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Sermon24-20 Lk3/4 Guide

Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-2,13-15, theme verse Luke 11:13

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth. In the third Sunday of the Easter season, I pray that His vitality and joy and power of the resurrection may be with you all. From last week, while meditating on the Gospel of Luke, we saw that Luke proclaimed that the Gospel is good news for all nations, in which the lost humanity, I mean, the Image of God, which all human beings were lost, could be healed and recovered, as God’s will and mission so that Jesus came this world to take this mission. But, in the Gospel of Luke, Luke introduced two enablers of Jesus ministries so that we would like to learn few lessons, while investigating what they were together.

1)    As we looked at last week, Luke who was a Gentile from Syria Antioch, wrote this Gospel to a Roman Gentile Theophilus, saying that Gospel is good news for all nations which brought the salvation from the sin and healing of the corruption by the sin to recover the relationship with God. This Gospel was the will and mission of God so that Jesus came this world as a Savior and Healer, who was the Son of God, a Perfect Man and the Messiah of God.

2)    And since the gospel of Luke and Acts was one book in two parts so that in the Gospel of Luke as the first part, Jesus began His earthly kingdom ministry in Galilee, moving to Jerusalem through Perea and Judea while training His disciples, and then after completing His atonement ministry on the cross, He ascended to the heaven, while in the subsequent Acts of the Apostles, His disciples, who received the great commission, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, started to spread good news from Jerusalem, though Judea and Samaria to the end of the earth so that entire journey of evangelism of Jesus and His disciples could be completed. However, there is one event that both Jesus and His disciples were sharing in common when they began their ministry. That was the Holy Spirit who filled Jesus and His disciples, as today’s texts emphasize.

3)    In other words, it is said that after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, while praying, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove to Him. This incident can be seen as the moment when the Holy Spirit endowed His gifts and power to Jesus  who had to carry out His ministry of salvation. And also the Gospel of Luke also says that Jesus prayed often.

4)    But then we would like to know why Jesus had to be filled with the Holy Spirit and always had to pray. In order to find the answer, we would like to look into all the incidents when Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and prayed in the Gospel of Luke. First, the word “Holy Spirit” is mentioned a total of 17 times in the Gospel of Luke, while it is mentioned only 6 times in the Gospel of Mark and 11 times in the Gospel of Matthew. But there are many differences in the content, in addition to the numbers. For example, the filling with the Holy Spirit for John the Baptist and his parents, Elisabeth and Zacharias is mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke and Mary's conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit is mentioned only by Matthew and Luke, while Simeon's praise of baby Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, is only mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. By the way, for Jesus' ministry, while the Gospels of Mark and Matthew only mention that the Holy Spirit came upon him at the time of baptism, and Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit during his 40-day temptation in the wilderness, the Gospel of Luke mentions that the Holy Spirit came upon him especially when he prayed after baptism, and that even before entering the wilderness temptation, Luke says that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and was led by the Holy Spirit. And regarding to Jesus' ministry, while Mark makes no mention of the Holy Spirit, whereas Matthew mentions that Jesus casted out demons by the Holy Spirit, the Gospel of Luke states clearly that Jesus casted out demons by the "power of the Holy Spirit". And although all synoptic gospels mention the Holy Spirit's help when the disciples stood up and spoke in public, what is unique in Luke's gospel is that while teaching the disciples how to pray, while Matthew says, "The heavenly Father gives good things to those who ask Him," on the other hand, Luke clearly states that the “good thing” is the “Holy Spirit.”

5)    Also, there is something unique about Jesus' wilderness temptation. I mean, while Jesus casted out the demons by commanding it with the power of the Holy Spirit, yet, in the temptation in the wilderness, He defeated the Satan, by the power of the Word, not by using the power of the Holy Spirt, rather while He was led and filled with the Holy Spirit. In addition, when Jesus was reported by His 70 disciples whom He sent out to preach, that even demons had surrendered in the name of the Lord, it is said that Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit. As such, we can see that the role of the Holy Spirit toward Jesus was very diverse. So according to Werner Krusche in his thesis, “Calvin’s Pneumatology,” about the various roles of the Holy Spirit regards to Jesus, when Mary conceived Jesus in the Holy Spirit Jesus was conceived in her womb and Jesus took on a humanity, the Holy Spirit prevented original sin from entering Jesus’ humanity. And also the Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to overcome sin throughout his life. Yet, after his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended to Jesus and gave various gifts to enable His earthly ministry and to cause Him to endure the pain of death and of hell on the cross, and also raised His body as the Spirit of resurrection. And after the ascension, Christ is present to His believers through the Holy Spirit, and also through the Holy Spirit, His three-fold ministry continues through the church. As such in the Gospel of Luke, the various roles of the Holy Spirit are introduced.

