We are going to look at the New Testament in relation to Jesus and his ministry. When you look at the New Testament there are three main scriptures that relate to the anointing of the Lord Jesus.
1. Luke 4 v. 18
2. Acts 10 v. 38
3. Hebrews 1 v. 9
These are our reference texts for now. They are three specific texts that use the word anointing relative to Jesus, although the whole reality of the anointing of Jesus is much wider than three scriptures…We are going to look at the New Testament in relation to Jesus and his ministry. When you look at the New Testament there are three main scriptures that relate to the anointing of the Lord Jesus.
1. Luke 4 v. 18
2. Acts 10 v. 38
3. Hebrews 1 v. 9
These are our reference texts for now. They are three specific texts that use the word anointing relative to Jesus, although the whole reality of the anointing of Jesus is much wider than three scriptures.
1. Luke 4 v. 14-21
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
It is important to note that Jesus came to Galilee in the power of the Spirit as he is about to quote Isaiah 61 about being anointed by the Spirit and we have already seen that one of the common ideas of anointing is the association with power. Then news of him spread throughout the countryside – the news of what God does spreads. You know Zechariah’s great prophetic insight;
Zechariah 8 v. 23
This is what the Lord almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the edge of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”
I cannot think of any more fundamental principle for success in the things of God than the God is with us and that people hear the report of the presence of God and see the power of it. There is nothing more therapeutic for the Church than the presence of God. There is something about the power of God that is attractive or repulsive. When God is there in anointed power the ones that want to be there will be and the ones that don’t won’t be. That was the activity that took place in Jesus. There were those that believed in him and accepted him with gladness, and the ones that did not want to didn’t. My vision is to be part of a ministry where God-like things happen and people hear about it and people come to where God is.
In building the Christian Life Centre we have been in a tremendous struggle. There is battle and there is burden, but where there is anointing there is not weariness of the flesh. That is not to say that we never get tired, because even Jesus got tired like at the well of Sychar and his bones felt the power of his ministry, but it was not weariness of the flesh. Weariness of the flesh is because God is absent, because there is no dynamic in-filling of the Spirit, because every decision is a hassle, because everything you have got to do is hard work. Jesus says:
Matthew 11 v. 29-30
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The thing that makes me prove that scripture experimentally is the dynamic flow of the anointing of God. That is what we need.
So the report about him spread through the whole countryside;
Luke 4 v. 14
He taught in the synagogues and everyone praised Him.
We should add “For a little while” at the end there for it is true that even people in the flesh are initially attracted by the dynamic of God. People know they are touching something different and there is something attractive about it until they get to the real heart of it and get the message of the Gospel and the demand laid at their own door. Then they say they have had enough. That is the process that happened with Jesus and is an important process to note. In ministry, initial attractiveness is not necessarily the measure of your total success. Where God is there is attractiveness, but when people come and hear what is actually being said and done by the Spirit of God that attractiveness can turn in two directions: either into committed discipleship or into something that wants to get rid of it very quickly. People leading churches have failed to understand that, and having had a lot of people in over a couple of weeks they begin to compromise for success to keep the numbers and the attractiveness. Well, the anointing does have attractiveness, but it also has effectiveness. It has a cutting edge and once people come within the orbit of the anointing of God it begins to manifest itself; it begins to do things in their life and some become committed to it and others run away.
The same happened in the Acts of the Apostles. This is a profound pastoral principle and we need to know how it operates otherwise we will get stopped halfway and won’t understand the ways of God. We need depth and commitment in the body of Christ today. We must not make a programme as a substitute for the anointing. The anointing is a programme in itself! When God moves by the power of His Holy Spirit he begins to do things and sort people out. Those who go on in committed discipleship in that way are tremendously moved in the power of God.
Luke 4 v. 22
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” they said.
This was their great mistake – natural perception saw him as the son of Joseph and here he was standing in their midst as the anointed son of God. We will come back to this later.
2. Acts 10 v. 34-38
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. This is the massage God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judaea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
See that these are all reports, unmistakeable facts that can be recalled in their memory. We will return to this also.
3. Hebrews 1 v. 1-5
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son; today I have become you father” ?
I like the King James version of verse 3, it has a different emphasis and nuance;
upholding all things by the word of his power
What is the name? Son. THE NAME. If we had read Peter’s sermon at Pentecost we would have read “this Jesus,…this Jesus,…this Jesus…,Jesus of Nazareth,…” and then after the exaltation and out-pouring of the Spirit he describes him, “this Jesus, both Lord and Christ.” We should remember that when leading someone to the Lord. It is nothing to do with giving your heart to Jesus, the Bible says;
Romans 10 v. 9
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I think that is powerful because it incorporates the reality of who Jesus is. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
Colossians 3 v. 17
Whatever you do, whether in Word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
LORD because he is dominical in his authority. There is no-one more powerful than him.
JESUS because he is effective in his salvation;
Matthew 1 v. 21
He will save his people from their sins.
CHRIST because he is pouring out the Holy Spirit. He is the anointed one who is anointing others.
Isaiah 52 v. 15
He shall sprinkle many nations.
Let us go back to Luke 4 which is of course a quote of Isaiah 61 v. 1-3 although it leaves out a bit. It stops by saying “the acceptable year of the Lord” but there is another bit of that prophecy in Isaiah that is not taken from the lips of Jesus. My view is that there is an anointing that expands beyond Jesus;
John 14 v. 12
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.
People argue about what that means, but if you look at the rest of the prophesy in Isaiah 62 you see that there are elements of ministry that belong to the Church rather than to Jesus. But Jesus did not come initially to announce – He came to announce the acceptable year of the Lord’s favour.
The next statement in Isaiah announces the wrath of God. We as the Church have got a double role: we are to continue to announce the
acceptable year of the Lord, but in the words of Paul:
2 Corinthians 2 v. 15
We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?
There is no good news without bad news and the very being of an anointed people does two things;
Firstly it highlights the favour of God.
Secondly it highlights the judgement of God.
We are in the world, not of it; we are citizens of another kingdom: we are out-pouring the anointing of the Holy Spirit and by the very doing of that we are also pronouncing judgement on a system under the judgement of God. That is not negative. I believe in the overpowering victory of God, but I also believe in the overthrow of satan, and in being realistic about sin, recognising the power of the flesh and the weakness of human society without God. It is not always a comfortable thing to operate in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. If you want to always be friends with everybody everywhere then do not ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But if you are willing to stand for God and to know the power of God, then when we let the anointing flow it is a place for the dividing of the waters.