Gifts of Grace for Jesus

God's word teaches that Jesus did his miraculous works and prophesied heavenly truths by the working of the Holy Spirit rather than by his divine nature.

“It was in an especial manner by the power of the Holy Spirit [Jesus] wrought those great and miraculous works whereby his ministry was attested unto and confirmed. Hence it is said that God wrought miracles by him: Acts 2:22, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him;” for they are all immediate effects of divine power. So when he cast out devils with a word of command, he affirms that he did it by the “finger of God,” Luke 11:20,—that is, by the infinite divine power of God.

 

Did Jesus perform miracles, cast out demons and prophesy by the working of his divine nature or by the power of the Holy Spirit? The answer to this question might surprise many in modern Evangelical and Reformed circles. For years, I responded to that question by saying something like, “Of course, Jesus worked all his extraordinary works of power and prophecy by the working of his divine nature! After all, he is God manifest in the flesh.” While the latter assertion is undeniably the clear teaching of Scripture, God’s word teaches that Jesus did his miraculous works and prophesied heavenly truths by the working of the Holy Spirit rather than by his divine nature. Consider the following:

John Owen, in his volume on The Holy Spirit, wrote:

“It was in an especial manner by the power of the Holy Spirit [Jesus] wrought those great and miraculous works whereby his ministry was attested unto and confirmed. Hence it is said that God wrought miracles by him: Acts 2:22, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him;” for they are all immediate effects of divine power. So when he cast out devils with a word of command, he affirms that he did it by the “finger of God,” Luke 11:20,—that is, by the infinite divine power of God. But the power of God acted in an especial manner by the Holy Spirit, as is expressly declared in the other evangelist, Matt. 12:28; and, therefore, on the ascription of his mighty works unto Beelzebub, the prince of devils, he lets the Jews know that therein they blasphemed the Holy Spirit, whose works indeed they were, verses 31, 32. Hence these mighty works are called δυνάμεις, “powers,” because of the power of the Spirit of God put forth for their working and effecting: see Mark 6:5, 9:39; Luke 4:36, 5:17, 6:19, 8:46, 9:1. And in the exercise of this power consisted the testimony given unto him by the Spirit that he was the Son of God; for this was necessary unto the conviction of the Jews, to whom he was sent, John 10:37, 38.”

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