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March 8 – Christ, empowered by the Spirit 

“But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” – Matthew 12:28 

Scripture reading: Matthew 12:15-32

How did Jesus carry out His ministry? We can explore this by considering how Jesus did miracles. To perform them, did He dip into His divinity? We might be tempted to say, ‘Of course, after all, He was God.’ But we need to be careful here. After all, other prophets like Moses and Elijah could do miracles too and they certainly weren’t God.

Our Bible passage points the way for us. Isaiah prophesied that God would put His Spirit upon His chosen servant, the Lord Jesus. At the commencement of His ministry, at His baptism, this happened. The Spirit of God descended like a dove upon our Lord (Matthew 3:16). Then, led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). He returned to Galilee ‘in the power of the Spirit’ (Luke 4:14) and in the synagogue, He quotes from Isaiah 61 alerting His hearers that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him (Luke 4:18). Jesus tells His opponents that He has cast out demons, not by Beelzebul, but by the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28). If He cast out demons by the Spirit of God, we can be sure that He did all His miracles in the Spirit’s power.

Jesus was a faithful servant of God; He was obedient as man. It was the Holy Spirit operating upon our Lord’s humanity, Who enabled Him to perform miracles and to carry out His ministry in faithfulness to His Father’s will and for the blessing of His people.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God that the same Holy Spirit Who was upon our Lord, is upon all of God’s people, enabling us to serve our heavenly Father. Ask for grace that we would not quench, resist, or grieve the Spirit of God.

Rev. John van Eyk began his ministry in Cambridge, Ontario as a Church Planter and Minister of the Riverside Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. After 13 years there, he served almost 10 years in the Tain/Fearn congregation of the Associated Presbyterian Churches in the Scottish Highlands. John has served as Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta since 2017. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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