Jesus and His Dependency on the Spirit

Jesus and His Dependency on the Spirit August 2, 2012

Scot McKnight recommends the volume by Hawthorne as the best work available on Jesus’ relationship to the Holy Spirit. This is an important subject for Pentecostals, and Evangelicals in general, to consider. Hawthorne makes an interesting, and highly significant, distinction between “faith in Jesus” and “the faith OF Jesus.” Consider this excerpt:

(p. 35)

“In thinking still more about the faith of Jesus as a mark of his humanness, there are also those difficult phrases – pistis lesou and pistis lesou Christou to be considered. They appear in the letters of Paul and are most frequently translated as ‘faith in Jesus,’ ‘faith in Jesus Christ,’ or possibly as ‘the faithfulness of Jesus’ or ‘the faithfulness of God in Jesus.’ Literally, however, the Greek is ‘the faith of Jesus’ or ‘the faith of Jesus Christ’ (Rom. 3:22, 26; Gal. 2:16; 3:22; Phil. 3:9, Greek; contrast Gal. 3:26; 1 Tim. 3:13; 2 Tim. 3:15 Greek). It may be, then, that this phrase is bu one more indication of Jesus’ own faith in God, a faith so radical, so all engrossing that Jesus could accept death as a criminal as the will of God for him, confident that God would ultimately vindicate him by raising him from the dead.

… Jesus depended on the Spirit of God. As the Spirit came upon human beings in the Old Testament in their weakness and limitedness to inspire them to see life as God sees life and to evaluate it with God’s valuation, as the Spirit came upon them to equip them for special tasks, superhuman tasks, as the Spirit came upon them to enable them to push back the darkness and bring light, hope, and healing, so the Spirit came upon Jesus (cf. Luke 3:22; 4:1, 18; Matt. 12:28). The Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus is but one additional proof of the genuineness of his humanity, for the significance of the Spirit in his life lies precisely in this: that the Holy Spirit was the divine power by which Jesus overcame his human limitations, rose above his human weakness, and won out over his human mortality…”

(from The Presence and the Power by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2003).


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