Energy is a hot topic today (I suppose there is a pun in there). Global, corporate and personal use of energy is much discussed and debated. Energy is even being used as a weapon in demand and supply situations.
Work itself can be seen as the expending of energy to achieve a desired purpose.
So where do you get your energy? How do you guarantee you will not run out and find yourself at the wrong end of an energy war? What type of energy is environmentally friendly in your world?
You are looking at the Son of Man at thirty, in a life-changing moment. He is transitioning from carpenter to rabbi, oldest son to Son of Man, local tradesman to global pioneer.
You have seen that his understanding of his work was all about good news, freedom, sight, release and favor.
For him to fulfill his desires he will need vast supplies of energy. These tasks will be hungry energy consumers.
So how does he see it? What’s going on in his soul which is driving him, inspiring him, energizing him?
The Son of Man is experiencing an energy presence upon him, flowing over him, bathing him and speeding him up. His senses are being heightened and his sense of himself and his mission is being sharpened, focused and directed.
“The Spirit of the Lord”, Jesus said, “is upon me”. On its own, this is a hard phrase to unpack, but Jesus does it for us by connecting it to another mystical word: “anointed”. Referring back to a literal pouring of oil over the head, Jesus is inviting us into his world, where the Spirit of God himself flows uninhibited over him and into him.
With the Spirit on him and anointing him, the Son of Man is thus energized to engage in his five stated momentous tasks.
There is a driven-ness about his awareness. He uses the word “sent” to describe the Spirit’s direction of his life.
So you can now see a thirty year old man, almost supercharged with pure energy, and sent to discharge his power in positive, life-transforming ways.
Luke, earlier in this fourth chapter, describes Jesus as “full of the Spirit”, and “led by the Spirit”. It is when Jesus describes himself, however, that you can feel it at a deeper level.
Perhaps you think that this type of energy is needed for ministry-type tasks, carried out in church mission contexts. Perhaps you consider your working week to be so different to his that you prefer to get your energy from diet, exercise and sleep.
But all of us have to discharge these same five tasks. We are about good news, freedom, sight, release and favor.
As you will see over the next pieces, your work consists of these same energy consuming characteristics, and you will need the same Spirit to equip you. Please don’t be tempted to believe that you can work in any meaningful way without the sense of the Spirit being upon you, anointing you and sending you.
You are an anointed, sent person right now. Your sense of who you are will need to contain, as it did for the Son of Man himself, the conscious, profound awareness of being a sent individual.
You don’t just go to work – you are sent to work.
You don’t just do a job – you are anointed to serve – whatever your work.
This self-understanding does not come easily. It requires years of growing and maturing into a life-place where you can express your received call. There will be wildernesses, temptations and battles, but the results will be worth it.
For the Son of Man at thirty, there was a before and an after, but his energy came from the Spirit Himself.
As must yours.
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
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