October 19, 2016

Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 11 invites many comparisons with the similar content in Matthew 6 and 7. I think it is futile to argue over whether Jesus said similar things more than once (which is highly probable) or whether either Matthew or Luke simply used an edited collection of teachings (which is quite possible). In either case, the similarities and differences give us things to think about. In this particular verse, the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement has seized on the promise of the Holy Spirit. There are a lot of factors here. One is that Luke, as a companion of Paul, heard about Jesus only well after the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Church. He mentions the Holy Spirit a great deal in Acts, from the events at Pentecost all the way through to the end of the book, and was obviously aware that the Holy Spirit was the soul and the engine of the Church. The other factor that strikes me right now is that the implication from the way this is written that the Holy Spirit is the very best thing God could give anyone. I think that was Luke’s own experience, and he didn’t hesitate to report Jesus putting it this way. Children ask their parents for a lot of things. Sometimes the requests are granted, sometimes they are denied, but sometimes the parent gives the child something better than what they asked for. I think God does that with us a lot. The only problem with that is that, because it isn’t what we asked for, we sometimes don’t recognize how good it is. The Holy Spirit is God Himself. He gave Himself to us in the Person of His Son to redeem us from our sins, and He gives Himself to us in the Person of His Spirit to empower us and to remake us in the likeness of His Son. (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18) If we really understand that, we will ask for, and welcome, the Holy Spirit at every turn.

This is an understanding I have been growing in over the years. I don’t think I’ve ever expressed it quite the way I just did, and I am deeply grateful for the revelation. This actually could be big in my ministry from this point. Just as many people don’t understand their need for Jesus as their Savior, so many Christians don’t understand their need to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) As was pointed out to me in 1974, we receive everything from God by faith. I need to encourage people to trust God to give them the very best, and by definition, that is indeed Himself, in the Person of His Son and His Spirit.

Father, thank You indeed for this Word. I feel like it’s huge! Help me communicate it effectively so that as many as possible may receive it, for their salvation and eternal blessing and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
This entry was posted in Christian, encouragement, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to October 19, 2016

  1. Communicated effectively. Well done.

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