It’s that time of year when nativity scenes are pulled out and dusted off, and many of us as Christians are reminded of Jesus coming to earth as a little baby – weak, harmless, and human, He was cradled in Mary’s arms. And in the same way, we know from the Word that He grew up and became well known and loved by His disciples for His compassion, His gentleness, and – especially when He was on trial towards the end of His life on earth – His meekness.
But in fact, there was no one more powerful to have ever walked the earth. He was a man, but He was God still, and undoubtedly almighty.
We see that displayed in many different stories of Him in the Bible, but one of my favorites is the time that He saved His disciples from a terrible storm, when they were afraid their boat would capsize and that they’d all drown.
“And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marvelled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and sea obey Him?” – Matthew 8:24-27 (NKJV)
They had never seen anything like it! They knew it was power to behold, but they had not yet learned where it came from, or else they would not be asking who He could be. They would know that He was filled with the Holy Spirit, which had been granted to Him by God the Father, and that He was and is powerful enough to do far more than just quiet the ocean. But it was a perfect example of how the Holy Spirit moves and works and how the trinity – God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus – is in complete harmony at all times.
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately form the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV)
Not only is the Holy Spirit part of the holy trinity, the Spirit is also a gift from God that empowers, and Jesus’ heart was to teach His disciples that so that they could also one day receive the Holy Spirit and become willing vessels, working towards His kingdom and for His purpose. And while His disciples had barely scratched the surface of all He wanted to teach and show them, they were definitely not blind to the mighty power that belonged to Jesus.
Jesus knew this, and He taught them constantly, so that they often marveled as they had done when He commanded the waves to be still. They never wanted to leave His side or stop learning and growing, and He promised them that that He’d always be with them. Then, after His undeserved death, followed by His joyful resurrection, He came back to them to teach them more, and to promise them again that they’d never be alone, that He would be the power and strength living in them. He told them about the Helper He would send them.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:15-18 (NKJV)
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
In that way, Jesus gave His disciples the same power of the Holy Spirit that was instilled in Him, and they moved on to start the first church, performing miracles and giving teachings and leading others to Him in His name. In the same way, He wants to do that for us in our own lives. God sent the Holy Spirit to His Son to empower Him, and then He went on to send His Spirit to His disciples, but He also desires that we be empowered with the Spirit, the Helper, to help us walk the walk set before us and to do His will.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
– 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NKJV)
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and the length and the depth and the height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19 (NKJV)
Those are just a couple of beautiful promises from God to us, but there are many verses in the Bible telling of the Holy Spirit and His all powerful character. Here are a few of them if you’d like to learn more: Acts 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 12-13, Romans 15:13-19, 2 Corinthians 1:3-8, Philippians 1:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6, and Hebrews 2:4.
It is truly a good reason to be joyful this season. To us, a child was born. But not only were we blessed and saved by our beloved Savior, we were also sent His Spirit to strengthen and guide us and give us authority in His name. And while Christmas can be a wonderful reminder of His many gifts to us through Jesus Christ, we can gladly celebrate Him living in us and moving in us mightily, and be grateful for it every day of our lives.