sent forth” ones in the fullness of the Spirit. I expect in that 10 days after Ascension of waiting they were being reminded of everything he had ever said to them and were making the connections of all he had said to their new understanding in the light of Christ’s resurrection. Perhaps God still works that way, wooing us by the Prevenient grace of his Spirit until we are brought to encounter and believe in the resurrected Christ, expressing that faith by which his justifying grace is then given and we are equipped at that point with the Spirit of the risen Christ permanently that sanctifies us until we reflect the glory of God through being in the likeness of Christ in this world.
In John 17 Jesus thanked God for his disciples, whom God had given him, indicated I expect by God’s touch upon them by the Holy Spirit. But even then it was not necessarily permanent, as evidenced by Jesus’ words to Simon Peter at one point, “Get thee behind me satan” and Jesus’ knowledge of Judas’ betrayal as well as Peter’s. I also suspect that John, “the one whom Jesus loved” was given the permanent abiding of God’s Spirit immediately which made him almost like an “anonymous” co-laborer with Jesus, like God gave Elisha to Elijah…. John’s faithfulness is seen as he is the one disciple mentioned at the foot of the cross with Jesus to whom Jesus gives responsibility to care for Mary, his mother. Jesus asked in his priestly prayer for them all to be sanctified that they might be one with Christ as Christ is one with God the Father and that they would know that they are loved by the Father as Jesus himself is. That sanctification and assurance of being loved by the Father would come with the permanent gift of the Holy Spirit given by Christ after his resurrection, which is what all believers since then receive. He asked for that to be the case for all who would come to faith in him because of their witness…. And it is. But the Father’s Spirit still goes “to and fro” seeking and preparing and protecting others until the moment that their hearts are ready. For the revelation of the Christ….