6)    Also, in the Gospel of Luke, as the Holy Spirit came down to the Lord like a dove while the Lord was praying, after the Lord's baptism, we can see that Luke says that the “prayer life” of the Lord was well emphasized in Jesus’ public ministry. Of course, even though the Gospel of Mark mentioned four times on Jesus' prayer life, and the Gospel of Matthew mentioned it three times, yet, the Gospel of Luke mentioned thirteen times; as in 3:32, he says that the Holy Spirit came upon him while he was praying after his baptism. In 5:16, it is said that Jesus withdrew and prayed in a quiet place, when people flocked to Him to seek healing after He raised leprosy. And also, in 6:12, it is said that before Jesus appointed the twelve apostles, He went up to the mountain and prayed all night. And also in 9:18, it is said that Jesus prayed separately in Caesarea Philippi, where the transition from earthly kingdom ministry to atonement ministry happened and 9:28 says that while he was praying on the Mount of Transfiguration, his countenance was changed and his clothes became white and radiant. And also, in 10:21, it is said that when the seventy disciples returned from their evangelistic ministry and reported that demons had been cast out while they were ministering, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanks for this. And in 11:1 he says that Jesus prayed and then came down and taught his disciples about prayer, while 22:17,19 says that He also prayed when instituting the Eucharist. And in 22:32 he interceded for Peter, while 22:40-46 says that, he prayed desperately in the Garden of Gethsemane to submit his will to the will of God. And in 23:34, when He was hung on the cross, it is said that He prayed for forgiveness, while in 23:46, even it is said that the Lord prayed for His soul to be entrusted to His Father, before His death, so that we can know that Jesus habitually and always prayed. Through these, for Jesus, we can know that prayer is firstly a means of receiving power for His ministry and also secondly the intimate fellowship with God the Father.

7)    But, the reason why Luke emphasize the Holy Spirit and prayer in Jesus’ life was because in order for His humanity of Jesus to take His kingdom ministry and atonement ministry on the cross, Jesus needed the power of the Holy Spirit by praying for that and also through prayer, He could enjoy the intimate relationship with God. And also Jesus showed us an example that our human beings need the Holy Spirit and prayer to ask God.

8)    Through today’s Bible verses, we would like to learn few things. Firstly, it seems that Jesus’ saying to His disciples that “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” conflicts with the fact that the Holy Spirit came already in His chosen people while even they were sinners and regenerated them and planted the principle of faith and dwell in them already so that the saying that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him seems to conflict, as also even though the Holy Spirit was indwelling in Jesus already, from He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, Luke said that the Holy Spirit came down to Jesus while He was praying after the baptism. About the reason for that, Werner Krusche said in his thesis, “Calvin’s Pneumatology” that ”The coming down of the Holy Spirit in His Baptism, as the preparation for His office as the mediator, means the endowment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the humanity of Jesus through which Jesus can do His ministry of the salvation, in addition to  the original possession of the Holy Spirit in His divinity which makes Jesus’ human conception in Mary without original sin.” As such, the receiving of the gifts or power of the Holy Spirit is the same, I mean, through which we can take our mission to the proclamation of the Gospel or the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore as Jesus did pray to God for the power of the Holy Spirit, we also have to pray to ask the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Secondly the thing we would like to think about is whether we grow in Jesus enjoying the righteousness, peace and joy in the indwelling Holy Spirit or whether we take our mission enough with the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit or whether we are filled with the Holy Spirit while praying ceaselessly and live with intimate relationship with God our Father. Our Lord said in Luke 11:13 that “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” and also He promised in Acts 1:8 that “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” and also Moses said in Deuteronomy that “What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?” Therefore I pray that on this third Sunday of Easter season, while praying, we may grow more into His image, while enjoying the righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and also while taking His mission, we may enjoy intimate relationship with God our Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 Our Lord who has possessed already the Holy Spirit originally, in order to take His kingdom ministry and atonement ministry, He had to be filled with the Holy Spirit when He was baptized, while praying. As such we also have to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer. So after reviewing your life, I hope you could check whether you are taking His mission through the Holy Spirit to share your experience and thoughts with your team members together.

Q2 And also, in order to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said we have to pray for that. So after reviewing your prayer life, I hope you could share your thought or experiences with your team members.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or  even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized   ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon                                    )

Please help me to live in that (  learned way of life                                                )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.

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